Pesto di Basilico (Basil Pesto)

Easily the best Pesto di Basilico recipe! Packed with loads of fresh basil goodness. This is a tasty easy pesto recipe that you are going to love. Ready in just 5 minutes this iconic sauce is so versatile and flavorful! You will be adding to everything!
Before jumping to the recipe please note that the below information contains HOT TIPS for this recipe. We try and answer all your questions to guarantee a perfect keto recipe every time.

Why We Love Basil Pesto

Quick as! – Just 6 ingredients and 5 minutes to prepare!

Versatile – dollop on a sandwich, or salad, stir through pasta, serve on a steak, freeze and toss it into a stir fry. Basil Pesto is the ultimate HERO sauce!

Easy to make – you can make basil pesto in a Thermomix or your food processor. Use a bit of mortar and pestle action and you can make it without an appliance.

What is Basil Pesto?

Pesto di Basilico is pretty much basil pesto by a delicious Italian name. It is also known as pesto alla Genovese. Pesto originated in Genoa, Italy around the 16th century. It has been popular ever since!

Made with loads of fresh basil leaves, extra virgin olive oil (or avocado oil), plump toasted pine nuts, parmesan cheese, and fresh garlic. This is a classic sauce used on everything from steak to pasta, and salad.

Related Recipes: Pesto Rosso / Cilantro Chimichurri / Lemon Gremolata

Pesto di Basilico Ingredients

Jump to Recipe Card for Full List of Ingredients

pesto ingredients on a wood backdrop.

With only 5 ingredients a great pesto sauce is super easy to make.

Ingredient Notes

Basil Leaves – use fresh basil only. Look for bright green leaves without damage or browning. Use arugula, parsley, coriander, sorrel leaves, kale, or any leafy greens in place of basil.

Parmesan – use a sharp Parmigiano rPggiano, or pecorino Romano

Olive Oil – use good quality extra-virgin olive oil or extra-virgin cold pressed avocado oil. I use Grove Avocado Oil which is very dark green and a personal favourite.

Pine nuts – while this recipe uses pine nuts you can honestly substitute any nuts you prefer.

How to Make Basil Pesto

Jump to Recipe Card for Ingredients and Step-By-Step

Making pesto di basilico at home is very easy.

You will need a food processor or blender. I have included methods for both a food processor and basil pesto using a Thermomix. Both ways will make a perfect pesto.

Step 1. It really is as simple as toasting the pine nuts first. I do this in a pan over medium-high heat until they are lightly golden in colour. This step gives the pesto a nutty flavour from the toasting. Do this with any nuts you are using.

Step 2. Place all the ingredients into a food processor and chop until smooth. If you need to scrape down the sides of the bowl and process again for a smoother consistency, then go for it. I prefer my pesto a little on the chunky side.

Variations: use any leafy greens, nuts or seeds you prefer. Try a roasted red pepper pesto or our sun-dried tomato pesto, Pesto Rosso recipe.

How to Make Thermomix Pesto

Making any kind of pesto in a Thermomix is so easy. This homemade pesto Thermomix recipe is so simple.

Place all the ingredients into the mixer and chop 10 sec/speed 7. Scrape and repeat until your desired consistency is achieved. Mix through other condiments like our Thermomix Mayonnaise or Thermomix Guacamole recipes to create a flavor-packed pesto mayonnaise or dip.

a baked brie with pesto
A baked Brie topped with basil pesto is not only delicious but very impressive to look at!

Frequently Asked Questions

How to make a nut free pesto Genovese?

Oh, this one is easy. Seeds also work well in pesto. Use toasted hemp seeds, pepitas or sunflower seeds as a nut-free pesto alternative.

What is the best way to serve pesto?

I love it sprinkled over a casserole, soup or baked breads and galettes. Basil pesto is also perfect for the lunch box or cheese platter. This pesto would be an awesome alternative to our red pesto in the Marry Me Chicken recipe too.

Storage

Fridge – store in the fridge for up to a week. Just make sure to cover the top with a layer of olive oil. This keeps the pesto vibrant and fresh without discolouration or mould.

Freeze – freeze in a silicone ice cube tray then transfer to a ziplock bag.

Defrosting – defrost in the fridge overnight.

Pesto di Basilico in a pottery bowl

Recipes to Serve Basil Pesto With

  1. Sous Vide Wagyu Steak
  2. Keto Beef and Broccoli
  3. Rougaille Sausages
  4. Easy Baked Italian Meatballs
  5. Savoury Mince

For those of you like me who follow a keto diet, this is definitely a keto pesto. I think all pesto is keto-friendly.

If you do make it then don’t forget to tag me on your creations on social media. Join us on Facebook or Instagram and show us what you have been making in your keto kitchen. xoxo

Keto Cookbooks & Ebooks
Basil di Basilico in a brown pottery bowl with basil leaves around it.

Easy Pesto di Basilico (Basil Pesto)

Easily the best Pesto di Basilico recipe! Packed with loads of fresh basil goodness. This is a tasty easy pesto recipe that you are going to love. Ready in just 5 minutes this iconic sauce is so versatile and flavorful! You will be adding to everything!
5 from 65 votes!
Prep Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 5 mins
Course: Dips and Spreads, sides
Cuisine: Australian
Diet: Diabetic, Gluten Free
Recipe Category: Low Carb
Calories: 114kcal
Author: Megan Ellam
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Servings: 6 people
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Equipment

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts (30g)
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, packed (60g)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 0.25 cup extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil (60g)
  • 1-2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 0.25 cup parmesan cheese 25g
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

CONVENTIONAL METHOD

  • Lightly toast pine nuts in a small frying pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Be careful not to burn. Allow to cool before using.
  • Place basil, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, parmesan, and cooled pine nuts into a food processor. Blend until a paste forms. Season with salt and pepper.

THERMOMIX METHOD

  • Lightly toast pine nuts in a small frying pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Be careful not to burn. Allow to cool before using.
  • Place basil, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, parmesan, and pine nuts into mixer; chop 10 sec/speed 7. Scrape down sides of bowl and repeat. Season with salt and pepper.

Notes

SUBSTITUTIONS
Swap the pine nuts for macadamias, almond or cashews.
Basil can be swapped for any soft green leafy herbs or vegetables like parsley or kale.
Use a good quality extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil. The oil can make a difference to the flavour of the pesto.
STORAGE
Fridge – Store in an airtight jar for up to 5 days in the fridge.
Freezer – Yes, basil pesto can be frozen. Scoop into a silicone ice cube tray and freeze. Defrost – in the fridge overnight before using.
SERVING SUGGESTIONS
Serve as a side or sauce for any protein. Serve with cheese, or vegetables, dips and crackers.
 
 
 

Your Own Notes

Nutrition

Serving: 1serve | Calories: 114kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 67mg | Potassium: 48mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 245IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 59mg | Iron: 1mg | Magnesium: 17mg | Net Carbs: 0g
Tried this recipe?Mention @meganellam or tag #madcreations!

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