Homemade pesto recipe

(26 ratings)

This pesto can be used in different ways. The most popular is with pasta. You can also use it as a sauce for grilled fish or meat. It is delicious when stirred into soups or crushed potatoes.

Homemade pesto
(Image credit: TI Media Limited)
  • healthy
Preparation Time5 mins
Cooking Time
Total Time5 mins
Cost RangeCheap
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories51 Kcal3%
Fat6.5 g9%
Saturated Fat1.1 g6%

This easy homemade pesto recipe shows you exactly how classic pesto is made and only takes 5 mins to rustle up.

This homemade pesto recipe can be used in different ways, the most popular is with pasta. You can also use it as a sauce for grilled fish or meat and it is delicious when stirred into soups or crushed potatoes. Swap that classic tomato pizza sauce for pesto instead for a flavour-packed meal.

The pine nuts, basil and Parmesan make a delicious combination. This sauce will last up to 1 week in an airtight container in the fridge. This classic Italian sauce has to be one of our favourite pesto recipes.

A good homemade pesto needs to be bright in colour, full of fresh ingredients with a strong earthy flavour. Homemade pesto is often cheaper to make than buying shop-bought.


  • 100g basil leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 50g toasted pine nuts
  • 50g Pecorino or Parmesan, freshly grated
  • 8tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • a squeeze of fresh lemon




  1. Put all the ingredients in a food processor with salt and pepper and blitz to form a rough paste.
  2. To keep it for another day, spoon the pesto into a jar then spoon a little oil on top to preserve it for longer. Cover and keep in the fridge. Use within 1 week.
  3. Stir through pasta, drizzle over chicken or spread on salmon fillets - it goes with anything!
Top Tip for making Homemade pesto

Variations:Use parsley or mint, or a mixture of herbs, or rocket, spinach, or peas or beans. Make with chilli and coriander or red peppers and chilli.

Jessica Dady
Food Editor

Jessica Dady is Food Editor at GoodtoKnow and has over 12 years of experience as a digital editor, specialising in all things food, recipes, and SEO. From the must-buy seasonal food hampers and advent calendars for Christmas to the family-friendly air fryers that’ll make dinner time a breeze, Jessica loves trying and testing various food products to find the best of the best for the busy parents among us. Over the years of working with GoodtoKnow, Jessica has had the privilege of working alongside Future’s Test Kitchen to create exclusive videos - as well as writing, testing, and shooting her own recipes. When she’s not embracing the great outdoors with her family at the weekends, Jessica enjoys baking up a storm in the kitchen with her favourite bakes being chocolate chip cookies, cupcakes, and a tray of gooey chocolate brownies