Classic Basil Pesto Recipe
Classic Basil Pesto
Prep Time
5 mins
Total Time
5 mins

We grow basil all summer to produce delicious pesto to enjoy all year long. This classic basil pesto recipe is so simple, deliciously flavorful, and just asking to be enjoyed with pasta, spread on a sandwich, added to soup, or preserved for the cool months ahead. 

Yields 1 1/4 cups

Course: Sauce
Cuisine: Italian
Author: Caitlin
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 4 cups fresh basil leaves, divided
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  1. In a small skillet over medium heat toast the walnuts, stirring frequently, until fragrant and a few shades darker. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. 

  2. Add 1/2 the basil, garlic, cheese, and the toasted walnuts to the bowl of a food processor. Blend until combined, but not pureed. Add the remaining basil, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, and salt. Pulse again to combine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.

  3. With the food processor running, stream in the olive oil and process until mixed. Scrape down the sides and taste for salt. Store in the fridge and use within 1 week, or store in a glass container or ice cube trays in the freezer.


If you don't like walnuts or you simply don't have them on hand, you can substitute raw cashews or pine nuts.