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Small Batch Basil Pesto Recipe

Basil Pesto is a tasty blend of pine nuts, fresh basil, garlic cloves, extra-virgin olive oil, and parmesan cheese. A small batch of this sauce is perfect to elevate salads, seafood, noodles, sandwiches… the uses are endless!

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Small Batch Basil Pesto Recipe

Ingredients needed to make pesto

The better quality ingredients you use, the better this pesto will taste… especially the olive oil. If your olive oil has been open for more one year then you may taste hints of vinegar and bitterness Try to use recently opened Evoo if possible.

Small Batch Basil Pesto Recipe

This recipe is the perfect amount of pesto when you want to make pasta for dinner and don’t need too much. My favorite way to enjoy pesto is on a loaded sandwich or with angel hair pasta. I recently added McDonald’s spicy chicken nuggets on top of my pesto pasta for dinner and wow… it was incredible.

Small Batch Basil Pesto Recipe

Tools needed to make this recipe

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how to make Basil Pesto Recipe

Small Batch Basil Pesto Recipe

Yield: about 1 cup, Cook time: 5 minutes



  • Heat a skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the pine nuts and toast about 2-3 minutes, stirring occassionaly. Set aside.
  • In a food processor or blender, add half of the pine nuts, half the basil, 2 garlic cloves, 1/2 the cheese and the lemon zest. On low speed, process the ingredients till they are finely chopped. While the blender is going, slowly drizzle in half of the olive oil until a smooth paste begins to make shape. Turn off food processor and scrape down the sides.
  • Add the remaining pine nuts, basil, garlic and cheese to the blender. Process the ingredients until finely chopped to preference (turn off blender and scrape sides of bowl and blend again if wanting a very blended texture)
  • Transfer the basil pesto paste to a bowl. Slowly stir in the remaining olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to preference.
  • Enjoy on pastas, on sandwiches, dipping veggies and so much more.

Note: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze. 

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I am a creative, self taught, home cook who loves to create yummy recipes

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