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Quick And Easy Pesto Recipes: How To Use Fresh Basil To Make A Delicious Pesto Sauce

Updated on February 28, 2011

Culinary Basics - How to Make Fresh Pesto Sauce

For you, HOLLE

One of the most delicious dishes for using up fresh basil is pesto sauce. This pesto sauce is by far my favorite and the easiest one I’ve ever made.

My daughter, Kate substituted spinach for half of the basil one time and the result was just as delicious.

I grow my own basil and have it on hand throughout the summer. I quadruple this recipe and then drop by teaspoons and tablespoons onto a cookie sheet. I put the sheet in the freezer until the balls of pesto are frozen and then transfer to a freezer zip-lock bag.

You can also freeze in ice cube trays of varying sizes or long strip ice cube trays.

When I need fresh pesto sauce for any recipe, I thaw out the appropriate amount and presto (or pesto) – I have fresh sauce in the correct amount.



Nutrition Facts

Calories 5

Calories from fat 46

Total fat 5 gm

Saturated fat 1 g

Cholesterol 1 mg

Sodium 28 mg

Total carbs 1 g

Dietary fiber 0 g

Protein 1 g

Exchange approximation – Fat 1


8 servings – 1/2 cup per serving at most


  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves or substitute part spinach leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts (roast them first if desired in a dry skillet)
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese or similar cheese
  • Pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Combine all the ingredients except the oil in a food processor or a blender. Process until almost smooth.
  2. Pour the oil through the feed tube with the food processor or blender running at the slowest speed.
  3. Process until blended.

Recipe courtesy The New Family Cookbook for People with Diabetes


  • Pesto sauce packs a powerful punch and you don’t need much of it.
  • Use it to flavor pasta but a little bit goes a long way.
  • Use as a base sauce on pizza or flat bread pizza.
  • Use as a sauce for grilled fish or chicken.
  • You can also add sun-dried tomatoes to it and make a sun-dried tomato pesto!
  • Use it as a dressing for mozzarella and tomato salad.
  • Combine with chicken and vegetables and make chicken salad.
  • Spread on bread instead of garlic butter.
  • Add a dab to scrambled eggs or quiche.
  • Spread a wee bit on in place of mayo in any sandwich.


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