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Healthy Homemade Pesto

Updated on February 23, 2016

Pesto is the Besto

My family loves pesto. In the past, I have purchased it from local grocers in the jar and it's always tasted just 'alright.' This recipe, in my humble opinion, is better than any store-bought pesto I've ever tasted! It is a frequent creation in our household as we love to serve it as a snack to guests (or a treat to ourselves) to eat with cheese and crackers. I have also found that it's great as a sandwich spread to spice up those plain old sammies, or to eat with pasta or quinoa dishes (more recipes to come).

A few notes on this recipe...

Don't be too generous with the olive oil, as it can get runny quickly. The pesto also tends to separate easily so will need a good stir every time you take it out of the fridge.

For those of you watching calories and fat intake, I think the recipe is just as delicious without the Parmesan. However, if you choose to eliminate this ingredient make sure you also eliminate some of the olive oil so you still get the same consistency.

I typically choose cilantro as the main ingredient over basil, as I like the taste better and it's often cheaper. I recommend experimenting with both and seeing what you prefer!

If you end up not using all of the herbs that you buy and can't find another way to resource them, I suggest chopping off the stems and sticking them in the freezer in a Ziploc bag. Whenever you're ready to make a new batch of pesto, you can just let them thaw out before throwing them in the food processor. They won't be a very pleasant texture when they are all thawed out, but it shouldn't matter once all the ingredients are combined.

Thanks for reading y'all! I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!


  • 1 bunch cilantro OR basil, stems chopped off
  • 3-5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan, grated (optional)
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor until thoroughly mixed.
  2. Enjoy!
  3. To store, seal in an air-tight container in refrigerator for up to one week.

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    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      easy pesto for any meal any time, thanks