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Easy Homemade Pesto

This Homemade Pesto Genovese has just 7 simple ingredients and is so delicious, you’ll never want to eat store-bought again!

Homemade pesto in a mason jar

I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with pesto. I love it so much I could probably eat a whole jar in one sitting, but about 15 minutes after eating it I usually feel like I’ve just been punched in the gut. Anyone know why this happens? I did some digging and still can’t figure it out.

But I had my love goggles on when I decided to whip up this homemade pesto. And guess what? 15 minutes later, no belly ache! I’m not usually one to draw conclusions so quickly…but in my super scientific study of n=1, the store bought gave me bellyaches and the homemade did not.

Pesto Genovese

Where does pesto come from?

Pesto originates in Northern Italy (like Hugos!), Genoa to be exact. When my mom and I took a trip there to visit some long lost second cousins a while back, it was clear that the Genoese people are serious about their pesto. It was pesto this, pesto that, pesto everywhere. Pesto heaven.

ingredients to make pesto in a food processor

Ingredients in traditional pesto

Genoans they have a very specific way of making it. It must always include: pine nuts, extra virgin olive oil, Genovese Basil, garlic, Parmigiano-Reggiano (parmesan cheese), and Pecorino Romano (a sheep’s milk cheese). It should also be ground using a mortar and pestle, or chopped finely by hand.

But because we can’t all be Italian grandmothers, we’ll be using a food processor for this one. I also nixed the sheep’s milk in an effort to make the ingredients to this recipe a bit easier to come by, but should you come across Pecorino Romano in your grocery, pick it up and throw it on in!

Pesto Genovese
Pesto Genovese
Homemade pesto in a mason jar - This Homemade Pesto Genovese has just 7 simple ingredients and is so delicious, you'll never want to eat store-bought again!

Easy Homemade Pesto

This Homemade Pesto Genovese has just 7 simple ingredients and is so delicious, you’ll never want to eat store-bought again!
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dips, Sauces, and Salsas
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: homemade pesto, how to make pesto, pesto pizza, traditional pesto
Diet: Gluten-Free, Low Carb, Raw, Vegetarian
Time: 15 minutes or less, 30 minutes or less, 45 minutes or less
Prep: 10 mins
Total: 10 mins
Servings: 16 Tbsp
Calories: 98kcal
Author: Sarah Bond
0 from 0 votes


  • 2 1/2 cups packed fresh basil stems removed
  • 1/3 cup raw pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup freshly shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • Pinch of salt and pepper 1/2 tsp each
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil


  • Place basil, pine nuts, parmesan, garlic, salt, and pepper in a food processor and blend until evenly mixed and finely ground. With a spoon or spatula, scrape down the sides to ensure everything is nice and mixed.
  • With food processor running, slowly pour in the oil.


To store, place in a sterile container, top with a bit of olive oil, and seal. Place in fridge.
Make an easy pesto mayo by mixing 1 part pesto with 1 part light mayo.


Serving: 1Tbsp | Calories: 98kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 9.8g | Fat: 2.8g | Sodium: 140mg
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  1. Mama Bond says:

    I just had this tonight ony pasta. Perfect! I topped the pasta with some
    Sautéed zucchini and eggplant. With a glad of
    Chilled Orvieto. Yum!!