Pesto Sauce Recipe
Pesto Sauce Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Pesto Sauce Recipe

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I like to serve the pesto over butter gnocchi with an extra sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. Gnocchi are light little Italian potato dumplings, which are available in Italian grocery stores and cook up in mere minutes. The pesto is also delicious tossed with penne or other types of pasta. —Sue A. Jurack
TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 15 min.
MAKES:4 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 15 min.
MAKES: 4 servings


  • 3/4 cup loosely packed basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts or sunflower kernels
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Nutritional Facts

2 tablespoons: 217 calories, 22g fat (4g saturated fat), 5mg cholesterol, 420mg sodium, 1g carbohydrate (0 sugars, 1g fiber), 4g protein.


  1. Place the first five ingredients in a small food processor; pulse until chopped. Continue processing while gradually adding oil in a steady stream. Add cheese; pulse just until blended. Cover and freeze for up to 3 months. Yield: 1/2 cup.
Editor's Note: When freezing the pesto, leave about 3/4 inch in the top of the container, then cover the top with a thin layer of olive oil, so the pesto doesn't brown during freezing.
Originally published as Pesto Sauce in Test Kitchen Favorites 2004 2005, p224

Light-Bodied White Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a light-bodied white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio.

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karensbo User ID: 7832356 53421
Reviewed Jun. 24, 2014

"I made this recipe as I have a ton of fresh Basil in my herb garden, I found that the basil was a little overpowering. I am going to try it again with a little less basil; I added some garlic powder which helped tone it down a little."

kafaughn User ID: 3552105 112888
Reviewed Aug. 10, 2013

"Good pesto! I cut the salt down to 1/8 tsp. I have only tried it using pine nuts, never sunflower kernels."

AINTDEADYET User ID: 2894126 100788
Reviewed Jul. 31, 2011

"I made this today and it was great. I didn't have any pine nuts or sunflower seeds and ended up useing walnuts. Also, I added one bunch of parsley to the mix along with the fresh basil from my garden and a splash of lemen juice and about 6 cloves of garlic. It came out great. There are many variations of pesto. However, this one is the basic recipe and I just made it my own."

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