One-Step Classic Pesto

Make it in 10 minutes.

one step classic pesto
Mike Garten

The best solution for a bounty of basil? Make our basic pesto recipe! The no-cook sauce gets its name from the Genovese word meaning “to pound,” but this version comes together in no time with a blender. Whether you’re looking for a healthy pasta sauce or an alternative condiment for a grilled chicken sandwich, this herby, bright option makes for a fresh and fast weeknight meal.

The secret to our sauce is to toast the nuts (it amps up their buttery richness and you can use almonds or walnuts in place of the pine nuts). Toast them in the oven to get them evenly golden-brown: Heat your oven (or toaster oven) to 375℉ and bake the nuts on a rimmed baking sheet until golden and fragrant, about 5 minutes.

Another great part of homemade pesto is its vibrant green hue. Wait until the last step to add it to a hot dish, as cooking the basil-based sauce can change its color. To help maintain its springy green shade before refrigerating, top with a thin layer of olive oil and seal the container tightly. It will last up to 5 days. You can also freeze extra pesto for up to 2 months in ice cube trays. It’ll be a cinch to whip up a bowl of pasta or another easy dinner recipe whenever you want. That is, if you have leftovers…we never do! 

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Yields: 1 cup
Total Time: 0 hours 10 mins
3 c.

fresh basil leaves

1/3 c.

grated Parmesan

1/4 c.

pine nuts, toasted

2 tsp.

grated lemon zest plus 2 teaspoons lemon juice


clove garlic, grated

1/2 tsp.

kosher salt

1/2 c.

extra virgin olive oil


In food processor, pulse all ingredients until almost smooth.

Did you make this recipe? Comment below!

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