Easy Garlic Basil Pesto Recipe

Basil is one of those foods that I reaaaally love the smell of. It’s one of those scents at the market that always catches my attention. Basil is up there on the list with bread, pandan leaves, and beer.

This recipe is an easy, classic Italian basil pesto recipe you can whip up quickly in a food processor. Just make sure you have fresh basil and a big appetite. If you wanna get really fancy you can make your own homemade pasta for this too!

basil pesto with pasta recipe

Use the right basil

I used to have a small basil plant that I couldn’t quite keep healthy. Well, I kept it “alive” long enough for the pet bunny to stand up and nibble at all the leaves. That was the last I saw of that.

So basil is something that’s probably better for me to source from the grocery store. Keep in mind the common basil of North America is different than the Thai basil you’ll find at most Asian markets. That variety is great for phở though!

basil pesto ingredients

How to make the pesto

This is a recipe I probably wouldn’t make if I didn’t have my food processor. You can probably get by with a blender, or one of the ‘bullet’ blenders or knockoffs.

However, if you do have something like that the work is pretty easy. The hardest part is cleaning up.

Start by pulsing the garlic to get it as fine as you can. This takes about 3 seconds.

food processor

Then add the pine nuts, cheese, and salt. I like to under-season with the salt so others eating can adjust to their own taste. Quickly pulse a few times to roughly chop and mix the ingredients.

food processor with basil

Slowly drizzle olive oil through the feed tube of the lid as the food processor is running. You can adjust how much oil you use here to get a consistency you like.

pesto paste

Serve your garlic basil pesto with pasta or spread it on some toast. If you’re on a pasta kick, here are more options for pasta: TikTok’s viral baked feta pasta, uni pastaspinach pasta dough, and Asian garlic noodles pasta.

basil pesto with pasta - vertical

Garlic Basil Pesto with Pasta

5 from 2 votes
Easy to make, classic basil pesto, combining some Italian staples like basil, garlic, and parmesan cheese.
BY: Huy Vu
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 5 mins
Total: 10 mins


  • 4 oz basil about 2 cups
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 c pine nuts
  • 1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese
  • olive oil about 1/2 cup
  • salt
  • 1 lb pasta


  • Pulse garlic in food processor until finely chopped
  • Add nuts, cheese and a pinch of salt. Pulse to combine
  • Slowly drizzle oil in the running processor until desired consistency reached (about 1/2 cup oil)
  • Salt to taste. Makes about enough for 1 lb. of pasta.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 0g | Calories: 1064kcal | Carbohydrates: 175g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 208mg | Potassium: 807mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 3099IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 292mg | Iron: 6mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: pasta, pesto
Did you cook this recipe?Tag @HungryHuy or #hungryhuy–I’d love to see it!

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5 comments on “Easy Garlic Basil Pesto Recipe

  1. Lindsay says:

    This looks amazing!

    1. Huy says:

      Thanks Lindsay!

  2. Katarina says:

    This is lovely and a very tasty dish!

  3. Julia | JuliasAlbum.com says:

    I love basil and I always make my own pesto. Your dish look lovely! I am sure your house was full of wonderful smells as you were cooking.

    1. Huy says:

      Julia, good to hear :). That stuff in jars is convenient, but it’s definitely better when you can adjust it to your own taste.

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