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Classic Pesto

This flavorful pesto recipe is made from the freshest ingredients garlic, pine nuts, and basil. Classic pesto goes well pasta, pizza, bruschetta, and can be added to soups or omelets. Make extra batches so you'll have enough to last all winter.

This recipe goes with Pesto Pizza with Butternut Squash, Tomato Soup with Chickpeas and Pesto, Basmati Rice with Corn and Pesto, Chicken Chili with Pesto, Potato, Mushroom, and Pesto Omelet, Pesto Mayonnaise, Pasta Tossed with Shrimp, Vegetables, and Pesto

Cooking Light SEPTEMBER 2002

  • Yield: 3/4 cup (serving size: 1 tablespoon)


  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped walnuts or pine nuts
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups basil leaves (about 4 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


Drop nuts and garlic through food chute with food processor on; process until minced. Add oil; pulse 3 times. Add basil, cheese, and salt; process until finely minced, scraping sides of bowl once.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 58
  • Calories from fat: 82%
  • Fat: 5.3g
  • Saturated fat: 1.3g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 3g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.8g
  • Protein: 2.1g
  • Carbohydrate: 0.9g
  • Fiber: 0.6g
  • Cholesterol: 3mg
  • Iron: 0.5mg
  • Sodium: 125mg
  • Calcium: 72mg

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Classic Pesto Recipe