Simple Basil Pesto – No Nuts

Basil pesto is such a unique tasting sauce or accompaniment. I make it almost weekly and only takes but just a few minutes to prepare. It’s so simple, it’s quick, it’s easy and is bursting with flavor. It’s a touch sweet from the basil, a little spicy from the raw garlic, and has a perfect saltiness added from the Parmesan cheese. All these amazing ingredients are emulsified together with a luscious extra virgin olive oil.

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Basil Pesto

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My basil pesto recipe is simple, so simple! With a food processor and just a few minutes, you’ll have an incredible sauce in no time! In my particular recipe, I make it with no nuts. (I promise you won’t miss them). Mainly, because my kids and sister won’t eat it with the nuts! Me too though – I don’t care for pine nuts, which are traditionally used in basil pesto. They are an acquired taste that I haven’t mastered yet! However, if it’s just my husband and me, I occasionally make it with nuts, adding a more mild nut such as walnuts, pecans or almonds. An added benefit to no nuts, as well, is you never have to worry about nut allergies if you chose to bring it to a gathering, potluck or dinner party.

Add Awesome Flavor to Your Favorite Foods

Basil pesto brings so much flavor to pasta or chicken, but my most favorite way to eat it is to spread it on a plain french baguette. The simplicity is mouthwatering! It also makes a great appetizer or snack and is great at turning a plain, boring dish into an exceptional creation. Most every time I go to work, I like to bring quinoa for my lunch. I make it with water and a touch of salt. Quinoa is ok by itself, but add the pesto to it and suddenly, I can’t wait for lunch. Complement many other foods with this amazing, versatile sauce too, such as rice, fish, pizza (in place of the tomato sauce), gnocchi, steak (yum!), shrimp, it works well with french fries and even sweet potatoes which I personally love! The possibilities are endless!

I might be over-the-top in love with this pesto and maybe I eat it way too much, but I’m certain you will love it too.

Let’s Make Some Basil Pesto

Ingredients to make basil pasto
Here’s how to make it. 

You’ll need:

  • Fresh Basil
  • Fresh Garlic Cloves
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive Oil
  • Food Processor

First, clean and pick all the leaves off the basil stems. Place the leaves in the food processor and set aside.

Next, take your garlic cloves and rough chop them up a bit, just so they get distributed evenly throughout the pesto. Add them to the basil. I use two to three cloves because I absolutely love it, but feel free to use as much or as little as you want. If you’re like my sister, she’s not a fan. One will suffice for her!

Basil and Parmesan

Sprinkle in the parmesan.

Add a little salt and pepper.

Lastly, turn on the food processor and stream in the olive oil slowly. Use just enough olive oil to combine all the ingredients into a loose paste.

Transfer into a bowl and enjoy it on all of your favorite foods!!!

Basil pesto

Simple Basil Pesto

A condiment or sauce made with basil and parmesan bursting with flavor

Prep Time 15 minutes


  • 3 Oz. Basil Leaves
  • ½ Cup Parmesan Cheese Grated or shredded
  • 2 Cloves Fresh Garlic
  • ½ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Black Pepper


  1. Wash and pick all the leaves off the basil stems.

  2. Put into a food processor along with the Parmesan Cheese, Garlic, Salt and Pepper.

  3. Place the lid on the food processor, turn it on and slowly stream in the olive oil until it becomes a thick paste.

  4. Enjoy! Top your favorite pastas, proteins and more!

Recipe Notes


  • Use more or less salt and pepper depending on your likes. 
  • More or less olive oil might be necessary to achieve the right consistency - spreadable, but not runny. 
  • Add nuts if you’d like a bit more texture and flavor. Start by adding 1/4 cup. 
  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days or freeze until needed. 

Get Cooking

Get in your kitchen and start cooking some delicious food! Try basil pesto with other great recipes.

And while you’re in the kitchen, why not make some dessert!

Keep it Sweet!

Easy Homemade basil paste is amazing on anything and everything! Perfect dinner!

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