5 Minute Basil Pesto

When your garden is producing plenty of basil, make this  deliciously quick and versatile 5 Minute Basil Pesto. This pesto can be used for just about anything, from  pizza to pasta, in place of mayo, on a grilled cheese sandwich or even brushed over corn on the cob. 

5 Minute Basil Pesto | 2 Cookin Mamas When there's plenty of basil, make a delicious basil pesto or change it up with a bit of mint for a Basil Mint Pesto. Perfect for using on pizza, pasta, in lieu of mayo on sandwiches and salads or take your corn on the cob up a notch. #pesto #basil #mint #pinenuts #recipe #homemade #healthy

My husband and I went to our city’s green market this past weekend and picked up a huge bunch of basil. (Just look at my lovely basil!) I wish that my basil would grow like theirs but no such luck. Of course, with all this basil on hand I had to think up something to make with it. Aha, a pesto would be delicious!

Basil Leaves

I decided to make a traditional basil pesto, which I love, and use on a pesto pasta. Of course, there are literally hundreds of ways to use it and a great condiment to have on hand. It can be used as the base of a pizza , mixed with mayonnaise on a BLT or just a touch to dress up a grilled cheese sandwich. You can also mix it with butter and brush on corn on the cob or toss with green beans with a squeeze of lemon for a tasty side dish.

Ninja ready to goSince I still had a boatload of basil, I decided to try adding some extra herbs and mint to use as a sauce on lamb chops. And wow, was I surprised at how delicious it was! It got a high five from my husband so I was pretty proud of myself. I even had some leftover that I tossed with some sauteed shrimp and served over a quinoa pasta. Two meals with one sauce – love it!

Basil Pesto on Pasta


This gave me ample opportunity to use my new Ninja blender. Yay! It’s so much fun seeing how many different ways I can use it. And it whipped this sauce out in a matter of seconds! Holy moly!

What is pesto?

A pesto is strictly made with basil, olive oil, garlic and cheese. If using, say cilantro instead of basil, it can not be called a pesto. Who knew!

Is Basil pesto good for you?

Basil pesto contains ingredients, such as olive oil, garlic, pine nuts and basil, which all have healthy benefits associated with a well-balanced diet. However, the olive oil and pine nuts have a higher fat count, therefore a higher calorie count, so be aware of that if on a weight-loss diet.

Can the basil stems be used in the pesto.

It is not recommended to use the thicker stems but the finer stems near the leaves are fine to incorporate in the pesto.

Enjoy! And I’d love to know in the comments of your ideas for using basil pesto.

5 Minute Basil Pesto + Basil Mint Pesto
Prep Time
5 mins
Total Time
5 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keywords: basil mint pesto, basil pesto, homemade pesto
Servings: 1 cup
Calories: 1716 kcal
Author: Linda Warren
  • 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic chopped
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese grated
  1. Combine first 3 ingredients in a blender, chopper or food processor.

  2. Pulse until coarsely chopped.
  3. Slowly pour in oil until mixture is smooth and well mixed.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Mix in cheese and serve immediately.
Recipe Notes

To make a Basil Mint Pesto, use half the recipe above and add 3/4 cup fresh mint leaves and 1/4 cup parsley.

Nutrition Facts
5 Minute Basil Pesto + Basil Mint Pesto
Amount Per Serving
Calories 1716 Calories from Fat 1620
% Daily Value*
Fat 180g277%
Saturated Fat 29g145%
Cholesterol 34mg11%
Sodium 807mg34%
Potassium 389mg11%
Carbohydrates 9g3%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 24g48%
Vitamin A 2925IU59%
Vitamin C 10.5mg13%
Calcium 688mg69%
Iron 4.6mg26%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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5 Minute Basil Pesto

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