In my latest book, Weelicious Lunches, I share the top 10 foods I always have on hand in my refrigerator and pantry. Number 3 on the list is Everyday Pesto. It’s the easiest recipe to make and a fun way to get your kids involved in cooking by letting them help you put all the ingredients in the food processor. You can use this pesto to mix into pasta, rice, quinoa or even to coat on chicken or fish before or after cooking to add a tons of flavor and moisture. It can be used as a base to create a variety of recipes like Egg Pesto Melts while adding a ton of oomph!

Basil Pesto from WeeliciousPin

Basil Pesto is easy to make, you can store it for weeks in the fridge and my kids devour it up no matter what I put it on — from fish, to pasta to a sandwich. Even my husband loves it. And seriously, what’s not to love?!

Speaking of food that’s green, it just dawned on me that St. Patrick’s Day is next Monday. Since I’m such a big fan of using natural green coloring in holiday themed food, I have 23 Dye Free recipes that are perfect for St. Patty’s. I even created an entire St. Patty’s Day menu on my new menu planning service, Weelicious Menus, to help you get in the mood and celebrate whether you’re born with the luck of the Irish or not.

Watch this video to help you get started making something tasty, but also a fun way to get ready for St Patrick’s Day!

Everyday Basil Pesto Video from WeeliciousPin

Basil Pesto

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Servings: 1/4 cup
Author: Catherine McCord
Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 1 minute
Total Time 2 minutes


  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil


  • Place all ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth.


Calories: 210kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 21g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 390mg | Fiber: 1g
Did you make this recipe?Mention @Weelicious or tag #weelicious!

About the Author

Catherine is a mama of three. A Kentucky girl living in California. Here’s what I know: all kids can be great eaters and mealtime must be easy. I create simple, healthy recipes the whole family will love.


  1. […] pesto is from the Weelicious Cookbook (a cookbook I use all the time). The pesto is similar to the Weelicious Basil Pesto and it freezes well. After thawing in the refrigerator overnight I made up a fresh batch of whole […]

  2. […] adds tons of flavor to sandwiches, pasta, or use as a dip for veggies. Basil Pesto is one of those things you might be surprised to learn that kids love! You can store it for weeks […]

  3. Could you repost this recipe? I am only seeing 2 cups basil on the ingredients list. Thank you!

  4. […] garlic and some grated parmesan cheese. I just eyeball it based on how much pasta I am making but here is a great basil pesto recipe with, you know, measurements and […]

  5. […] barely adapted from Weelicious Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeOne blogger likes […]

  6. […] Pound Rotini Pasta (you can also use Shells, Campanelle or Elbow Macaroni) 1/2 Cup Basil Pesto 2 Cups Cooked Chicken, chopped 1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese 1 1/2 Cups Grated Mozzarella Cheese 1 […]

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  9. Oh! And this may be a silly question, but do pesto and chicken go well together? Or is fish the best option with it?

  10. I know what you mean. Walnuts are a good option. See all entries above for some other wonderful suggestions.

  11. I saw some of the comments above – would it work to replace these with a different kind of nut or seed? I adore pine nuts, but they have gotten incredibly expensive where I live and I can’t justify the cost when trying to stick to my grocery budget.

  12. Would it work to use a blender if I don’t have a food processor? I will hopefully be getting one soon, but for now I’m having to improvise. I was also wondering the same thing about the recipe for graham crackers. Thanks, Catherine, for all your wonderful recipes!

  13. I got a recipe for pesto using collard greens and my daughter loves it! I don’t use nuts – just olive oil, parmesan cheese, and a little garlic and onion if i’m feeling frisky.

  14. […] make different varieties of pesto weekly because it’s perfect on pasta, fish or chicken. Recipe #1.  We’re big fans of hummus too. Recipe #2. This is my go to breakfast several days a week […]

  15. I just saw this post and bought some fresh basil leaves the other day. I’ve made parsely pesto in the past and it’s just as delicious if you can’t get a hold of basil.

  16. My girls love pesto. I have even made it with spinach instead of basil and pecans instead of pine nuts and they still love it.

  17. my daughter is allergic to seeds, nuts and dairy and other things. Will it still taste good if i omitted the pine nuts and parmesan?

  18. I usually by this in a jar, but I just made this with my toddler. Tastes so good and fresh. I’m excited to eat it tonight — something the whole family can eat together.

  19. I just saw this recipe and instantly had to make it (for my son’s dinner, yes, but also a big bowl of pasta for my lunch!) We were out of pine nuts so I substituted cashews – it worked well. Very yummy!

  20. Thank you! I will be serving pesto pasta with whole wheat garlic bread for dinner. Love your recipes!

  21. Can I do this in a mini processor or does it have to be the big one? I haven’t gotten one yet although I really want one!

  22. I agree, seeds are a great replacement. We’ve used both pumpkin and sunflower seeds and both have been very tasty!

  23. At my son’s school they just do not use the pine nuts and the kids still love it. The other alternative would be using some pumpkin seeds instead of the pine nuts. It is a different flavor, but good.

  24. I love pesto! Anyone have ideas for a nut-free pesto? My little girl has a nut allergy. I know the nuts are for flavor, but how much texture does it add? Should I just add more parm cheese??

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