Fresh Basil Pesto Recipe

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Wellness Mama » Blog » Recipes » Condiment Recipes » Fresh Basil Pesto Recipe

One of the hardest adjustments for me when adapting to our grain-free lifestyle was finding substitutes for the classic foods my Italian husband loves. Pasta was, of course, at the top of his list, so after much trial and error, I was finally able to make some healthy alternatives that taste even better.

Basil Pesto From Scratch

While the pesto available in stores is not terrible, it is hard to find one that doesn’t contain hydrogenated oils or grain fillers. Thankfully, basil is one of the easiest herbs to grow. I don’t have a green thumb, but even I can’t seem to kill it. In fact, one summer, we had three foot tall basil plants take over the garden.

We made big batches of this when the basil was ready for harvest and froze it to use all year! I found that I actually prefer this, since the pesto was ready to go whenever we needed it.

Best of all, basil has a whole list of uses as a natural remedy in tonics, teas, and more. I tie any unused basil by the stems in bunches and hang upside to dry for future use. (Placing the basil in a paper bag recommended to catch any crumbling leaves.)

New to Pesto?

Pesto is essentially just a puree of fresh basil, nuts, olive oil, and garlic. It is a lovely green color and packs quite a punch of flavor. Pesto can be used on spaghetti squash “pasta”, on top of meatloaf, in stir-frys or casseroles for flavor, or with any Italian-themed dish. It is also delicious on omelets, biscuits, or grain-free bread.

And if you really want a pasta dish, this basil pesto is great with Paleo Cupboard grain-free pasta noodles!

Basil Pesto Recipe

Fresh basil, garlic, and olive oil… what could be better?
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Calories 90kcal
Author Katie Wells


1 cup



  • Put basil, almonds, and garlic in a blender.
  • Turn the blender on and slowly add the oil until the pesto is the desired consistency.
  • Use right away, store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, or freeze for up to 9 months.


Nutrition Facts
Basil Pesto Recipe
Amount Per Serving (2 TBSP)
Calories 90 Calories from Fat 84
% Daily Value*
Fat 9.3g14%
Saturated Fat 1.1g7%
Carbohydrates 1.6g1%
Fiber 0.8g3%
Sugar 0.3g0%
Protein 1.4g3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


To freeze pesto, I like to put a couple tablespoons in each compartment of an ice cube tray. When they are frozen I dump them in a larger container with a lid and store in the freezer. This method makes it easy to just grab the needed amount. 
The Vitamix with tamper makes this job a snap, but any blender should work!

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Other Homemade Condiment Recipes:

How do you like basil pesto? Share below!

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


10 responses to “Fresh Basil Pesto Recipe”

  1. Ken Price Avatar
    Ken Price

    5 stars
    Hello Katie. I read in the recipe intro about your grain-free diet and missing your pasta. Surely by now you must have tried some of the grain-free pastas made from brown rice? Trader Joe’s has one that we have been enjoying for years. BUT – then – one day on the car radio we were listening to a podcast from Bon Appetit, and they did a piece on a new grain-free pasta brand: Jovial. Their praise for the product was so effusive that we went out and bought some. It was a revelation. Better then ANY pasta we’ve ever bought for home use, including premium Italian brands made from semolina wheat. Try it, you won’t be sorry. The company’s back story is also very interesting: you can hear it on Guy Raz’ podcast, “How I Built This” on NPR. https://www.npr.org/series/490248027/how-i-built-this Just search for the “Jovial” episode. Note: I have no connection to the company – I’m just a big fan, along with my gluten-free wife.

  2. Christine Schindler Avatar
    Christine Schindler

    Store in an air tight container for up to 2 weeks in the fridge and ” ” months in the fridge. You left out the 9.

  3. amy Avatar

    Just a tip. If you use wild garlic mustard rather than basil, the pesto will not brown. Bonus…the root of the wild garlic mustard plant is a wild horseradish.

    1. Hilda M Smylie. Avatar
      Hilda M Smylie.

      It also doesn’t brown when topped with olive oil and it will stay in the refrigerator for several months. Just used some from last year for bruschetta.Spread the pesto on baguette rounds, top with tomato bruschetta and Feta cheese. Homemade bruschetta was made with chopped tomatoes, garlic, chopped basil and olive oil. Served at a coctail party and got lots of compliments.

  4. katie Avatar

    Is it two cups of packed basil or loose? Just leaves or stem as well?

  5. Marie Avatar

    Don’t forget potato gnocchi! The first time I had pesto, it was served with gnocchi in a little restaurant in Liguria. That first bite began a life long obsession.

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      I actually like freezing in ice cube trays and then dumping out into bags once frozen to keep in individual size portions..

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