This Simple Basil Almond Pesto recipe combines fresh, delicious ingredients easily made in just 10 minutes! So versatile and perfect with pizza, pasta, chicken, shrimp or veggies!
Fresh basil pesto is one of my favorite things to make in the spring/summer months (well who am I kidding, I’ll make this all year round!) as the flavors are so bright, fresh and delicious! Not only is pesto super simple to make and can be ready in just 10 minutes, but pesto literally goes with EVERYTHING! Spread on top of pizzas, tossed with warm pasta, used as a marinade for chicken, fish or shrimp, mixed in with soups, I mean the possibilities are endless.
There are SO many delicious variations of pesto that you can make, but this basil almond pesto has been my go-to for many years because of how simple the ingredients are and the fact that I always have almonds in a jar in my kitchen. Traditional pesto uses pine nuts which taste delicious, but can also be expensive to buy so I like to make this using almonds since I make this pesto so often.
Ingredients You’ll Need
This recipe only requires a few simple ingredients, so it’s important that each ingredient is the best quality. That’s what makes this pesto SO dang good!
- Basil – you’ll need a good amount of fresh basil leaves, and you can also add in some fresh spinach, kale or parsley for more health benefits
- Almonds – make sure to use raw, unsalted almonds. You could also use pine nuts, cashews, or walnuts in place of the almonds
- Garlic – adds a boost of flavor and tastes amazing with all these fresh flavors!
- Parmesan cheese – freshly grated parmesan cheese right from the block is truly best in this pesto! It’s a little more expensive, but really makes a difference in how great this tastes, but of course you could buy pre-grated parmesan cheese from the store if you prefer
- Olive oil – I like to use good quality extra virgin olive oil that doesn’t have to be expensive, just make sure it’s cold-pressed and organic for the most flavor
- Lemon juice – I just love the bright, fresh flavor lemon juice bring to this pesto, you could even add a little lemon zest to this as well
How to Make Almond Pesto
The great thing about making homemade pesto is that it really is SO easy to make. Simply add the basil, almonds, garlic, freshly grated parmesan cheese, lemon juice and salt to the bowl of your food processor and pulse several times until finely chopped. Then slowly pour in the olive oil and process the pesto until smooth and blended. That’s it! Feel free to add a tablespoon or two of water to get your desired consistency if you find that your pesto is too thick.
Ways to Use Almond Pesto
The great thing about always keeping fresh pesto on hand is that it is super versatile and can be used in so many ways! Here are some ways that I love to use it:
- Tossed with pasta – this might be by my favorite way to enjoy pesto, tossed with warm pasta (or zucchini noodles!) with tomatoes and other veggies
- Spread on sandwiches – pesto really amps up the flavor in sandwiches and you could even mix the pesto in with some mayo for a creamier pesto
- Pizza sauce – swap traditional pizza sauce with pesto for even more flavor or you could mix a little pesto in with your pizza sauce! Check out these recipes for my garlicky pesto pizza or my pesto cauliflower pizza
- Add to meatballs – this recipe is coming soon!
- Mix in soups – this is an easy way to boost the flavor in soups and add beautiful color
- Marinade – simply add a little extra olive oil and this pesto becomes a great marinade for chicken, fish and shrimp and also tastes amazing tossed with roasted veggies!
- Omelettes or egg cups – swap out the salsa in these baked egg cups and use pesto for a delicious grab-and-go breakfast
How Long Will This Pesto Last?
This pesto will last about a week in your fridge in a sealed, airtight container. Pesto also freezes really well and will last up to 3 months in the freezer.
One little thing I like to do is fill an ice cube tray with spoonfuls of pesto, cover and freeze so each time I want pesto I can just pop out an individual serving! I’ll do a blog post on this soon, but once the pesto is frozen, I like to place each serving in indivual plastic baggies so that they are easy to take out when I want to thaw. Or you can just pop a frozen pesto cube into a hot dish for a delicious boost of flavor!
More Pesto Recipes You’ll Love
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Total Time: 5 mins
- 2 cups basil leaves, loosely packed
- 3 Tbsp dry-roasted, unsalted almonds
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- Pinch of crushed red chili flakes (optional)
- In the bowl of your food processor, add basil, almonds, garlic, parmesan cheese, lemon juice, salt and pulse until finely chopped. Scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula, as needed.
- With the motor running, add olive oil in a slow stream until emulsified and creamy. (If you like your pesto thinner, add a little water)
- Store in a sealed, airtight container in the fridge for up to a week or freeze for up to 3 months.
- Serving Size: 1 Tbsp
- Calories: 94
- Sugar: 0.3 g
- Sodium: 76.6 mg
- Fat: 9.2 g
- Saturated Fat: 1.6 g
- Carbohydrates: 1.6 g
- Fiber: 0.6 g
- Protein: 2.3 g
* Please note that all nutrition information are just estimates. Values will vary among brands, so we encourage you to calculate these on your own for most accurate results.