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Easy & Delicious, 5-Min Basil Pesto Recipe

During a recent trip to our local grocery store, I saw beautiful bunches of basil for sale. I'll be traveling quite a bit (and moving!) in the coming weeks, so I decided to pick some up and make a homemade pesto sauce to keep in the freezer. I had been reading a lot of articles about the best way to make pesto and decided to go with Daniel Gritzer's recipe from Serious Eats for the Best Pesto Recipe. I love how easy it was to put this together.

His recipe yields one cup of pesto. Next time I'll make this, I will likely double the recipe and freeze it in four ½ cup portions. 

Step 1: Gather and prep your ingredients

Step 2: Crush garlic and salt in a mortar and pestle 

J. Kenji Lopez-Alt article from Serious Eats writes a great article on why he uses a mortar and pestle to crush basil leaves instead of a food processor or blender.

Step 3: In small portions, add fresh basil leaves and crush with pestle

Step 4: Add pine nuts, crush with pestle

Step 5: Add cheese, crush with pestle

Step 6: Add olive oil, stir with wooden spoon

Step 6: Either enjoy now or freeze for later

Daniel Gritzer's Best Pesto Recipe


  • 4 garlic cloves, whole
  • 3 ounces basil leaves (without stems)
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 2½  tablespoons grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 2½ tablespoons Pecorino Fiore Sardo
  • ½ cup (plus 2 tablespoons) mildly flavored extra-virgin olive oil 
  • Generous pinch course sea salt


  1. Combine garlic and sea salt in a mortar and pestle, grind to a paste
  2. Add basil leaves, one handful at a time. Combine until all basil leaves have been crushed to fine bits and have released their green liquid. 
  3. Add pine nuts, crush with pestle.
  4. Add both cheese, use pestle to grind into a paste
  5. Slowly drizzle in olive oil, stir with wooden spoon. If you're going to transfer to a jar or Souper Cubes™ tray, top with a small layer of olive oil. 

Looking for other pasta sauce recipes, check out one of my all-time favorites: One-Pot Slow Cooked Tomato Sauce Recipe

Ready to start cooking? Don't forget to put a two-pack of Souper Cubes® in your cart. Freeze food in perfect portions.