My Go-To Recipe For Pesto

It is no secret that basil is my favorite herb. It is simple to grow in the garden and adds flavor to a wide variety of recipes. I love to add chopped basil to pasta dishes, chicken marinades, flatbread pizza and salads.

Tip: If you don’t have a basil plant in your garden, consider buying a fresh bunch a basil from your grocery store and keeping it in a vase of water in the kitchen as you would a bouquet of flowers (see photo above). I always run out of leaves to use from my basil bouquet long before the stems go bad.

When my basil plant is getting a little too big for my planter box I pluck off the largest leaves and prepare a batch of pesto to either eat now or freeze for later.

Pesto is quick and easy to prepare. I tend to always have the ingredients on hand. A fresh batch of pesto can make a wonderful hostess gift. It is a simple recipe to teach a child that is just learning basic cooking skills. Pesto is wonderful with pasta, spread on a sandwich or wrap, tossed with vegetables before roasting, etc…

I have turned to this Better Homes and Gardens Pesto for Pasta recipe since my college days. The Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook has been a kitchen staple in my family for generations. It has been the resource I turn to first when hosting a holiday gathering or attempting a new dish. I know that the tried and true recipes will never lead me astray and often times serve as a jumping off point when attempting a recipe of my own creation.

Pesto For Pasta

recipe originally found in the Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook


  • 1 cup firmly packed fresh basil leaves
  • ½ cup firmly packed fresh parsley sprigs
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup olive oil


In a blender or food processor combine basil, parsley, Parmesan or Romano cheese, nuts, garlic and salt. Cover and blend. Gradually add olive oil until it reaches desired consistency. Use immediately or store in a small airtight container. Refrigerate for 1-2 days or freeze up to 3 months. Enjoy!

When making a small batch I like to use my Magic Bullet Blender for minimal clean-up. If I am making a double or triple batch, I use my food processor. When I use the Magic Bullet Blender, I add all of my ingredients at once because I am unable to add the olive oil gradually.

Here are a few of my favorite recipes that use pesto as an ingredient:

Tortellini with Pesto and Tomatoes

Pesto Orecchiette with Chicken Sausage

Pesto Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Do you have a favorite recipe that includes pesto? I would love to try it!

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