Basil Pesto

Basil Pesto is simple to make, stores extremely well, and makes your pasta absolutely scrumptious, in no time! This really easy pesto recipe comes together in minutes.

Basil Pesto in a pasta
Use the Basil Pesto to make an awesome pasta in minutes
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How about adding it to pizza as a topping along with your pasta sauce?

Yes… It works!

And if you want to dab it on your sourdough slice or even your sandwich bread… I won’t blame you!

So, the minute you get your hands on some fresh basil leaves, just make easy basil pesto with made yummier with cashews. Stock it in a clean glass bottle, you can thank me later!

Chutney versus pesto!

Firstly, do you know that pesto literally means this sauce. I mean, if you look up the dictionary meaning here, you see that it is actually made up of these ingredients to make this very sauce!

How cool is that! Because it is actually the original thing!

So yes, pesto is very much of Italian origin. It was names pesto as it was hand-pounded, using a pestle and mortar… read more about this enchanting history here!

I was introduced to this sauce by some posts on the gram (have you checked out my feed… follow me for daily updates! ) and I was charmed by the simplicity. Had to try it, and ooooh, it is delicious!

empty plate
The basil pesto makes everything yum!

Now, I am fond of chutneys… our Indian Sweet and Sour chutney and the Green Coriander Chutney are staples on my table, especially when I am in a mood for some aloo chaat or even this Green Papaya Salad.

However, there is a subtle difference in the way we use coriander and the way the Italians do. Undoubtedly, the availability of ingredients and the climatic conditions and the cultural variations come into play.

But hey, how cool it is, that half way across the globe, there is a country that enjoys pesto as much as we enjoy our chutney!

Making the Basil Pesto

I feel unified! In spite of the differences, we are all made so similar, and food connects us in marvelous ways. If only we would remember to eat healthy and try our best to be environment friendly too. What a glorious planet we can celebrate in, totally guilt-free.

Just had to make a few changes to the kind of cheese used as I wanted it to be easily made in any Indian home as well. Also, since I didn’t have pine nuts, I went with our favourite cashews.

If we cannot travel to all the parts of the world, it is OK… we at least get to feel a bit of their culture and tradition through food!

So here goes, enjoy the easy pesto recipe with basil and cashews!

But before that…

How to use Basil Pesto

Let us say you have a stock of this awesome Basil Pesto in your fridge. And you wake up wondering what to make for breakfast. Or some unexpected guests are on the way.

You are in luck if you find some spaghetti or pasta in your pantry.

All you need to do is to cook it. Drain, save some of the water.

Add the pesto, the water and the pasta to a dish and toss well. Check the seasonings, perhaps you can add a bit of sun-dried tomatoes and cook up some sausages as sides, add a pat of butter on some bread and yayy! It’s a meal and a half!

Alternatively, you can add it on pizzas. Just dab a bit of it it along with or next to your pizza sauce.

It tastes delicious in sandwiches too.

Basil Pesto

Recipe by Sheetal RabindranCourse: SidesCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Easy


Prep time




  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, without stems

  • 3-4 garlic pods, peeled

  • 1/4 cup toasted cashews

  • 1/2 cup cheese ( I used Amul, but you can use Parmesan cheese)

  • Salt and Pepper to taste (around 1/2 tsp each)

  • 100 ml olive oil (I used Extra Virgin Olive oil) (Add less if you are not storing it for a week)


  • Add the cashews, garlic, salt and pepper to a blender. Grind to a smooth paste.
  • Stuff in the basil leaves. Grind.
  • Add grated or chopped cheese and blitz for a few seconds.
  • Check if you need to add more salt and pepper. Add half of the olive oil and blend.
  • Scrape it out into a clean glass jar and pour rest of olive oil over it. Mix.
  • Your basil pesto is ready. Store in fridge for a week.


  • The pesto will stay fresh up to 10 days in the fridge if you remember to use only a clean, dry spoon, and store in the coolest zone of your fridge.
  • Do not heat up the pesto sauce. The cheese in it will curdle and look odd.
  • No need to add any oil in the pasta or bread… the pesto has enough to give it a great taste and flavour.

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