Basil Pesto Recipe with garlic is healthy, delicious, and super easy to make.  You can use this flavorful garlic pesto to make so many different entrees.

  This Basil Pesto Recipe is not only healthy but super fast to prepare.  All you need is a food processor or blender.

Basil Pesto Recipe

Recipes Using Fresh Basil and Pesto

You should see this post 50 Fresh Basil Recipes.


Fresh basil

Healthy Basil Pesto Recipe with Spinach

This year I have been trying to eat more fruits and vegetables.  I know that fruits and vegetables are good for you, but often it is difficult to get the daily recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables into our diets.

One of the best ways to get our daily vitamins is to eat plenty of green leafy vegetables.

Easy Basil Pesto Recipe

The one thing I like about eating healthy is healthy recipes are super easy to make.  I love quick and easy recipes.  This Garlic Pesto was quick, easy, delicious, and super healthy.  A winner!

Pesto Is Full Of Green Leafy Vegetables

I have never liked pesto, so I decided to find a recipe and kick it up.  I adapted this Garlic Basil & Spinach Pesto recipe from Ina Garten’s Pesto Recipe from Food Network. Ina’s recipe called for 4 cups of basil.  This pesto has 2 cups fresh spinach and 2 cups fresh basil.  I always have plenty of fresh spinach on hand, plus my family loves it.  So, I decided to exchange some spinach for basil.  When you have this much green leafy vegetables, I had to find a way to make it taste great.  I decided to kick it up with lots of garlic.

Basic Pesto Recipe

Since I have an abundance of fresh basil, I also made a batch of pesto without spinach.  I used 4 cups of basil and kicked it up with the extra garlic.  Both recipes are delicious, healthy, and easy to make.

Southern Food

Everyone knows that southern recipes are not always healthy.  If you have time, check out my blog, and you will find a variety of recipes.  Most of the recipes on my blog will be very easy to make, which is a top priority in my house.  I genuinely am trying to eat better and serve my family with healthier food.

Easy Basil Pesto Recipe Steps

For this basil, spinach pesto, use two cups spinach and two cups basil.  You can use four cups basil, especially if you have an abundance of fresh basil.

Add olive oil plus 2 cups basil and 2 cups spinach

Nuts for Pesto

You can make pesto with or without nuts.  Pine nuts are pretty expensive, so I use walnuts most of the time when making pesto.  If you are looking for a nut-free option, try sunflower seeds.

Add lemon juice to make garlic pesto

Add Parmesan Cheese to Pesto

Use fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano also know as parmesan cheese and not the powder stuff out of the can.   When pulsing the Parmesan cheese, add it last and just pulse until blended.  Do not over pulse your cheese.

Add Parmesan Cheese

Use Fresh Garlic

You need to use all fresh ingredients when making pesto, but especially garlic.  It makes a world of difference.  Minced garlic in a jar does not have near the potency as raw garlic.

Pulse your Pesto

Don’t over pulse your pesto!  Pulse 10 to 15 seconds. Use a spoon and push the large basil leaves that get stuck to the sides down into the food processor.  You do not want to pulse until you do not see any ingredients.  The pesto needs to have tiny pieces of basil, nuts, and even garlic in it.

Fresh Garlic


Let your frozen pesto defrost in the refrigerator.  Adding heat will cook the basil and destroy its aroma.  Plus, if you are making pasta, the heat from the pasta will heat warm the pest but not enough to destroy the basil.



Pesto in ice trays

Pesto goes well with grilled steak, pork chops, chicken, and even fish.

Healthy Recipes Family Friendly


Print Recipe Add to Collection
0 from 0 votes

Homemade Garlic Pesto

Garlic Pesto recipe is super easy to make plus, and you can use it to make so many different entrees.
If you have never liked pesto, try this Homemade Garlic Pesto.  It is really tasty!  
Prep Time0 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Course: entree
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy recipe, fresh basil, garlic pesto, healthy, healthy recipe, pesto, quick and easy recipe, tomato basil caprese
Servings: 8
Calories: 352kcal


  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cups pine nuts or Walnuts
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice fresh
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup Parmesan freshly grated


  • In a food processor, combine the olive oil and garlic.
  • Add the walnuts (or pine nuts).
  • Add the basil, spinach leaves, salt, pepper, and lemon juice.
  • Process until completely blended.
  • Add the Parmesan cheese just until blended.


You could also use 4 cups basil instead of 2 cups basil and 2 cups spinach. 
For the nuts, you can use pinenuts or walnuts or a combination. 


Calories: 352kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 498mg | Potassium: 130mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1117IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 171mg | Iron: 1mg

Basil Pesto Recipe

100% Free 30-page ebook Cooking Tips & Hacks including Quick and Easy Recipes

...So you can spend precious time with your family around the table enjoying a meal together.

We hate spam and promise to keep your information safe.  Read our privacy policy. Powered by ConvertKit