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Easy 5-Minute Blender Basil Pesto



Do you love basil, like to add fresh basil flavor to dishes year around or want to save money when making your own pesto? If yes, this Easy 5-minute Blender Basil Pesto is for you!

Easy 5-Minute Blender Basil Pesto | Kitchen Cents

Basil mania again at our house!

I get so excited each year when I see my Italian basil do so well in my herb garden.  It’s my favorite, most used herb I grow. 

If you like basil you are going to love this Easy 5-minute Basil Pesto recipe. 

BONUS, this easy basil pesto recipe is a lot cheaper than most pesto recipes.  Keep reading and I’ll tell you about my money-saving secrets below.

I like to make a large batch of this pesto and freeze it.  That way I can enjoy delicious fresh basil pesto year-round, even when snow is blanketing my herb garden.


This recipe is so easy.  Here’s what you’ll need.  The full printable recipe can be found here or just scroll to the bottom of this post.

Ingredients for basil pesto | KitchenCents.com

Unfortunately, when cold weather sets in (like it’s going to soon in Northern Utah) basil doesn’t last long.  This basil pesto is my little trick to preserving it so I can enjoy the fresh basil flavor all year.


A blender (or food processor) is a must when making this easy basil pesto recipe. I absolutely love my BlendTec blender.

Basil | KitchenCents.com

Start by rinsing the basil. Dry as much as you can then strip the leaves from the stems.

PRO TIP #1: If your basil has begun flowering, remove the flowering leaves before striping the stems.  This will save you time rather than having to pick out the flowers before continuing.

Next, put the basil leaves in a blender along with the cashews, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper. 

MONEY SAVING TIP #1: Use cashew nuts to add the delicious creaminess rather than pine nuts.  Here in Utah pine nuts can run upward of $20 a pound when I can find cashews at a local bulk storehouse for about are about $3 dollars a pound or $7 a pound in the grocery store. 

MONEY SAVING TIP #2: Grow your own basil.  To make this recipe you would need to buy a couple of large packs of basil from the store. If you spent that much at the beginning of the growing season and purchased plants or seeds instead, you could have enough basil to make 3-5x as much pesto. I grow my basil from seed and get 10-15x as much basil that what I could buy in the store already grown.

Easy Blender Basil Pesto | Kitchen Cents

Once all the ingredients are in the blender, except the oil, it’s blending time!

Set the blender to puree and slowly drizzle in the oil. Add oil until the ingredients are well blended and you get a nice “swirl” in the center. I know, such a technical term.

Easy Blender Basil Pesto | Kitchen Cents

That’s it! Basil pesto in 5-MINUTES! 

Don’t you just love the vibrant green?  AND it smells a-mazing!

From here it’s ready to use.  


If you’d rather save your basil pesto for later you can store it in the fridge for up to a week or freeze it for up to 6 months.  Just make sure you store it in an airtight container.

I like to freeze it in ice cube trays or 4oz glass jars or half-pint glass jars.  That makes it easy to add to a dish when I’m in a pinch for some fresh basil flavor.

Basil Pesto | KitchenCents.com

Frozen pesto cubes are a big time saver at our house and they still bring that great fresh basil flavor along with that vibrant green color.

Freezing pesto cubes | KitchenCents.com

How do you like to use pesto?  What’s your favorite pesto dish?

If you like this recipe, you may also like my Baked Basil Pesto Chicken Bites. They are like chicken tenders all grown up. *wink*

Easy 5-Minute Blender Basil Pesto | Kitchen Cents


Easy 5-Minute Blender Basil Pesto | Kitchen Cents

Easy 5-Minute Blender Basil Pesto

Yield: 3 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Love adding fresh basil flavor to dishes year round or want to save money when making your own pesto? This Easy 5-minute Blender Basil Pesto is for you!


  • 8 cups Italian basil, packed loosely
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1-1 1/2 cups good oil, enough to thin pesto
  • 3 tablespoons garlic, 5-7 large cloves
  • 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper


  1. Place all ingredients except oil into blender. (I love my BlendTec)
  2. Turn blender on to puree and immediately begin drizzling the olive oil into blender. Add as much oil is needed to have a smooth swirl in the center. 
  3. Use immediately or refrigerate/freeze* for later.


*Store in refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 4 months. If freezing, pour into ice cubes or airtight freezer containers and freeze. Once Ice cube molds are frozen pop out and store in an airtight container in freezer.

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OP: 10.4.17 Update: 9.18.20

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