You just can't beat fresh homemade pesto. It's so quick and easy to whizz together in a food processor and it instantly takes cooked pasta to the next level. This Mixed Herb Pesto uses a mixture of 4 different herbs, rather than just basil, so it's a great way to reduce food waste. An easy pesto recipe with so many uses.
Traditionally pesto is made with basil and whilst I am all for that (it's probably my favourite herb), it doesn't mean that you can't make it with other herbs too. Or a mixture of herbs, which is what we have done in this recipe.
We used a mixture of basil, chives, coriander and parsley, but any leafy herbs (rather than woody ones) will work.
It doesn't just have to be herbs that you can use in this homemade pesto (although that should be the star ingredient), but you can add green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale too. Such a good way to hide veggies if your kids don't love them. Because what kid doesn't love pesto pasta?
Why you will love it
- Cheaper than store bought pesto
- Any herbs can be used
- Good way to use up herbs
- Can be used with lots of dishes
- Garlic cloves - Crushed garlic cloves are best for flavour.
- Parmesan - Real Parmesan is not vegetarian, so keep this a vegetarian pesto by using a vegetarian version.
- Pine nuts - If you don't have pine nuts, you can use walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds or macadamia nuts.
- Olive oil - Try to use the best quality olive oil you can get.
- Mix of herbs - We used chives, basil, parsley and coriander.
- Sea salt and black pepper
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
How to make pesto - Step by step
One: Add the garlic, pine nuts, herbs and salt and pepper to a small food processor and whizz for a couple of seconds.
Two: Add the Parmesan to the food processor.
Three: Keeping the food processor running, slowly add the olive oil until it is all combined and you have a smooth pesto.
Using leftover herbs
We try really hard to reduce our food waste, but herbs is something we can always improve on. We buy a bunch for a recipe and use half of it and then the other half gets forgotten about in the fridge until we do a clear out. This how much waste that adds up to over the year! So, we are going to be sharing our favourite ways to us up fresh herbs, this being one of them.
This homemade pesto recipe is so simple to throw together that it really isn't that much more complicated than going to the shop to buy some and then opening up the jar. You just throw all the ingredients in to the food processor and whizz it together.
That's why pesto pasta is the ultimate easy weeknight meal. Fresh pasta takes just a few minutes to cook and whilst it is simmering away you can blend up this fresh pesto. Throw in some leftover cooked vegetables and/or some cooked chicken and you have yourself a filling and easy meal.
Can it be made vegan?
Pesto can be a great vegan pasta sauce, as long as you make a vegan version of it. It's easy to make vegan pesto - just swap the parmesan for nutritional yeast. You won't need quite as much though, as it has a strong flavour, but I know some people love that. So it really is a judgement call.
How to use pesto
The great thing about pesto is that it has so many uses. Whilst the classic way is to simply stir it through some pasta, you can also use it as a pizza base, stir it in to cream cheese or yogurt for a dip, spread on chicken and top with cheese before baking or use it in a salad dressing. Never let pesto go to waste!
To keep your pesto fresh, fill a jar almost to the top and then drizzle over a small amount of oil over the top and seal. This can be kept in the fridge for 2-3 weeks if you keep covering the pesto with a little oil each time.
You can freeze pesto by putting it in ice cube trays and putting in the freezer. To defrost, you should ideally remove from the freezer and defrost in the fridge for a couple of hours. If you need it defrosted quicker, put a pesto cube in a small bowl or cup and then put that into a larger bowl of hot water. Make sure the hot water doesn't spill into the container with the pesto cube. When the pesto starts to soften, you can cut it into smaller pieces to speed up the defrosting process.
• Serve this easy pesto stirred through some fresh cooked pasta for a simple weeknight meal.
• Use a variety of herbs to reduce food waste. Just stick to leafy herbs rather than woody ones.
• Make this homemade pesto vegan by swapping the Parmesan for nutritional yeast, but use less as it has a stronger taste.
Recipes with pesto
Mixed Herb Pesto
- 2 Garlic clove
- 25 g (0.25 cups) Parmesan - grated
- 20 g (0.25 cups) Pine nuts
- 70 ml (0.33 cups) Olive oil
- 30 g (1 cups) Mixed fresh herbs - (we used chives, basil, parsley and coriander)
- 1 pinch Sea salt and black pepper
- Add 2 Garlic clove, 20 g Pine nuts, 30 g Mixed fresh herbs and 1 pinch Sea salt and black pepper to a small food processor and whizz for a couple of seconds.
- Add 25 g Parmesan to the food processor.
- Keeping the food processor running, slowly add 70 ml Olive oil until it is all combined and you have a smooth pesto.
- Serve this easy pesto stirred through some fresh cooked pasta for a simple weeknight meal.
- Use a variety of herbs to reduce food waste. Just stick to leafy herbs rather than woody ones.
- Make this homemade pesto vegan by swapping the Parmesan for nutritional yeast, but use less as it has a stronger taste.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.