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
If you’ve tried this homemade pesto recipe, let us know how you got on in the comments below.
Tag us in your creations on Instagram @hungryhealthyhappy - Use the hashtag #hungryhealthyhappy too.
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.
More Detailed Information
But herbs are something we can always improve. We buy a bunch for a recipe and use half of it and then forget the other half in the fridge until we come out.
This pesto is amazing.
MIXED HERB is totally best and perfect for icing and baking with any MIXED HERB recipes. It can be simply used as a boiled egg white substitute in baking. I use it to stabilize my buttercream cooking and icing for cake decorating.
Pesto is such an incredible standard. It's so easy to make and dependably tastes great. Everybody makes pesto in a nourishment processor. In any case, the surface is better with a mortar and pestle, and it's similarly as quick.
I absolutely love pesto, but typically only use basil pesto so I'm totally looking forward to trying this one! YUM!
I'm a big pesto fan and like to try all sorts of pesto. Here in Italy there are a number of regional pesto recipes, not just basil. But, I love your idea of using up leftover herbs in pesto! I also often have leftover leafy herbs, especially parsley, that get forgotten in the fridge! Definitely going to start using it pesto!
I love this recipe. Fresh Pesto is the best but I never thought of making my own until now.
I use the pesto for everything! From pasta, to pizza, this pesto is the star of every dish it's in.
I was looking for a mixed herb pesto recipe for such a long time. This is so easy to make, perfect to sneek into my busy schedule.
You are right, NOTHING beats homemade fresh pesto!! I love pesto, and i love adding it to my pasta! This looks delicious.
I love making pesto. What a great idea to add different herbs instead of the basic basil. Thank you!
I haven't made pesto in a long time but I really like the homemade version. It looks so good!
What a great way to use up bits of extra herbs! I'm like you, I buy it for a recipe and then forget about the little bit that's left!
This looks awesome! I love the idea of playing around with the herbs! With it being spring I would love to add some chives!
I've dabbled in using other herbs in my pesto, but not nearly enough. This looks delectable! And I love any way to use up food to avoid wasting it!! Thanks for the great idea!
Such a delicious recipe! Love having a good pesto recipe in my back pocket! :)
Oh it’s gorgeously green…it should be called Emerald City Pesto!
Thank you so much for the recipe!
You're absolutely right, you can't beat homemade pesto. The flavours are so much better and delicious. Ideal for a quick and easy mid-week meal. I hate wasting any fresh herbs, so this is a great way of using them up.
Great idea using herbs other than basil. This pesto sounds packed with flavour!
Love how you let the readers decide what herb they want to use. To allow them to personalise it a bit! (: