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June 25, 2018

Large Batch Basil Pesto

Written by: Elizabeth Elam MS, RD,LDN

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 0 minutes

Makes: 16 servings

Pesto is a versatile sauce made with basil, pine nuts, cheese, oil and garlic; however, a variety of herbs and nuts can be used. It’s a great source of heart healthy, monounsaturated fats and antioxidants. Not only does pesto make a great pasta sauce, but it can be used as a spread on sandwiches, a sauce for meat, tossed into cooked vegetables, grains, or scrambled eggs for added flavor, or made into a simple vinaigrette dressing by adding vinegar.


2 cups packed fresh basil leaves

2 cloves garlic

1/4 cup pine nuts (walnuts can also be used)

2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino cheese (parmesan can be also used)

Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Combine the basil, garlic, and nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add 1/2 cup of the oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
  2. Add the remaining oil and 1/2 cup cheese and pulse until smooth. Use immediately or refrigerate for up to 3 days.
  3. If freezing, transfer to an ice cube tray and place in the freezer. Once fully frozen, remove pesto cubes from the tray and store in a freezer zip lock bag. Simply remove a cube and thaw when ready to use. Freeze for up to 3 months.

Nutrition Information:

Serving Size: 1 tablespoon

Calories: 97, Fat: 7g, Protein: 1g, Carbohydrates: 0g, Fiber: 0g, Sodium: 45mg

Adapted from:

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