Basil Pesto “Paste” for the Freezer Recipe by Rita Nader Heikenfeld

Basil Pesto “Paste” for the Freezer Recipe by Rita Nader Heikenfeld

Every year around this time, I make pesto. But not the pesto you may be familiar with. The pesto I make is for the freezer, is thicker, and feels more like a thin paste. Yes, it can be used immediately by adding a little olive oil.

I used a combination of Genovese, lemon basil, and spicy mini basil because I had plenty of each. But there is no need to worry if you grow only one type of basil. The pesto will still taste great.

Instead of applying a thick layer of olive oil to cover the pesto to freeze, I spread a little of the finished pesto. This is enough to keep the air out and prevent the pesto from turning dark. reward? The flavor does not change with too much oil.

I love pine nuts in pesto. Most nuts work. Then again, you can make the pesto nut free too.

Basil pesto “paste” for the freezer

This updated recipe uses more basil than the one I shared. Use the recipe as a guide. I don’t add salt because the Parmesan and Romano cheese are salty.


2 nice garlic cloves

3 tablespoons pine nuts or other nuts, or more as desired

1 cup parsley leaves, loosely packed

5 cups packed basil leaves – any green basil

1 cup Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup roumi cheese

1 cup olive oil or more to make a paste, plus an additional amount for brushing the surface

2 tablespoons butter, soft (optional)

Juice of 1 lemon

Pepper to taste – black or cayenne


Food processor:

Start the motor and drop the garlic and nuts into it. This prevents them from sticking to the blade. Process until finely chopped.

Add parsley, basil and both cheeses. Pulse until finely chopped.

With the motor running, slowly add the oil and mix until the pesto becomes a paste.

Add butter and lemon juice. Pulse until blended.

Add pepper.


First, you’ll need to mince the garlic by hand.

Basically, you will go in reverse order. Put olive oil in the blender, then turn on the motor at low speed, add the chopped garlic and pine nuts. When combined, add the parsley, basil, cheese and butter. Mix again until smooth. Mix in lemon.

Add pepper.

By hand:

This method produces a rustic-looking pesto.

Chop garlic and nuts. Place in a bowl.

Chop the parsley and basil, then add them to the garlic mixture. excitement.

Add both cheeses and stir.

Slowly add the olive oil and stir until the ingredients are mixed.

Add the butter and lemon juice, then add the pepper.

Preparing pesto for the refrigerator or freezer:

Spoon into containers.

Drizzle a little olive oil over the pesto layer only.

Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month, or freeze for up to 9 months.

Tip: Creative containers

Divide into freezer bags and lay flat to freeze. You can stack several on top of each other.

I put some in 4 oz canning jars.

I’ve also placed some in small silicone ice cube trays and even in clean egg cartons.

When the pesto in ice cube trays and egg cartons freezes too hard, I scoop out the portions and place them in freezer bags.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply