Pesto Sauce

Pesto is one of the most straightforward recipes when you have the ingredients readily available on your shelf and in the refrigerator. I like to have a jar of homemade pesto to make pesto paneer tikka, low carb zucchini spiral pasta, and a few fusion as well as traditional recipes for busy weekday dinners. Pesto spread onto hot vegetables, rice, and pasta transforms good recipe into a fabulous delicacy.


  • One cup basil leaves, tightly packed.
  • Three small cloves of garlic.
  • 1/4th tsp black pepper.
    (You can adjust as per your taste.)
  • 1/3rd cup grated parmesan cheese.
  • 1/3rd cup olive oil.
  • 4 tbsp pine nuts.
  • Salt as per your taste.
    (Note: Parmesan cheese has sodium content. If you’re watching your sodium, adjust accordingly.)
  • One green chili (Optional.)
    (I use green chili occasionally for specific fusion recipes using pesto.)


  • Combine basil, parmesan cheese, garlic cloves, and pine nuts in the bowl of a food processor or in a blender’s jar. If you’re using high power blender like Vitamix, use the pulse mode to make pesto.
  • Next, season the mixture with salt and ground black pepper.
  • An optional step, add chopped green chili. I add chili for a few fusion recipes, especially for my signature recipe, pesto paneer tikka salad.
  • If using a food processor, with the motor running, add olive oil in a slow stream until emulsified. In the case of a blender, grind on pulse mode, add olive oil when the mixture is coarsely ground, and pulse again until emulsified.
  • Transfer the pesto sauce in an airtight container. Store it in the refrigerator.

Walnuts cost half as much as pine nuts. Walnuts are crunchy and have a wax-like structure like pine nuts, so some people also use walnuts instead of pine nuts. I prefer pine nuts for the flavor it imparts in pesto.

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