You can make amazingly delicious pesto in 5 minutes

Quick cooking quiz! What herb has been cultivated for over 5,000 years and is amazingly healthy for you? If you aren’t thinking basil—you really should.

Basil is really good for you

Basil has only 5 calories for every 0.50 cups and is a great source of vitamin K. Other health benefits include flavonoids that provide protection at the cellular level as well as essential oils that can protect against bacterial growth.

Photo of fresh basil.
Fresh basil. Image credit: Kate Ter Haar / Flickr / CC.

Pesto contains tons of basil and is easy to cook with

One of the most efficient ways to get the benefits of basil is to make your own fresh pesto. This culinary delight can be used in pizzas, dips, marinades and dressings, omelettes, soups, or as a topping on bread.


You can make pesto at home in under five minutes

Photo of pesto being made in a food processor.
“It’s pesto time!” Image credit: Becky Stern / Flickr / CC

To make your own pesto at home, combine and chop the following items in your food processor:

  • 1 cup – fresh basil leaves (pack these down when measuring)
  • 1 tbsp – fresh garlic (you can substitute minced garlic from a jar if you don’t have fresh cloves handy)
  • 1 lemon – squeeze out the juice from this tart fella
  • 2 tbsp – pine nuts
  • 3 tbsp – extra virgin olive oil

Send these ingredients for a whirl until it becomes a finely chopped mixture. Then, combine with your favorite dish and enjoy!