Add great flavor to your meals with this easy Homemade Pesto Sauce. Using just a handful of ingredients, it can be made in 5 minutes!
FREE EASY KETO DINNERS EBOOK
- ❤️ Why You'll Love This Pesto Sauce Recipe
- Pesto Sauce Ingredients
- How to Make Pesto Sauce
- What Ingredients Are in Traditional Pesto Sauce?
- How Many Carbs in Pesto?
- What Does Pesto Mean in Italian?
- How Long Will Pesto Last in the Fridge?
- Can You Freeze Pesto?
- More Ways to Use Pesto on Keto
- Is Pesto Keto? Is Pesto Sauce Healthy?
- More Keto Sauces
❤️ Why You'll Love This Pesto Sauce Recipe
- Easy to make with just 6 ingredients
- Great for last minute dinners, takes only 5 minutes
- Countless uses for pesto in adding flavor to your meals
- Only 1 carb per serving
Pesto sauce is a great and very low carb way to add an Italian flair to your meal. You can pour it over some shrimp, chicken, zucchini noodles, Palmini Pasta or add a little extra flavor to your vegetables. You can even freeze some to have on hand anytime you want!
Because this pesto is a no-cook Keto sauce, it relies heavily on the simple flavor combinations of only the freshest of ingredients, particularly the olive oil and parmesan cheese.
Toasting the pignoli (pine nuts) adds a wonderful nutty flavor as well. Real Italian pesto has ever been easier. Blend it up in a matter of minutes and you'll never go back to store-bought again.
Pesto Sauce Ingredients
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Fresh basil
- Pignoli (pine nuts), toasted
- Parmesan cheese
- Fresh lemon juice
- Salt and pepper
*Exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below.
How to Make Pesto Sauce
Add all the pine nuts, garlic, salt and pepper to the bowl of a food processor.
Pulse a few times.
Add in the basil and lemon juice.
Pulse briefly to chop.
With the food processor running, stream in the olive oil slowly until combined.
Add in the parmesan cheese and pulse just enough to combine.
Add a little more olive oil if needed to make it loose enough to pour over zoodles.
Store leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container.
What Ingredients Are in Traditional Pesto Sauce?
Fresh basil, olive oil, pine nuts and parmesan cheese are classic ingredients for pesto. While you can certainly change these up if you'd like.
You can use walnuts or pistachio instead of pine nuts, asiago or Romano cheese instead of parmesan, or arugula instead of basil, but I personally prefer this classic version.
If you cannot have dairy, try this dairy free pesto that uses nutritional yeast instead. It has all the same great flavors without the cheese.
How Many Carbs in Pesto?
This Keto Pesto recipe is extremely low carb. There is only one net carb per serving in this sauce. How's that for low carb!?!
I absolutely think it is! Use the freshest of ingredients, which is great if you happen to have basil growing in your garden. Also, using a good quality olive oil is important, this is not the time for the bargain stuff!
What Does Pesto Mean in Italian?
Pesto means "to crush" in Italian, which gets its name from the method in which pesto was made, using a mortar and pestle. While you can still use that method, I find it much easier to use a food processor or mini chopper.
How Long Will Pesto Last in the Fridge?
You can store it in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Can You Freeze Pesto?
Pesto freezes very well. One convenient way to freeze it is to use an ice cube tray to freeze it into small portions. Once the cubes of pesto are frozen solid, dump them into a freezer bag and store for up to several months.
By using this method, you'll have the perfect little portions for those times when you need a bit of pesto to top off a dish!
One use for this pesto sauce recipe is Grilled Chicken Pesto over Zoodles.
More Ways to Use Pesto on Keto
- Top your favorite breakfast scramble with a couple of spoonfuls of pesto
- Slather it on top of your favorite roasted veggies
- Smear some on your Keto chaffle
- Add some right on top of just about any grilled or baked protein. It pairs well with steak, fish, chicken even pork
- Replace the marinara on Keto fathead pizza with pesto for a really nice change
- Add just a touch a pesto to the top of a bowl of soup. It goes perfect with the flavors in this Italian Wedding Soup
Is Pesto Keto? Is Pesto Sauce Healthy?
Absolutely. In fact, if there was a number one place for a Keto condiment or sauce, it would have to be pesto. Just take a look at the ingredients...olive oil, basil, Parmesan. And pine nuts alone have almost perfect Keto macros with 21 grams of fat, 4 grams of protein and just 1 net carb.
You just can't ask for a better source of fat in a sauce. If you like parsley, be sure to also try this Parsley Pesto with Almonds!
More Keto Sauces
FREE 20 EASY KETO RECIPES EBOOK
Homemade Pesto Sauce
- Add all the pine nuts, garlic, salt and pepper to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times, then add in the basil and lemon juice, pulse briefly.
- With the food processor running, stream in the olive oil slowly until combined.
- Add in the parmesan cheese and pulse just enough to combine. Add a little more olive oil if needed to make it loose enough to pour over zoodles.
*Make sure to scroll up and read the post for substitutions, additions and helpful tips for making this recipe.
*Nutritional data is provided as a courtesy and is accurate to the best of my knowledge. You can verify it using the nutrition calculator of your choice. All data is based on net carbs, without sugar alcohol: Swerve, Erythritol, Monk Fruit or Allulose.
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*Originally published on June 12, 2018, updated on May 16, 2022 with new photos and helpful recipe tips and information.