Easy Homemade Pesto Sauce

February 25, 2020
Homemade pesto sauce recipe with 5 basic ingredients. 
And a simple trick on how to avoid pesto sauce from turning brown!

How to make pesto sauce

What is Pesto sauce?

Pesto sauce is a sauce made of 5 basic ingredients (7 if counting salt and pepper).
Fresh basil leaves, pine nuts, olive oil, parmesan cheese and garlic.

Originate from Genoa, Italy, pesto is one of many sauces that my family and I are starting to fall in love with.

Pesto sauce pair up so well with any pasta dishes.

pesto sauce

How to Make Pesto sauce?

You will need 5 basic ingredients to make pesto sauce.
  1. Fresh basil leaves, wash thoroughly
  2. Parmesan cheese
  3. Pine nuts
  4. crushed garlic 
  5. and a good olive oil.
And basically you will need only one electrical kitchen gadget, food processor, to make this delicious pesto.

Printable full recipe on how to make pesto sauce is at the bottom of the page.

basil leaves to make pesto

How to avoid pesto from turning brown

Making pesto sauce from scratch

Recipe of pesto

Why Does My Pesto Sauce turn Brown?

And if you are like me, you will get annoyed when your homemade pesto starts to turn brown after less than an hour.

Or even after using, you kept your pesto sauce in jar and placed the jar in the fridge/ freezer, then you will notice the top layer is no longer green!

How annoying, right?

Why do basil pesto turn brown?

Basil leaves are delicate and easily bruised.

Once basil leaves are bruised or cut, the cut or exposed area, turns brown or near black due to oxidation process, just like an apple.

How to make a pesto sauce

How to Avoid Your Pesto sauce From Turning Brown?

Just by adding a couple of steps in your "normal" way of doing pesto sauce!

Usually I would placed fresh basil leaves and the remaining ingredients into a food processor and straight away blend all ingredients.

In order to avoid pesto from turning brown, after washing the leaves, I would give it a quick blanch and straightaway transfer the leaves into a bowl of iced water.

This is to stop cooking the chlorophyll in the basil leaves that gives the leaves its bright green colour.

Pat dry and put all in the food processor.

Homemade pesto sauce recipe

How to Store Pesto sauce?

Store the pesto in a tight jar and placed the jar in the refrigerator or freezer.

How Long Can I keep this Pesto sauce?

If refrigerated, I would keep it for 3 days max.

However, my homemade pesto sauce can be kept for at least a month in the freezer.

My Other Staple Sauces that You might want to try 

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Yield: 1 cup | 250ml

Easy Pesto Sauce Recipe

Pesto Sauce Recipe

Easy homemade pesto sauce. Plus a simple step to stop pesto sauce from oxidising or turning deep brown.
prep time: 10 Mcook time: 5 Mtotal time: 15 M


  • 2 cups of fresh basil
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper


How to cook Pesto Sauce Recipe

Prepping basil leaves
  1. Wash basil leaves
  2. Place basil leaves in heat proof jar or container
  3. Pour hot water into the jar.
  4. Give a quick stir
  5. Immediately transfer to ice cold bath.
  6. Transfer to kitchen paper.
  7. Pat dry or leave to dry
Making Pesto sauce
  1. Place all ingredients in food processor.
  2. Process into a paste.
  3. Transfer to sterile jar
  4. Use immediately with pasta
  5. or Freeze some for later use.
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Homemade pesto sauce recipe with 5 basic ingredients.  This easy homemade pesto sauce is better than store-bought pesto sauce. Pesto sauce gives a pack of flavour add on to any simple pasta recipes. And a simple trick on how to avoid pesto sauce from turning brown!