Share on Pinterest

Homemade Pesto: The Answer to Making Dinner in a Pinch

By March 12, 2017Recipes
Reading Time: 2 minutes
The next Whole Life Challenge starts in:

Having homemade pesto in the freezer at all times is a must in my home. It’s so easy to pull it out of the freezer when you need to make dinner in a pinch. It can dress up just about anything you have on hand and adds a wonderful flavor that keeps your food from being boring — all while being healthy and nutritious.

Of course, pesto is traditionally with Parmesan cheese, but you can make it compliant to the Whole Life Challenge by leaving the cheese out or replacing it with nutritional yeast. The choice is yours, and either way this homemade pesto is both easy and delicious.

New Call-to-action

Homemade Pesto Sauce

Homemade pesto can dress up just about anything you have on hand and adds a wonderful flavor that keeps your food from being boring — all while being healthy and nutritious.

Category Condiment, Paleo, Vegetarian
Compliance Level Kickstart, Lifestyle, Performance
Total Time 10 minutes
Author Lauren Lobley


  • 1/4 pine nuts
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 7-8 cloves of garlic whole
  • 4 oz 4 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1 –1 1/2 cups of extra virgin olive oil depending on how you like it
  • 1 cup nutritional yeast you may also use vegan cheese, but check the ingredients to be sure


  1. Pulse the nuts, garlic, salt, and pepper in a food processor for about 30 seconds (until a paste forms).
  2. Add in your basil leaves and turn on the food processor again.
  3. Slowly add in the oil as the processor is running.
  4. Add in the nutritional yeast (or whatever you’re using) and pulse again until incorporated.
  5. Enjoy over vegetables, spaghetti squash, zoodles, a cauliflower-crust pizza, meat, fish, eggs, or all of the above!

Recipe Notes

If you’re not using your pesto right away, you can store it in an airtight container. Either cover the top of the pesto with oil and then place the lid on or cover the pesto with plastic wrap that’s touching the pesto directly (to create a barrier so no air touches the pesto) and place the lid on top. You can store this in the fridge for up to three days or in the freezer for up to three months.

Watch this video for a demonstration on how to make this versatile homemade pesto sauce:

Lauren Lobley on FacebookLauren Lobley on InstagramLauren Lobley on Twitter
Lauren Lobley
Former pastry chef turned certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and healthy chef, Lauren is now in the throes of her most challenging work to date: motherhood. When she’s not mushing up food for her daughter, her goal is to not only create recipes for healthy food that taste good, but also to help people create a recipe for their own, unique healthy life. One that’s designed specifically to suit their needs, wants, and of course, taste buds!

You can check out her recipes for both food and for life at Delectable You. There you will also find over ninety cooking videos for your viewing pleasure.

Lauren lives in Malibu, California with her adventurer husband, Ted. Together they own a yoga studio called 5 Point Yoga, as well as an Adventure Yoga Retreats company that takes people all over the world doing yoga and, well, having adventures! Think skiing, yoga, and P90X in Jackson Hole, Mammoth, and Chamonix, surfing and yoga in Costa Rica, hiking Machu Piccu in Peru — you know, that kind of thing.

When she’s not cooking, recipe testing, and living and breathing health and wellness (and now chasing after her infant), she’s writing about it all on her blog. She’s also been published on The Good Men Project, Babble, Beyond Yoga, and The Elephant Journal, and has been regularly writing for a health and wellness PR firm for the last three years.