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How to Make Pesto Without a Food Processor

Prep Time30 mins
Total Time30 mins
Servings: 1 cup pesto


  • 4 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese


  • Separate basil leaves from stem and divide into four portions.
  • Use a sharp knife to chop the first portion of basil finely while incorporating the minced garlic.
  • Add the next portion of basil leaves.
  • Repeat until you have successfully chopped all ingredients finely.
  • Combine all remaining ingredients into a ziplock bag, press all the air out and seal shut.
  • Continue to work the ingredients by rolling a mug or mason jar over the pesto to further crush the ingredients.
  • Empty the contents into a bowl and serve or store in the refrigerator to let the flavors meld until serving. If you want to freeze the sauce for later, hold off on adding the olive oil and cheese until after you've defrosted.
  • Adjust seasonings to taste, it will change as it sits and the flavors will develop.