Our easy to follow Thermomix recipe, for an Italian classic, Basil Pesto. Our recipe contains Fresh Basil, Pine Nuts, Lemon Juice, Garlic and Nutritional Yeast, to make it vegan/dairy free. ('with cheese option' details below)
Fresh Pesto, for us, beats the store bought version hands down every time. It's vibrant colour, and intense aromatic flavour, make it a delicious way to add some summer freshness to a meal.
This pesto recipe is fantastic, quick and easy to follow. Once you've tried it, it's one that you will use again and again!
What you'll need
- Basil - Fresh Basil is available all year round in supermarkets. And if you have a sunny spot to grow it in, we recommend buying a plant instead of the pre-cut bagged fresh herbs.
- Pine Nuts - The nut traditionally used in Pesto. It's wonderfully creamy with a mild taste. These can be fairly expensive but they are well worth the investment. They are also loaded with Vitamin K which has repeatedly been shown in studies to be great for bone strength.
- Nutritional Yeast - A favourite among Vegans for giving a cheesy taste to food. It's used here to replace the Parmesan found in traditional Pesto. I've found that most Supermarkets stock this, and it can be found in almost every health food store. It's usually fortified with Vitamin B12 as well, which is a bonus.
- Olive Oil (preferably Extra Virgin) - Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the highest quality Olive Oil, and lends better to foods like Pesto, Dips and Salad Dressings. However, that being said, due to the lengthy process of cold pressing and checking, it makes it more expensive than other oils. So if it's out of your available budget, regular Olive Oil will work just fine.
- Garlic - The health benefits of Garlic are abundant. It can help lower cholesterol. And it is also a fantastic immunity booster. It also gives a lovely depth to the flavour of the pesto.
- Sea Salt - The amount of salt in this recipe is kept to a minimum with children in mind. However, you can adjust the amount to be more or less depending on your preferences.
- Kitchen Knife
- Measuring Cups or Scales
How to make it
- Step 1 : Put all of the ingredients, except the olive oil, into the Thermomix jug and blend on level 7 for 5 seconds.
- Step 2 : Scrape down the pesto from the sides of the jug. back towards the blades.
- Step 3 : Add the Olive Oil and Lemon juice and blend on level 4 for 10 seconds.
- Step 4 : Done!
If you fancy trying one of our favourite 15 minute meals then you should take a look at our Pesto Penne Pasta with Sun Dried Tomatoes.
Substitutions & variations
- You can try lightly toasting the pine nuts in a frying pan for a few minutes, until golden brown, before using them for this recipe. This will add a different depth to the flavour of the finished Pesto.
- Try swapping out the Pine Nuts for a different type of nut. We also make pestos with Walnuts, Hazelnuts and Almonds, all are delicious alternatives.
- If you wanted to make this Pesto nut free then you could also sub out the nuts for some seeds instead. Roasted Pumpkin seeds, or sunflower seeds, would work really well.
- If you want to make this as a non vegan pesto then just swap out the nutritional yeast for 70g of Parmesan. Just cut the parmesan in to chunks, before adding it to the Thermomix jug at the same time as the basil, pine nuts etc.
You can keep this in an airtight container in the fridge for 7 to 10 days. You can extend this time by making sure to also cover the surface of the pesto with a thin layer of Olive Oil each time when you have finished using it.
This Pesto also freezes really well and can be kept on an airtight container in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Traditional Pesto is not Vegan. This is because it's made with Parmesan - an Italian hard cheese. Some of these cheeses are also not Vegetarian due to the use of animal rennet. However, as you can see from this recipe, it is very simple to make a Vegan friendly alternative.
Other recipes to try
Thermomix Basil Pesto
- Kitchen knife
- Measuring Cups (or scales)
- 3 cups Fresh Basil
- ⅓ cup Pine Nuts
- 3 tbsps Nutritional Yeast *For non vegan cheese option, please see note below
- 3 Cloves of Garlic
- 3 tbsps Olive Oil
- 2 tbsps Fresh Lemon Juice
- ½ teaspoon Sea Salt
- Add all the ingredients, except for the Olive Oil and the Lemon Juice, to the Thermomix jug.3 cups Fresh Basil, ⅓ cup Pine Nuts, 3 tbsps Nutritional Yeast, 3 Cloves of Garlic, ½ teaspoon Sea Salt
- Blend on level 7 for 5 seconds.
- Using a spatula, scrape down the pesto from the sides of the jug, back towards the blades.
- Add the Olive Oil and the Lemon Juice to the other ingredients in the Thermomix jug.3 tbsps Olive Oil, 2 tbsps Fresh Lemon Juice
- Blend on level 4 for 10 seconds.
- Transfer to storage tub or jar and keep in the fridge.