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Homemade Red Pesto

I LOVE pesto and this recipe is one of my favourites. It's great for low-carb diets and thanks to herbs and tomatoes, it's loaded with potassium.

It goes great with meat, in salads or even as a dip with freshly cut vegetables. After I learnt how easy it is to make your own, I would never buy the ready-made product again.

Here is why you should make your own pesto:

  • You have complete control over what ingredients are used. I grow my own basil, use the best olive oil and no preservatives.
  • It's cheaper. You can make pesto in advance and freeze it for future uses.
  • It's delicious and you can experiment with flavours.

|Homemade Red PestoPreparation time


Nutritional values (per serving, 1 tbsp; 15g / 0.5 oz):

Total Carbs1.8grams
Net Carbs1.3grams
of which Saturated1.1grams

Macronutrient ratio: Calories from carbs (8%), protein (5.7%), fat (86.3%)

|Homemade Red PestoIngredients (makes 440g / 15.5 oz jar, about 30 servings):

Note: Adding more garlic will have an impact on the net carbs content. Keep in mind that each extra clove will add ~ 1 gram of net carbs. When looking for ingredients, try to get them in their most natural form (organic, without unnecessary additives).

|Homemade Red PestoInstructions:

  1. Wash the basil, peel and mash the garlic, juice and zest the lemon. Place the oil, basil, garlic, lemon, nuts, sun-dried tomatoes and tomato purée into a food processor and pulse until smooth.
    Note: Sun-dried tomatoes usually come in a jar filled with oil. I don't use the oil unless it's extra virgin olive oil. In most cases, it's a mixture of sunflower and olive oil.
  2. Grate the parmesan cheese and add to the mixture. Pulse again 3-4 times.
  3. When done, use immediately or spoon the mixture in a glass jar, top with a bit of olive oil and seal properly with a lid.


You can keep your pesto in the fridge for up to a week or two if it's stored properly. It helps to pour a thin layer of olive oil on the top, as it keeps it fresh for longer. Whenever you use pesto, always remember to add a thin layer of olive oil on the top.

If you want to preserve home-made pesto for longer, freeze it in manageable portion sizes by putting it in an ice-cube tray and keep in a plastic bag in the freezer for up to 6 months. Whenever you need to use it, just keep the required portion at room temperature until it melts.

Comments (8) -

Simon 8/21/2013 9:15:03 AM #

Love it! I can't eat pine nuts which are in most pesto recipes and this is delicious!


Jackie 10/13/2013 8:09:16 PM #

<3 macadamia nuts... Thanks!


Cinda 12/31/2014 1:45:18 AM #

Allergies to macadamia and cashew nuts... any suggestions??


Martina @ KetoDiet 12/31/2014 2:19:57 AM #

Are you allergic to all nuts? You can try pine nuts if not... Or you can try sunflower seeds or just use more parmesan cheese.


Don 2/18/2015 5:59:58 AM #

How long can you store this for, say in mason jars??


Martina @ KetoDiet 2/18/2015 6:55:25 PM #

Hi Don, I store any pesto sauce for about 2 weeks - always with a layer of oil on top.


Sam 7/4/2015 8:43:32 PM #

This is really lovely...I put some in a tenderised turkey steak with some haloumi, rolled it and then wrapped it in bacon and barbecued.  Divine!  Thank you so much for your amazing recipes!


Martina @ KetoDiet 7/6/2015 8:04:54 PM #

Sounds delicious! Glad you liked it! Smile


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