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) -

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


<3 macadamia nuts... Thanks!


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


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.


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


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


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!


Sounds delicious! Glad you liked it! Smile


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