Today we are going to show you just how easy it is to make, store, freeze, and utilize this delicious, homemade keto pesto sauce - in under 10-minutes! Perfect for noodles, zoodles, and more, this glorious mix of basil, pine nuts, garlic, and parmesan cheese makes a quick and easy, decadent low-carb pesto this definitely a WHOLE LOTTA YUM.
This Low Carb Basil Pesto Sauce that tastes like Summer
No herb reminds me of summer as much as the smell and taste of basil. I’m convinced that most summer salads, grilled meats, or pasta dishes are made better with a delicious dab of pesto sauce.
We actually love to grow our own basil at home. Fresh herbs can get so costly at the grocery store, but for just a couple of dollars, you can have a big harvest of basil to make your own low-carb pesto all during the year. Typically, our garden includes three or four basil plants, just enough to use all summer long but also make sure we have enough keto pesto in our freezer to enjoy until the following summer.
With a heavenly blend of basil, Parmesan, and pine nuts, our garlicky Keto pesto sauce is perfect for zucchini noodles (our favorite!), giving a sauce pizazz, added to your favorite salad, or as a dab on your favorite grilled chicken recipe. It also pairs superbly with shrimp and zoodles!
What is Pesto Sauce?
Pesto sauce originates from the Italian region of Liguria and is a vibrant, green sauce that's traditionally made from fresh basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts, salt, Parmesan cheese, and a high-quality olive oil.
You blend these ingredients together by either finely hand chopping the basil or with a food processor to create a rich flavorful sauce. It’s fantastic added to pasta, to soups, or to make a salad dressing.
Is Pesto Keto Friendly?
Yes, pesto is keto-friendly since it’s made from low carb ingredients like olive oil, basil, garlic, pine nuts, and Parmesan cheese.
Although, when you buy store-bought pesto, check the label to make sure it doesn’t add in sugars or additives that increase the carbs.
What does Pesto taste like?
Pesto sauce has a bold and fresh taste that packs a punch of flavor in just a spoonful. The fresh basil gives it a bright and somewhat peppery taste, while the garlic adds a pungent kick.
Pine nuts add a subtle nuttiness, and the Parmesan cheese delivers a salty and umami depth. The olive oil binds these flavors together and provides a rich, silky texture.
You will love this Easy Pesto Recipe
- With our homemade pesto sauce, you can enjoy restaurant-quality keto pesto sauce in your home anytime you want to in under 10-minutes!
- If you have never tried making pesto in your home before, our low-carb pesto sauce recipe is going to show just how eat and flavorful it can be! You may never buy jarred pesto again.
- Not only is our keto pesto sauce perfect for low-carb and keto fans, but it's also a gluten-free and vegetarian recipe, too.
- Make just enough keto pesto for today or make to store for up to 4-months!
If you love a great keto sauce as much as we do, then you are definitely going to want to check out our keto alfredo sauce, keto cheddar cheese sauce, and keto spaghetti sauce as well. All of our keto sauces are designed to be full of flavor but low on carbs.
Basil Pesto Sauce Ingredients and Equipment
You only need a handful of ingredients to make homemade pesto, half of which you probably already have in your kitchen.
- Fresh basil - packed
- Pine nuts
- Shredded Parmesan cheese
- Garlic - minced
- Sea Salt
- Olive Oil
Making healthy homemade pesto sauce requires few special supplies. To make this recipe super simple (as in a 5 minute recipe!) having a tool on hand that quickly and evenly blends the ingredients is essential.
Food processor - This is what we used to make the gluten-free keto pesto recipe. It literally took under 15 seconds to mix! A high-powered blender should work well also. Quick tip- I often use my individual blender cup for making a quick sauce.
If you don't have a food processor, you can also finely chop everything by hand OR you can use a mortar and pestle.
Easy Pesto Recipe Variations and Adaptations
- Pine Nuts - While pine nuts are the traditional nut to use for making pesto, you can also substitute a different kind of nut like cashews, almonds, pecans, walnuts, or mixed nuts.
While our homemade pesto sauce is already compliant for both keto and low-carb lifestyles, we do want to remind you to shred your own parmesan cheese rather than purchasing the pre-shredded varieties. Pre-shredded cheeses are often coated with starch to prevent clumping, but this starch also adds extra carbs to your final product.
How to make Pesto Sauce
Making our own homemade keto pesto sauce is truly a piece of cake! If you've been wondering how to make low-carb pesto sauce at home, you're in for a treat. I KNOW this will be one of those recipes you'll end up questioning yourself WHY you didn't think to make your own pesto sooner! It tastes SO. MUCH. BETTER. than jarred sauce AND it's so easy to make!
Put all ingredients in a food processor and blend for 15 seconds, or until pureed.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix for 5 more seconds.
The recipe makes 1 cup and will most likely be more than you need for your recipe. Each serving size is 1 T of pesto sauce.
Pesto Keto Recipe Tips
- Make sure your basil leaves are packed down when measuring. It's important that you have enough of this key ingredient otherwise your keto pesto sauce will have too much liquid and be runny.
- Buy a block of parmesan cheese and grating your own is ideal for this recipe, especially if you are trying to follow a low-carb or keto lifestyle.
- Feel free to adjust the seasoning to your liking - but be sure to taste the homemade keto pesto before you begin adjusting the flavoring. For best results, reblend for a few seconds if you add any additional seasoning to fully incorporate it.
Pesto Keto Serving Suggestions
- Zoodles with Pesto: Replace traditional pasta with zucchini noodles (zoodles) and toss them in your keto-friendly pesto for a light and flavorful dish.
- Chicken Pesto Salad: Drizzle pesto over grilled chicken breasts, and serve with a side of leafy greens.
- Eggs and Pesto: Add a spoonful of pesto to scrambled eggs or as a topping on a keto-friendly omelette.
- Keto Pizza: Use pesto as a base sauce on a low-carb cauliflower pizza crust, topped with mozzarella and your favorite keto toppings.
- Pesto-Stuffed Avocado: Halve an avocado and fill the pit's cavity with a generous serving of pesto. It's a perfect snack or side dish.
- Pesto Cauliflower Rice: Stir fry cauliflower rice with some pesto for a herbaceous twist to the regular version.
How to store this Pesto Recipe with Pine Nuts
How long does Pesto last in the fridge?
Fresh pesto sauce lasts up to 5-7 days in the fridge. A little bit REALLY goes a long way so you'll most likely have leftover pesto after using this yummy sauce in a recipe.
When exposed to air, the sauce often starts to turn brown on the top. A little tip on how to prevent this is to pour a tiny layer of olive oil on top before sealing your container.
Can you freeze Pesto?
Freezing is the best way to store your homemade basil pesto after you make a batch. It will keep in the freezer for at least 3-4 months. Since I mostly use garden basil, I’ll often make up to 8 batches at a time to keep in my freezer for later in the year.
We love to store basil in small cute little 4 oz mason jars, which makes them perfect to give away as a gift also. Just add a simple bow and tag and your friends/relatives will adore you.
Food expands in the freezer so make sure to leave a ½″ of space between the sauce and the lid.
Pesto Keto FAQs
Pesto is a versatile and flavorful sauce that goes with a variety of foods including seafood such as shrimp or salmon, grilled chicken, noodles or zoodles, or with atop a salad in place of dressing.
If you’re watching your carbs or following a Keto Diet like my husband, you’ll definitely want to know the carb count in our keto pesto sauce. Making your own low-carb keto pesto is a lifesaver of a sauce that infuses so much flavor into your favorite low-carb dishes.
You’ll be happy to know that there is just 1 carb in our homemade keto pesto sauce for a 1 tablespoon serving size!
Yes, traditional pesto sauce is naturally low in carbs. All of the ingredients in pesto are low carb, including the basil, olive oil, pine nuts, garlic, and Parmesan cheese.
Check labels for store bought pestos since they might add in sugar or other ingredients that increase the carbs.
Since it takes just 5 minutes to make pesto, we highly recommend you make it yourself at home!
More Keto Sauce Recipes
Looking for more keto sauce recipes?