How to Freeze Pesto With Fresh Basil

Does the summer fly by, and so does your basil crop? If you’re left with an abundance of fresh basil, making homemade pesto is a great way to preserve some of it for later.

Fresh basil is the star of this traditional Italian sauce. A basil pesto recipe includes fresh basil leaves, raw pine nuts, grated parmesan cheese, lemon juice, and extra virgin olive oil.

This article will show you how to freeze pesto made with basil in 3 different ways.

Method 1: Freezing Basil Pesto in Ice Cube Trays

Once the pesto is made, just freeze it in ice cube trays. Once frozen, pop the cubes out of the ice cube tray and store them in a freezer bag. They will keep for up to 3 months.

The advantage of freezing pesto in ice trays is that you can thaw out only as much as you need.

When you’re ready to use them, just defrost the frozen pesto cubes in the refrigerator overnight and add them to your favorite pasta dish.

Method 2: Freezing in a Ziploc Bag

This is a good method if you want to freeze a large batch of pesto all at once. Place the pesto in a freezer bag, seal it, and then lay it flat in the freezer.

This will help prevent the pesto from freezing into a solid block. The pesto will keep for up to 6 months this way.

This method is good if you want to freeze a lot of pesto at once, and it is a great method for keeping the pine nuts and parmesan cheese tasting fresh.

So, if you’re only going to use a small amount at a time in your food processor, this might not be the best method for you.

Method 3: Freezing With Olive Oil

If you want to freeze a large batch of pesto all at once, this is the method for you.

Place the pesto in a freezer bag, add some olive oil to the bag (about one tablespoon per cup of pesto), and then seal it.

The layer of olive oil will prevent the pesto from freezer-burning and keep it fresh for up to 6 months.

This method is best if you’re going to use the pesto within a few months.

Storage Tips for Homemade Pesto

No matter which method you choose, here are a few tips for storing pesto:

  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Pesto sauce will keep for up to 2 weeks this way.
  • If you want to freeze fresh pesto, freeze it in small batches. This will help prevent waste.
  • When freezing pesto, always date the containers to know how long it’s been in the freezer.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to preserving your basil crop, homemade basil pesto done in the food processor is easy and versatile.

You can also leave out the pine nuts if you are allergic to them.

There are a few different methods for freezing fresh basil pesto, so choose the best one for you. All of them will keep your pesto fresh for up to 6 months.


Hi there! My name is Caroline Stevens, and I am an American mom of three wonderful children. I started this blog to help everyday families be more sustainable and save money by preventing food waste. I currently live in Wisconsin, and enjoy crafting, cooking at home, and traveling. I have a degree in art and previously worked in the restaurant business.