Homemade Pesto with Tortellini

As everything is starting to ripen we are starting to use all the fresh produce and herbs we can. I don’t know why I have never made pesto. We love it but I usually just pick up a jar of it. This year with being home all the time we are growing all our own herbs, red peppers, hot peppers, and cherry tomatoes. The basil has taken off so we wanted to use a bunch of it to make pesto. Let’s just say no more jarred pesto if we can help it!

Verdict: Pesto is so easy to make! The hardest part was finding the pine nuts to make it. Three grocery stores were out and in the fourth even the clerk had a hard time finding them. But, we scored. This is easy, delicious, and so much better than jarred sauce.

We served this over frozen tortellini with extra shredded Parmesan cheese and still had plenty left for extra topping for sandwiches. The best part is that if you have an abundance of basil pesto and basil both freeze well for future use.

Homemade Pesto with Tortellini

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 4 cups fresh basil leaves (no stems)
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 4 large cloves garlic
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly shredded
  • 1 (32 oz) bag frozen tortellni, cooked according to package directions
  • extra Parmesan cheese, for serving if desired


  1. Combine basil leaves, pine nuts and garlic in a food processor and process until very finely minced.
  2. With the machine running slowly dribble in the oil and process until the mixture is smooth.
  3. Add the cheese and process very briefly, just long enough to combine. Store in refrigerator or freezer.
  4. Serve over tortellini with shredded cheese as desired.

8 Comments Add yours

  1. Carol anne says:

    You have the best recipes! I love the sound of this! And pesto is sooo good!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      Thank you so much! That is so sweet!


    1. koolaidmoms says:

      Thank you! Tasty too!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Erika says:

    Yum, I love pesto. I made bear’s garlic pesto from collected plants and I love it. I have to try your pesto recipe.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yum! We also love pesto and only recently learned it’s soooo easy! I can’t even eat most jarred pesto now — I’m spoiled! Just a hint we discovered — we have a food processor, but we found that it’s even smoother in the blender. Also, pine nuts are absolutely traditional, but other nuts will work if you’re in an absolute bind like you describe. Walnuts tend to do really well, though they’re not my favorite. Almonds don’t have as much oil, so you’ll need to balance with more olive oil.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      Ooo, I will have to try the blender! Thanks!


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