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Spicy Basil Pesto


Spicy Basil Pesto

A simple and tasty basil pesto recipe with fresh basil leaves, pine nuts, garlic, hot pepper, Parmesan cheese, extra virgin olive oil, and salt and pepper.

Great on just about anything! Toss with fresh pasta or slather over beef, chicken, fish, or pork. Spread pesto onto crusty bread, or stir pesto into bread dough for wonderful dinner rolls. Mix pesto with mayonnaise or use as is on a sandwich. Create a salad dressing using pesto. The possibilities are endless!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 1 cup


  • 3 cups fresh basil leaves rinsed
  • 1 whole hot pepper jalapeno, serrano or maybe something even hotter works
  • 1/4 cup roasted pine nuts If you can’t find them roasted at the store, place pine nuts on a baking sheet & pop them into a 400 degree oven for 5 to 10 minutes. Keep an eye on them since they can go from roasted to burnt fairly quickly.
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp lemon juice fresh squeezed
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper freshly-ground
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese grated


  1. Using a food processor or blender, process basil, hot pepper, nuts, garlic, lemon juice, salt and black pepper until almost a smooth paste. 

    Spicy Basil Pesto
  2. Slowly stream in olive oil (using either a food processor or blender, while the lid is still on). 

  3. Once everything is combined, stir in parmesan cheese. 

  4. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as desired.

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