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A bowl of penne pasta with pesto and a wooden spoon

pantry pesto (with dried basil)

When it comes to a flavorful, shelf-stable pesto, you don’t need to look any further than your own pantry. Use 1-2 tablespoon pesto blend per serving of pasta.
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Prep Time 10 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 2 cups



  • Combine parsley, basil, nuts, garlic, and salt in a food processor. Run on low speed 30-40 seconds until evenly combined. Stir in parmesan cheese.
    If you don’t have a food processor: Finely hand chop and crush the nuts, microplane or mince the fresh garlic (if using), and stir everything together to combine.
  • Serving option 1: Toss with cooked pasta, chicken, and/or veggies along with a large glug or two of olive oil, enough to get the dried pesto mixture to stick.
  • Serving option 2: Cook pasta according to al dente package directions. Reserve ½ cup of pasta water, strain pasta and return to pan over medium heat. Add a glug of olive oil, a few tablespoons of the pesto blend, ¼ cup finely grated parmesan, and half of the reserved pasta liquid. Stir until the pesto uniformly coats the pasta and no liquid is left in the pan. Add additional pasta water if needed.


  • If starting with whole nuts, toast them before processing to get a more intense flavor. To toast, place whole nuts on a sheet tray in the oven at 350F for 5-10 mins, stirring every 2-3 minutes.
  • Store in airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 months (2 weeks if you used fresh garlic). To freeze, place pesto in airtight container or ice cube tray with olive oil. Toss pesto cubes into a hot pan or pot with cooked, drained noodles to melt the oil and coat the pasta with pesto.
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