Creamy Basil Pesto Sauce

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This creamy basil pesto sauce is easy to make with just a food processor. It’s perfect over pasta, pizza, or vegetables.

Creamy Basil Pesto Sauce


Basil pesto is one of our favorite ways to top pasta and this creamy version is insanely good!

Unlike my green goddess pesto, this recipe is a basic pesto with the addition of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and ricotta cheese. The cheeses add a richness that just takes pesto to a whole new level.

We love using fresh herbs which is why we are so fond of this creamy basil pesto sauce. It’s fragrant, fresh, and just plain good.

The best thing about it is you can do more with it than just mix it into pasta! Use it as a dip or topping for veggies, as a sauce for pizza, or slather it over freshly baked crusty bread.

However you choose to enjoy this creamy pesto, I’m certain you will have nothing but good things to say about it. If you like it, you may also enjoy our lemon pesto.

Next, you may want to try our pink sauce! It’s fantastic on pasta.

Creamy Basil Pesto Pasta Sauce


To make this creamy basil pesto recipe, you will need:

  • Basil: Fresh basil is the star here so pick the best looking leave you can find
  • Parsley: I used flat leaf parsley
  • Garlic: Because garlic is life
  • Parmigiano Reggiano cheese: It’s the real deal parmesan cheese but if you can’t find it just use a cheese labeled as “Parmesan”
  • Ricotta: Use full-fat ricotta cheese or the sauce will become dry
  • Olive oil: You can’t have pesto without olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper: Needed to enhance the flavors
How to Make Creamy Basil Pesto Sauce


To make this creamy basil pesto, simply…

  1. Place all the ingredients into a food processor and puree until smooth. See how easy that is!
  2. Taste and adjust. You may want to add more salt and pepper.
  3. Use it right away or refrigerate it for later. Serve it with freshly cooked pasta.
Creamy Basil Pesto Sauce Recipe


There are quite a few ways you can serve this basil pesto recipe.

  • Mix into freshly cooked pasta.
  • Serve it as a dip for fresh vegetables.
  • Serve it as a topping over freshly cooked vegetables.
  • Spread it over hot crusty bread.
  • Use it as a sauce for pizza.

How to Refrigerate Creamy Basil Pesto Sauce: To refrigerate basil pesto, store it in a sealed container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Be sure to place a piece of plastic wrap over the pesto and press it down so it’s flush against the surface before topping it with a lid.

Creamy Basil Pesto

Take a look at these other Italian sauces. They will make weeknight dinners a breeze!

Creamy Basil Pesto Sauce

4.59 from 17 votes
Creamy Basil Pesto Sauce Recipe Image
This creamy basil pesto sauce is easy to make with just a food processor. It’s perfect over pasta, pizza, or vegetables.
Sauce Fanatic
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Serving Size 8


  • 3 cups freshly chopped basil, stems and buds discarded (about 2-3 bunches)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • ½ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • ¼ cup ricotta cheese, *
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper


  • Process basil, parsley, garlic, Parmigiano Reggiano, ricotta, oil, salt, and pepper in a food processor until smooth, about 1 minute. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Transfer the mixture to a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap pressed against the surface and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
  • Serve in pasta, over vegetables, or as a sauce on a pizza.


*Use whole milk ricotta cheese or the pesto will be dry and possibly gummy.


Serving: 2Tablespoons | Calories: 89kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 253mg | Potassium: 54mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 0.1g | Vitamin A: 685IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 110mg | Iron: 1mg

The nutrition information provided is for convenience and as a courtesy only. It is not guaranteed to be accurate because nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator and input the exact ingredients and brands you used in the recipe.

4.59 from 17 votes (17 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. Stephanie Claymore says:

    Would I need to double to recipe for 1 pound cooked pasta? 1 cup for this recipe doesn’t seem like enough to cover 1 pound cooked pasta.

    1. Sauce Fanatic says:

      It never hurts to make extra, especially if you like a heavily coated pasta.