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Lightened Up Homemade Pesto Sauce

This is Lightened Up Homemade Pesto Sauce is super quick and easy to make-use as a dressingdip, sauce, or spread! It’s sooo good….you’ll never buy jarred pesto again!

Servings: Makes 1 cup or 16 Tablespoon 

GREEN/BLUE/PURPLE: 2 smartpoints per 1 Tablespoon

What ingredients do I need to make this Lightened Up Homemade Pesto Sauce?

  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Hot water – I use hot water instead of adding more olive oil which makes this recipe less calories, fat, and points.
  • Lemon juice-fresh is best. I add lemon juice instead of adding more olive oil making this recipe less calories, fat, and points.
  • Garlic– cloves, peeled
  • Pine nuts– you could also use walnuts or macadamia nuts. I like to use Kirkland pine nuts for Costco.
  • Parmesan-grated and fresh. I use fresh grated Parmesan cheese from Trader Joe’s. You can buy it in a block and grate it yourself, if desired. 
  • Kosher salt and black pepper– to taste
  • Extra virgin olive oil– any virgin olive oil will work. I like to use Trader Joe’s organic extra virgin olive oil 

 

Can I freeze this pesto sauce?

You bet. You can freeze this pesto sauce by pouring the pesto into an ice cube tray and place in the freezer for 2 hours. Remove from frozen pesto cubes and store them in a resealable plastic bag in the freezer for up to 6 months.

What can I use this Lightened Up Homemade Pesto Sauce for?

You can use it as a dip with crackers, toasted baguettes, as a sauce over low point pasta or chicken, or as a spread on top of a sandwiches!

You must try this on my Creamy Pesto Chicken Sandwich.

I used to use Trader Joe’s jarred pesto until I decided to create a lighter version and I will NEVER go back to buying it!! 

What do you use to blend the Lightened Up Homemade Pesto Sauce?

This can be made in a food processor or blender.

I like and recommend my Ninja Professional Plus Food Processor. If you are in the market for a food processor THIS is the one I recommend! 

 Find it HERE on Amazon! 

How do I make this Lightened Up Homemade Pesto Sauce?

Wash the basil and remove the leaves from the stems.

Add hot water, lemon juice, olive oil, basil, garlic, pine nuts, and Parmesan int that order in a food processor or blender.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste. 

Blend for 1-2 minutes or until it creates a sauce and ingredients are well combined.

You may need to scrape down the sides a few times during the blending process to ensure the ingredients are well incorporated. 

Remove lid and scrape the sauce into a bowl or jar for serving.

Remove lid and scrape the sauce into a bowl or jar for serving.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or you can freeze it by pouring the pesto into an ice cube tray and place in the freezer for 2 hours.

 

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 2 Tbsp hot water 
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice, fresh  
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts 
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, fresh 
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

  1. Wash the basil and remove the leaves from the stems.
  2. Add hot water, lemon juice, olive oil, basil, garlic, pine nuts, and Parmesan int that order in a food processor or blender. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste. 
  3. Blend for 1-2 minutes or until it creates a sauce and ingredients are well combined. You may need to scrape down the sides a few times during the blending process to ensure the ingredients are well incorporated. Remove lid and scrape the sauce into a bowl or jar for serving.
  4. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or you can freeze it by pouring the pesto into an ice cube tray and place in the freezer for 2 hours.  Remove the frozen pesto cubes and store the frozen cubes in a plastic bag in the freezer for up to 6 months.

 

Servings: Makes 1 cup or 16 Tablespoon 

GREEN/BLUE/PURPLE: 2 smartpoints per 1 Tablespoon

Yield: 16

Lightened Up Homemade Pesto Sauce

Lightened Up Homemade Pesto Sauce

This is Lightened Up Homemade Pesto Sauce is super quick and easy to make-use as a dressing, dip, sauce, or spread! This is sooo good-you'll never buy jarred pesto again!

Author: thepounddropper.com

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 2 Tbsp hot water 
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice, fresh  
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts 
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, fresh 
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

    1. Wash the basil and remove the leaves from the stems.
    2. Add hot water, lemon juice, olive oil, basil, garlic, pine nuts, and Parmesan int that order in a food processor or blender. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste. 
    3. Blend for 1-2 minutes or until it creates a sauce and ingredients are well combined. You may need to scrape down the sides a few times during the blending process to ensure the ingredients are well incorporated. Remove lid and scrape the sauce into a bowl or jar for serving.
    4. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or you can freeze it by pouring the pesto into an ice cube tray and place in the freezer for 2 hours.
    5. Remove the frozen pesto cubes and store the frozen cubes in a plastic bag in the freezer for up to 6 months.


    Servings: Makes 1 cup or 16 Tablespoon

    GREEN/BLUE/PURPLE:
    2 smartpoints per 1 Tablespoon

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

16

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 52Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 70mgCarbohydrates: 1gNet Carbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 1g

Becky

Thursday 11th of March 2021

Could you use an immersion blender for this?

Andrea

Tuesday 2nd of March 2021

Do you have to you nuts or can the be 86’d?

Lindsay Kehl

Tuesday 9th of March 2021

Hi Andrea

Sure! If you wanted you can omit the nuts, all together. Please keep in mind the flavor and texture will vary from traditional pesto if they aren't used.

Enjoy!

Gabby

Sunday 7th of March 2021

I have been wondering the same thing. I really want to make this tonight

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