Freezer Friendly Recipes: Freezer Pesto for Amazing Dishes
Here’s another recipe that is part of my Freezer Friendly Recipes series! You can see what we’ve added so far in this series! And if you’re interested in other recipes that freeze well, be sure to leave me a comment!
Do you like making meals ahead of time and just pulling them from the freezer? I have more Freezer Friendly Recipes posted here! Check them out!
It’s about time for frost to take what’s left of the herbs I have, which means it’s time for me to make a lot of Freezer Pesto! It’s super easy to make and delicious on a lot of things, including Grilled Pesto Cheese sandwiches. Harvest basil just before it starts to bloom for the best, brightest flavor, and the best pesto you’ve ever had. I love Freezer Pesto because it tastes like I just made it, but I know what’s in it and where it came from. That makes it pretty much perfect in my book! I use it straight on pasta, as a dip for bread, or a spread for sandwiches. The ways to use it are pretty endless.
Easy Ingredients for Freezer Pesto
Freezer Pesto, or fresh pesto, is one of the easiest things to make. Fresh basil, in large quantities, parmesan cheese, and olive oil make up a basic pesto. You can add pine nuts, as in the more classic version, or change it up with toasted walnuts or hazelnuts. I prefer just a plain Freezer Pesto as I have picky eaters in my house. If you aren’t growing your own basil, check out farmer’s markets as well as the herb section in your favorite grocery store. I can get basil pretty cheap, especially at farmer’s markets. You need a couple of good handfuls for a decent batch of Freezer Pesto.
- 4 C basil leaves, packed
- ¾ C grated parmesan cheese
- 2 cloves garlic
- ½ C virgin olive oil
Place the basil, parmesan, and garlic in a blender or food processor.
Pulse until the basil and garlic is well chopped.
Drizzle in olive oil and pulse. When the mixture becomes a thick liquid, pulse for 20 seconds.
Pour into containers or ice cube trays and freeze.
For long term storage, move ice cubes to plastic zippy bags.
Keeping Freezer Pesto Perfect
I freeze my Freezer Pesto in ice cube trays, then double bag in plastic freezer zippy bags to keep the ice crystals at bay. If I’m putting them in the freezer above my refrigerator, they will keep for about 3 months, but if I put them in my deep freeze, they last about a year, if they get shoved to the back and I don’t find them for recipes. (oops!) To use them, simply take them out of the freezer and allow to thaw. I don’t like putting it in the microwave to thaw, as cheese and oil in the microwave don’t work so well. If I want a slightly warmed Freezer Pesto, I will warm it for about 20 seconds in the microwave, as that is just enough to take the chill off and warm it, without destroying the cheese and oil. Take advantage of the basil harvest and make a big batch of Freezer Pesto for later!