Poor Man's Pesto Sauce

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Makes 1.5 cups of Pesto Sauce. You can adjust the olive oil amount based on your thickness desire or once you make a dish requiring pesto, you can add a little cream, oil or maybe pasta water to thin out your sauce.

  • Author: Katia
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Condiment/Sauce


  • 2.5 oz. fresh basil, (About 1 1/2 cups stuffed) stems removed
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seed kernels, lightly toasted (unsalted if you can find it)
  • 1/2 cup shredded Asiago cheese, tightly packed (you can of course use Parmesan if you prefer)
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped or smashed
  • 1/2 tsp ground sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (adjust to your liking for consistency)


  1. Add all ingredients except olive oil to food processor (my preference) or blender.
  2. Give the ingredients a few pulses to start breaking up everything.
  3. Slowly pulse in olive oil about a Tbsp at a time till all oil is in and continue pulsing to desired consistency.
  4. You can adjust the consistency here with more oil if needed, taste and adjust salt and pepper also to your liking.
  5. Enjoy immediately or chill in fridge.  The longer it sits in the fridge, the better the flavors will meld.


Use immediately or store in fridge 3 days or freeze extra in ice cube trays or small baggies for future use.[br]To use in cooking from frozen, place frozen unopened baggie in cool water for a while to start thawing or warm a frozen cube in microwave for just a few seconds at a time.[br]For pasta, mix thawed pesto into warm cooked pasta, add a little extra oil, cooked pasta water, milk or cream if wanting a creamier taste.

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