How To: Freeze Basil Pesto

A common complaint from those who are only cooking for one or two at a time is that it is cheaper to eat out once you by all of the fresh ingredients.  This does not have to be the case if you know just a few tricks.  Fresh basil pesto is a favorite of mine and with this trick, you can have it on hand pretty much all the time.  The pesto can be taken out of the freezer and thaws within about 10 or 15 minutes so it is always ready.  For extra convenience, I scoop one tablespoon portions into an ice cube tray to serve.  That way, you can only take out exactly what you need at a time.  You could also scoop tablespoon size portions onto wax paper and freeze them that way as well if you do not have an ice cube tray. 
Step by Step
1.  Using a tablespoon, scoop leftover pesto into ice cube trays.  
2.  Cover and freeze overnight.
3.  Either leave in ice cube trays, or pop out pesto cubes and place in freezer bag; return to freezer.
4.  When ready to use, let exact amount of pesto thaw on the counter for 10 to 15 minutes.
No Ice Cube Tray Option:
1.  Cover a baking sheet with wax paper (or parchment paper)
2.  Using a tablespoon, scoop leftover pesto onto wax paper being careful not to let each one touch.
3.  Freeze overnight.
4.  Remove pesto discs and add to a freezer bag; return to freezer.
5.  Thaw same as above.


  1. Great tip! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thanks for the comment! How funny, I actually just had basil pesto for dinner tonight -- does freezing it make any noticeable change differences? We were wondering about that at the table...

  3. Ashley, there is really no difference. I probably used a little bit more after it was frozen because the flavor isn't quite as strong, but it is just as good! I would still try to use it within a month.

  4. Wow! This is such a great idea! I would have never thought to put it in an ice cube tray, but it makes such great portions. Great tip.

  5. Using a ice cube tray is such a great idea! Thanks for the tip!

  6. Thanks for this post! I followed you instructions and it worked perfectly. The flavor did not change at all.

  7. I just did this with some leftover pesto a couple of weeks ago. We took it out tonight and tried it in pasta. It worked perfectly! And the portions in the ice cube trays is a great idea! Thanks!

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