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Check the Basil Bliss: What Does Basil Pesto Taste Like?

You may hate or love it, but one can’t deny pesto’s wide popularity across the globe.

This sauce made of basil, pine nuts, crushed garlic, and olive oil delivers a rich and versatile taste making it a popular ingredient in various recipes.

Not only that, it makes an excellent dipping sauce to have with fries, fritters, and more.

So, what does basil pesto sauce taste like? An instant answer wouldn’t suffice since it has a complex flavor.

This post will explain the taste profile of this sauce comprehensively.

We’ll also guide you on how to make it yourself and the dishes to go with it.

What is Basil Pesto?

Basil pesto is an Italian-origin sauce that has been used in various recipes, ultimately resulting in variations as well.

Basil, olive oil, parmesan cheese, salt, pine nuts, and garlic are typical ingredients used to make this sauce.

The modern way of making this pesto sauce uses a food processor or a blender to turn it into a fine puree.

However, the traditional method is crushing the ingredients in a marble mortar with a pestle.

Nonetheless, you can prepare it any way you want.

The taste remains the same, more or less, given that you have used the right ingredients.

Besides, you can buy readymade pesto if you can’t find the items to make it yourself.

What Does Basil Pesto Taste Like?

As we have mentioned earlier, basil pesto has a complex taste.

Although it comprises minimal ingredients, it’s incredibly rich in flavor.

The food items used for making this sauce have pronounced flavor resulting in a unique taste.

Garlic, basil, olive oil, and cheese are known for their solid and rich taste alone.

Mixing them results in an aromatic yet distinct-tasting sauce that may either be good for some people or may not like it.

Given its worldwide appeal, we can only assume this sauce is loved.

The taste of pesto is also likely to vary based on the ingredients used.

You may use non-traditional recipes by replacing pine nuts with pecan, cashew, or almonds.

Some pesto contains ginger, parsley, coconut, and avocado.

The presence of cheese gives a creamy texture, and the earthy note comes from olive oil.

Basil leaves gives a peppery note, while the nutty and buttery taste is due to pine nuts.

You may notice how each ingredient gives a distinct flavor to this sauce.

Thus, resulting in a rich, creamy, and earthy sauce.

Most people complain about this sauce having a grassy note or a bitter taste.

The grassy flavor would be due to the usage of multiple herbs.

Stick to three herbs or below to avoid bitterness.

If you have used multiple herbs, even it out by adding extra garlic and cheese.

Also, when you blend, avoid adding olive oil to the mix.

Add the oil slowly when the ingredients are in the processor to prevent the sauce from getting bitter.

How to Make and Serve Basil Pesto?

Instead of getting readymade pesto from stores, why not make it yourself? It’s pretty simple and doesn’t require fancy ingredients.

You can stick to the traditional recipe or improvise it.

Homemade pesto tastes better and fresh too.

Now, before we provide steps on how to make this sauce, start the minimal preparation first.

Blanch the basil leaves in boiling water for a few seconds.

Put the blanched leaves in ice-cold water, and then drain them.

Also, roast the pine nuts or whichever nuts you’re using.

Check the steps below to make basil pesto using a food processor:

  • Blend the ingredients. Add the blanched basil leaves, fresh garlic, toasted nuts, and lemon juice in the food processor and then blend. .
  • While the ingredient is processing, slowly add olive oil from its top opening. .
  • Once it’s done, transfer the mix to the bowl. Add grated parmesan cheese to the mixture. .
  • Add more olive oil to the mix and check the consistency. .
  • The final step is to season with black pepper and salt.

You can use basil pesto in different ways.

Here are some popular ones:

  • Use it as a sandwich spread.
  • You may use it as a topping in baked potatoes.
  • Mix with plain Greek yogurt and use it as a dipping sauce.
  • Use as a spread on fresh corn on the cob.


At first try, basil pesto may have an overwhelming taste due to its strong and rich flavor.

However, you keep craving more once you get used to it.

It has a complex taste profile due to its pronounced ingredients but delivers an incredible creamy sauce.

If you have yet to taste this sauce, you may give it a try.

Prepare it yourself, as it’s pretty easy to make.

Or, get it from grocery stores near you if you’re busy, or cooking isn’t your forte.

What Does Basil Pesto Taste Like? Does it Taste Good?

Wondering about the taste of basil pesto? Explore its aromatic flavor profile and whether it's enjoyed as a condiment.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Food Taste
Servings 1 Serving


  • Basil pesto
  • Ingredients from your favorite recipes


  • Depending on the ingredients used, the cooking method, and the type of dish, the taste of the food can vary greatly.
  • Make sure to select a recipe that will elevate the food’s original flavor, and enjoy experimenting with different recipes!
Keyword What Does Basil Pesto Taste Like
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