Can You Make Pesto in a Blender?

Yes, you can easily make fresh pesto in a blender, the processing time is considerably short and efficient, given the design of the pitcher that folds the ingredients to the blade enabling a smoother finish. Pesto is more of a condiment and will boost the bland taste of vegetables, you can use it to enhance the taste of home-cooked rice or mashed potatoes.

Using a blender among other food processors does not help achieve pesto’s traditional flavor, depth, and color. Back in the day, Pesto was made using a mortar and pestle, which produced a vibrant green color and a creamy consistency. Over the years the ingredients used to make pesto haven’t changed except for the processing method. Pesto ingredients that seem to take root in every generation are garlic, olive oil, basil, pine nuts, sea salt, and Parmigiano Reggiano (Italian cheese, produced from cow’s milk).

How to make Pesto in a blender

Ingredients used

  • Fresh garlic cloves
  • Parmesan cheese (grated)
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Salt
  • Pine nuts (lightly roasted)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Parsley


  • In your blender, you will put in all the ingredients except for the olive oil
  • Pulse the ingredients until they are finely chopped
  • And as your blender grinds and mixes the ingredients, drizzle some olive oil over it until the mixture is thoroughly mixed.
  • Puree until you get a smooth paste. If the paste is too thick, you can add some more olive oil or water to make it a little light.
  • When ready taste it and if you feel like you need to enhance the taste, just add any of the ingredients, or season with salt and pepper.
  • Depending on what you want to use it with, you can either use it immediately or store it for later.

Other kitchen equipment’s that can be used to make pesto

Interesting how tradition has always caught up with us, no matter what digital technology is invented, some foods only taste good when prepared the traditional way.

Mortar and Pestle

When working with mortar and pestle for your homemade pesto, there is some order of introducing the ingredients, when compared to using a blender. As we have seen above, blending pesto ingredients only requires you to add olive oil and seasoning at the last stages, for smooth blending and to enhance the taste.

When using mortar and pestle you will start with garlic, salt will then be added to garlic to make crushing easier. The second ingredient is basil (chopped), the leaves are not the easiest to crush with a mortar so a little at a time should work the magic.

Parsley (optional) is up next, this one grinds easily, so it can go hand to hand with the basil leaves. You will then add the roasted pine nuts. Roasting pine nuts improves their flavor and makes them easy to crush into a paste. You will notice that as you add the nuts, the mixture begins to become creamy, cheese comes in next, then olive oil. For the latter, it should be added gradually until you can achieve the consistency that you want.

Making pesto with a food processor 

A food processor is the best alternative if you don’t have a blender, however, unlike the blender that pulls all the ingredients into the center producing a finer paste. The food processor throws the ingredients to the walls of the bowls. You will, therefore, begin with the garlic, pulse until fine then add nuts, followed by basil, parsley, and then cheese. Lastly, you will pour inside olive oil and seasoning as the ingredients process to your desired consistency and texture.

Can I make pesto in a nutribullet blender?

If you use your kitchen frequently then you know what will give you a fine pesto and which appliance will leave you with a coarse pesto. It all boils down to how you like your pesto, some people love it coarse, while others especially the senior’s love it fine. To achieve a fine and smooth pesto, there are two types of equipment that you will want to use, either a stone mortar and pestle or a nutribullet blender.

For the stone mortar and pestle, the results are fine, but you are going to use a lot of energy and time. For the nutribullet, you will use less than 10 minutes, and your pesto will be ready to serve. And here is the best part when using either the blender or the nutribullet, all you have to do is add all the ingredients inside and blend.

Using the nutribullet blender is even easier because all you have to do is put everything inside the blender, including the olive oil blend, and serve. Nutribullet will provide you with a smooth paste with no lumps or uncrushed nuts.

Criteria for choosing the best blender for making pesto

Should be made of glass- the advantage of using a blender made of glass is because it does not retain stain and will not be scratched when the nuts and garlic are being crushed.

Strong blades- you don’t want your blender to be rendered redundant after making pesto, so be sure to find one that has tough blades like Blendtec.

Pitcher capacity- pitcher size will determine the amount of pesto that you will make, if you want to make a lot of pesto for storage then your pitcher must have a bigger capacity so that you don’t keep repeating.


If you don’t have the common kitchen appliances then making pesto is going to be very hard, because you will have to use a mortar and a pestle. If that is the case then we recommend that you get a mortar and pestle that have been made of stone because it will crush the tough ingredients easily, especially the nuts, garlic, and basil leaves.


Can I use my coffee grinder to make pesto?

Yes, you can use your blade coffee grinder to make pesto.

What can I use instead of pine nuts when making pesto?

You can use hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, walnuts, or almonds in place of pine nuts.

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