Mint basil pesto is bursting with fresh flavor from herbs and toasted pine nuts. It’s a delicious way to use herbs from your garden. Plus, you can use this recipe in so many dishes and freeze the rest for later!
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Growing a backyard vegetable garden comes with its ups and downs. Some years, I grow enough tomatoes to feed South Minneapolis. Other years, I get way less than I intended.
But there is one group of plants that consistently performs well: herbs! I always have a plethora of them, and I usually end up drying them or making frozen herb cubes at the end of the season. Herbs are one of the easiest things to grow, and they’re always what I recommend for readers who are just starting a vegetable garden to try.
A couple of weeks ago, I posted an Instagram story about making my first garden basil pesto of the season. I then used this pesto on grilled pizza (OMG…yum). Some readers sent me a message asking for a pesto recipe on the blog!
So here we are. I whipped up this Mint Basil Pesto to share with all of you. It happens to be one of my favorite variations of pesto, and I had SO much of both of these herbs growing in the garden. It was time to cut them back and reap the fruits (herbs?) of my labor.
How do you make basil pesto with mint?
Instead of using just basil, like most traditional pesto recipes, substitute half of the herbs with mint. First, toast the pine nuts until fragrant. Pulse them in a food processor or high-powered blender, then add the lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, basil, mint, and cheese (optional). Slowly drizzle the olive oil into the mixture, and pulse until smooth.
Expert Tips and FAQ
- Variations: Use all basil instead of basil and mint or replace the mint with arugula, spinach, cilantro, or parsley. Sub walnuts, cashews, or pecans for the pine nuts.
- Vegan: Omit the parmesan cheese.
- Nut Allergy: Use sunflower seeds or pepitas in place of pine nuts.
- Storage and Freezing: Store mint basil pesto in airtight jars or containers in the fridge for at least a week. Or place in freezer-safe airtight containers and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before using or add straight to cooked recipes. You can also freeze individual portions of pesto in an ice cube tray. Once frozen, pop them out and store in a labeled bag. I adore my silicone ice cube tray for this task!
- Equipment: You can use a food processor or a high-powered blender like a Vitamix to make mint basil pesto. I usually prefer my Vitamix.
Do you wash basil before making pesto?
Yes, it’s best to rinse basil and other herbs before using them in pesto to remove any dirt. However, be sure to dry the herbs after rinsing so that you don’t add water to the pesto. You can pat the herbs dry in between two towels or let them air dry.
Mint Basil Pesto Uses
Pesto is a delicious addition to pasta, pizza, sandwiches, toast, eggs, roasted veggies, potatoes, and soups. You can even use it in quesadillas, like I did in my Spinach Basil Pesto Quesadillas.
More Herb Recipes
If you love this mint basil pesto, I have so many other recipes that use fresh herbs for you! Check out the Cilantro Chimichurri Sauce (and the grilled sweet corn recipe that uses it!), the Healthy Creamy Jalapeno Sauce, and the Strawberry Basil Lemonade.
I’d love to hear how you like this recipe! Rate/review using the stars on the recipe card or in the comments, and follow the Veg World on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Looking for something totally different? Browse the recipe library.
Mint Basil Pesto
- Food processor or high-powered blender
- In a food processor or high-powered blender, pulse the toasted pine nuts until finely chopped. Add the herbs, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and cheese if using. Pulse until the herbs are finely chopped.
- Slowly drizzle the olive oil into the food processor or blender via the hole in the top while pulsing/blending until smooth. Add more or less olive oil as needed for desired texture. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
- Enjoy your pesto, then come back and leave a rating or review!
- Herb Variations: Use 2 cups basil instead of a mix or replace the 1 cup mint with arugula, spinach, cilantro, or parsley.
- Nut Variation: Sub walnuts, cashews, or pecans.
- Vegan: Omit the cheese.
- Nut Free: Use sunflower seeds or pepitas instead of pine nuts.
- Storage: Store in airtight jars or containers in the fridge for at least a week.
- Freezing: Store in airtight containers and freeze for up to 3 months. Or freeze individual portions of pesto in an ice cube tray. Remove pesto from the tray once frozen and store the frozen cubes in a labeled bag.
Happy herb season! – Lizzie