Jalapeno Basil Pesto Recipe

Fresh Basil Pesto is a wonderful thing to have around all year long but unfortunately, basil is a seasonal plant. So when the weather is turning cold and demise of your basil plant is inevitable, put the basil leaves to good use and make this Jalapeno Basil Pesto recipe. Make a big batch of this “pesto with a twist” to use now and freeze the rest for later.

Basic Proportions: (feel free to double, triple, quadruple, …. )

Fresh Basil Leaves – 1 cup packed
Olive Oil – 1 tsp
Garlic – 2 large cloves
Jalapeno Pepper – 1 or to taste, roughly chopped
Walnuts – 1/4 cup
Parmesan Cheese – 1/4 cup
Olive Oil – 1/4 cup plus additional as needed for serving
Salt – to taste
Black Pepper – to taste
Lemon Juice – to taste


1. Remove Basil Leaves from the stems and wash well. Place them on a paper towel or clean kitchen towel, cover with another towel and dab dry.
2. Heat 1 tsp Olive Oil in a skillet and quickly saute Garlic and Jalapeno on high heat. Remove into another plate to cool when Garlic turns light brown and Jalapeno skin starts to blister.
3. In a food processor, add Walnuts and pulse lightly.
4. Add cooled Jalapeno and Garlic and pulse lightly.
5. Add Basil Leaves and pulse until roughly chopped.
6. Add Olive Oil slowly while continuing to pulse.
7. Add Parmesan Cheese and process for about 15 seconds until mixture is smooth but still has a little texture.
8. Remove into a bowl and add Salt, Black Pepper and Lemon Juice to taste.
9. To serve as a dip with bread cubes, place a small amount of pesto in a plate, drizzle Olive Oil over the top and sprinkle some fresh ground black pepper.

1. Pesto will remain fresh for 3-4 days in the fridge and up to 4 months in the freezer.
2. To keep your pesto green, when you put your pesto in a jar to refrigerate, always make? sure you have at least 1/2 inch of olive oil on top. When you remove a table spoon for cooking, just always make sure there is 1/2 inch of olive oil on top.
3. Also try mixing your cheese last. The food processor changes the taste of the Parmesan cheese so add it after your pesto is mixed.

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0 thoughts on “Jalapeno Basil Pesto Recipe

  1. Hi…My Husband won’t like olive oil…can u suggest any other substitute for it……it will be very helpful for me…..ill be thankful for u guys…i wanna make pesto from many days……finally i’m gonna make if get any alternate for oil oil………Thank you….u guys Rock!!!!!

    1. If you don’t like the flavor of olive oil, you can try vegetable oil. It is pretty lite and works great for dressings, etc.

  2. hello ladies,
    I din’t have access to the garden-fresh basil you had. So I bought a tray of basil from the local supermarket. That came upto 1/2 cup packed. I used 1tbsp walnuts, 1/2 de-seeded jalepeno(since i am a mild eater), 1 tsp parmesan cheese,all other ingredients as usual. I also skipped pepper.
    The outcome- Awesome!!! i served it with sour dough bread and italian bread. My hubby praised me for this recipe. thank you!

  3. Hi Hetal,
    I wann to ask u why are you guys not posting frequently ur recipes……….We feel very bad bcoz iam a very big follower of ur videos………..ur recipes are really great.


  4. The basil that has been used here is the wild silver basil, it is another version of our Holy Tulsi.You can use it for sandwiches by putting the whole leaves,good for your health.

  5. Is there an alternative for cheese
    I do not like cheese and if there is no alternative can I skip it?
    Thanks in advance,
    P.S. Hetal you look nice the color of your shirt suits you and for those who are wondering tulsi and basil are not the same!

  6. Girls: This recipe is looking so yummy! I am going to get some basil from the produce market right away! thanks and keep it up!

    1. Hi za,

      We used Italian sweet basil. It is from the same family as tulsi or holy basil but the flavor is more mild and the leaves are much bigger.

  7. Just a suggestion, could u please try to create SMTC mobile app with recipes and videos? Would love to buy that app. Fantastic job Anuja and hetal!! Thx 🙂

  8. Hi, delicious recipe… Thanks for sharing Hetal and Anuja. Are basil and Tulsi the same? I live in India, so can I make this pesto using Tulsi or is it different as ‘Thai basil’ as sold in the U.S? Thanks in advance 🙂 Keep up the good work. Love your website!

    1. There are various basils available. I do not think the holy Basil plant is the one being used in this recipe. This basil is also very different flavored than Thai Basil. Thai Basil is more lemony tasting to me. While regular (Italian) Basil is stronger flavored and mity tasting to me. Although I am not completely sure how pesto will taste using Thai Basil, but I am thinking it maybe interesting to find out:)

      1. i have made pesto with thai basil and it came out delicious! but it tastes slightly different from italian basil pesto… but both are delicious!

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