Basil Mint Pesto

Transform your classic pesto with sweet, cooling mint mixed together with aromatic basil and a hint of punchy garlic and citrusy lemon. Bright, refreshing and complex of flavours, this basil mint pesto will not disappoint!

Adding basil mint pesto into slices of tomates on toast

Why You’ll Love Our Basil Mint Pesto 

There’s an undeniable allure to a nutty, herbaceous pesto. This classic Italian sauce, renowned for its vibrant, refreshing, and delectable flavours, has the remarkable ability to transform even the simplest of dishes.

So what if we take a step further and elevate the classic basil pesto to another level of freshness and flavour?

Our recipe for basil mint pesto combines two fresh summer herbs, resulting in a vivid, invigorating sauce that can be used on anything! 

The complementary blend of basil and mint is simply divine. Much like our basil and mint vinaigrette, the cooling mint harmoniously blends with aromatic basil.

Plus it only takes 10 minutes to whip up a fabulous sauce that can be stored in the fridge or frozen to make meal prep that much easier. 

What Is Pesto?

Originated in Genoa, a city located in northern Italy, the five main ingredients in a pesto sauce are basil leaves, crushed garlic, pine nuts, hard cheese like Parmigiano-Reggiano and olive oil.

As pesto has evolved over time, numerous recipes with diverse ingredients have emerged. You have the freedom to add your own unique twists, just as we did with our basil and mint pesto. 

Basil is often swapped with leafy greens such as kale, spinach or arugula. Or you can even try a tangy marinated red pepper pesto as a dip. 

Pine nuts can be substituted with walnuts, pecans, cashews or even sunflower seeds for a nut free option. And there are vegan alternatives that leave out the hard cheese and replace it with nutritional yeast or even miso paste.

Can I Use A Food Processor To Make Pesto?

Pesto is traditionally prepared using a knife to finely chop or with a mortar and pestle to cream the ingredients together. 

As much as we like to do that, most days, we would make our pesto with a food processor like Cuisinart multifunctional processor or Nutribullet blender for a quicker yet delicious outcome. 

What Can I Use Pesto For?

Pesto is a versatile sauce to have in the fridge. Freshly made pesto can store for up to at least one week or more. 

Traditionally, pesto is used most commonly for pasta. It makes a great midweek easy meal. You can also toss it together with warm potatoes for your own new style potato salad or bring a pasta salad to potluck gatherings. 

Try our basil mint pesto recipe as a base for toasted sandwiches, serve with grilled meats, or drizzle over fish to entertain friends. 

Whatever your choices, our basil mint pesto tastes and feels very much like summer has arrived. 

Ingredients

Ingredients you’ll need to make this basil mint pesto:

Individually labelled ingredients for basil mint pesto

Basil: Sweet, aromatic basil leaves. The king of all herbs.

Mint: Nothing quite beats fresh mint leaves to add some spearmint undertones throughout the pesto.

Pine nuts: A pesto staple, you can find these easily in your supermarket.

Parmesan: Get yourself a good block of fresh parmesan. Don’t rely on dried versions in powder form or even the shaved, packed versions. The freshly grated parmesan is an integral ingredient in this pesto, so fresh cheese is best.

Garlic: Can’t go past some pungent garlic to enhance the flavours of the basil mint pesto.

Extra virgin olive oil: Use your favourite extra virgin olive oil. Make sure it’s of a good quality as it will make a difference to the pesto and its taste.

Lemon: For this recipe, we need both the juice of the lemon and the zest for fresh citrusy goodness.

Variations and Substitutions

Herbs variation: This is a recipe for basil and mint pesto, but you can easily vary the herbs in a pesto to craft your own creation. Replace mint with parsley, coriander (cilantro), rocket (arugula) or spinach for a vibrant green pesto recipe. 

Substitute for pine nuts: Classic pesto calls for pine nuts but we understand there are more economical ingredients. Substitute pine nuts with walnuts, cashews or pecans like our pecan pesto

Vegan option: Omit the parmesan cheese in the recipe.

Nut free option: Use pepitas or sunflower seeds instead of pine nuts.

Instructions

Step by step instructions for how to make basil mint pesto:

Remove basil from the stem to yield 1 ½ cups. Repeat with mint to yield ½ cup.

Wash basil and mint leaves. Shake dry. 

Add basil, mint, pine nuts, grated parmesan and garlic to a food processor or hand blender. Pulse several times.

Ingredients for basil mint pesto in a food processor

While the food processor is running, slowly add the extra virgin olive oil in a steady stream. Blend until a smooth mixture. By gradually adding the oil, you create an emulsion with the ingredients and are less likely to separate later.

Blending basil mint pesto in a food processor

Remove the lid and add lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Pulse a couple more times. 

Adding lemon zest to basil and mint pesto in a food processor

Taste and adjust flavours as required. If you find it a bit gluggy, add a little more extra virgin olive oil. 

A gold spoon lifting basil mint pesto from a food processor

How to Make This Dressing Perfectly [Expert Tips]

Dry basil and mint leaves: After washing basil and mint, be sure to dry the herbs so you don’t add water to the pesto. We like to pat ours dry with paper towels.

Adjust the oil ratio: Check the consistency of the mint basil pesto and adjust to your preference as you gradually add the oil to the sauce. If you are using it more like a dressing, add some more extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice at the end to thin it out. 

How to Store

Store basil mint pesto in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Add a layer of olive oil on top of the pesto to reduce oxidation.

For longer storage, divide pesto into smaller portions using ice cube trays or smaller containers and freeze. It can be stored in freezer for up to 3 months. 

Best Salad for This Dressing

Charred Truss Tomato Salad with Stracciatella

Classic pairings of truss tomato with Stracciatella di Buffalo mingled with a deliciously fresh basil and mint pesto. Stunning to serve and easy to make. Pretty good, hey?

Charred Truss Tomato Salad with Stracciatella on a grey plate

More Salad Dressing Recipes

Hand holding a bowl of basil mint pesto hovering over sliced tomatoes and burrata

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Gold spoon lifting a serve of basil mint pesto from a bowl
Print Recipe
4.97 from 51 votes

Basil Mint Pesto

Transform your classic pesto with sweet, cooling mint mixed together with aromatic basil and a hint of punchy garlic and citrusy lemon. Bright, refreshing and complex of flavours, this basil mint pesto will not disappoint!
Prep Time10 minutes
Total Time10 minutes
Course: Salad Dressing
Cuisine: International
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Dietary: Egg Free, Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 374kcal
Author: Sammy Eng

Ingredients

Click on the toggle below for conversion to US Cooking Units.

Instructions

  • Remove basil from the stem to yield 1 ½ cups. Repeat with mint to yield ½ cup.
  • Wash basil and mint leaves. Shake dry.
  • Add basil and mint leaves and pine nuts to a food processor or hand blender. Pulse several times.
  • Add grated parmesan cheese and garlic to the mixture, scrape down the sides and continue to blend for approximately 1 minute.
  • While the food processor is running, slowly add the extra virgin olive oil in a steady stream. Blend until a smooth mixture. By gradually adding the oil, you create an emulsion with the ingredients and less likely to separate later.
  • Remove the lid and add lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Pulse a couple more times.
  • Taste and adjust flavours as required. If you find it a bit gluggy, add a little more extra virgin olive oil.

Notes

  • Substitute pine nuts with walnuts, cashews or pecans
  • Omit the parmesan cheese for a vegan option
  • Use pepitas or sunflower seeds instead of pine nuts for any nut allergies.
  • After washing the basil and mint, be sure to dry the herbs so you don’t add water to the pesto. 
  • Check the consistency of the basil mint pesto and adjust it to your preference as you gradually add the oil to the sauce.
  • If you are using it more like a dressing, add some more extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice at the end to thin it out.

Nutrition

Calories: 374kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 204mg | Potassium: 137mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 811IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 180mg | Iron: 1mg

*Disclaimer: Nutritional information provided is an estimate only and generated by an online calculator.

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