Pesto is a typical sauce from Italy, ingeniously from Liguria. Pesto sauce is primarily based on grated hard cheese such as Parmigiano, crushed basil, garlic, pine nuts, and olive oil. In this article, we’ll review the best food processor for pesto, look at pesto nutritional facts, and also we’ll give you some pesto recipes. Find also the best food processor for tahini.
The first pesto recipe dates back to ancient Roman eras, where a grated hard cheese was consumed with basil. Liguria, Italy, was one of the first regions of Europe to plant basil. No wonder most pesto recipes come from these areas where the ancient method was transformed into today’s pesto: the fine paste-like blend based on basil leaves, sometimes parsley is used, crushed garlic, roasted pine nuts, and grated hard cheese like Pecorino cheese and Parmigiano (Parmesan cheese).
The Best Mini & Small Food Processors for Making Pesto Comparison Table
|Hamilton Beach Mini 3-Cup||Amazon Price|
|Ninja 400-Watt Blender/Food Processor||Amazon Price|
|Proctor Silex Mini 1.5 Cup||Amazon Price|
|La Reveuse Electric Mini Food Processor||Amazon Price|
|EZBASICS Food Processor||Amazon Price|
|AmazonBasics 4-Cup Food Processor||Amazon Price|
|Oster Oskar 2-in-1 Salad Prep||Amazon Price|
|Cuisinart DLC-2ABC Mini Prep Plus||Amazon Price|
|KitchenAid KFC3516WH 3.5 Cup||Amazon Price|
|Cuisinart DLC-2APK Mini-Prep Plus||Amazon Price|
10 Best Food Processors for Making Pesto
Hamilton Beach Mini 3-Cup Food Processor for Pesto
If you want to be making your own pesto at home, the Hamilton Beach Mini 3-Cup Food Processor & Vegetable Chopper is one of the best mini food processor for making pesto, hummus, coleslaw, salsa and much more that you can get at an affordable price.
The unit comes with a patented stack & press design, making it easy for the user to assemble and operate. With a 3 cup work bowl capacity, this best mini food processor and chopper is ideal for everyday use. It comes with a durable stainless steel blade for use to prepare different types of foodstuffs. Also, it has a powerful 350-watt motor. It is easy to clean this unit as the bow, lid and removable blades are all dishwasher-safe, making clean up after use a breeze.
Ninja 400-Watt Blender/Food Processor for Pesto Making
With thousands of positive reviews from its users, the Ninja 400-Watt Blender/Food Processor is one of the best food processor blender combo that flaunts exquisite design and impressive performance. It is designed to handle frozen blending and chopping various ingredients with just one touch pulsing.
Some of the great features of this machine include: a powerful 400-watt motor, non-slip base, easy flip pour spout, 2 cup capacity work bowl, pitcher splash guard, 48-ounce pitcher, and chopping blade.
Proctor Silex Durable Mini 1.5 Cup Food Processor & Vegetable Chopper
Priced under $20 and with a 1.5 cup capacity, the Proctor Silex Durable Mini 1.5 Cup Food Processor & Vegetable Chopper is another best mini food processor for pesto that will definitely make a great addition to any kitchen countertop. Use it to puree baby food, chop onions and garlic, crush nuts, make salsa, and more.
It comes with robust and durable stainless steel blades that can efficiently chop all kinds of cooking ingredients. Additionally, you can puree, emulsify, and chop to the right consistency, thanks to the simple pulse control speed control that comes with this unit.
With a compact space-saving design and dishwasher-safe parts, including the lid, bowl, and removable blades, this best food processor for pesto, hummus, nut butter, and other foods will make your food prep tasks easier and quicker, saving you time and energy to do other jobs.
La Reveuse Electric Mini Food Processor for Pesto
The La Reveuse Electric Mini Food Processor is an elegant and functional kitchen appliance that you can use to prepare a wide range of ingredients that comes with a 2-cup plastic work bowl.
As one of the best small food processor for pesto, the La Reveuse Electric Mini Food Processor is easy to assemble, use, and clean. With single touch pulse control settings and stay-sharp stainless blade, chop, grind, shred, puree, slice, and mince food quickly like a pro with this exceptional food processor.
The unit features an in-built oil dispenser that allows the user to add liquids to the working bowl when in operation, and a spatula is also included in the package.
This best food processor for pesto does not lack on safety features. It comes with a safe-locking lid that ensures that the operation does not start until the lid is securely locked.
After use, toss the bowl, lid, and removable blades into the dishwasher for convenient cleaning.
EZBASICS Food Processor, Electric Food Chopper
From EZBASICS, we have this exquisite and multi-purpose food process suitable for everyday use in your kitchen. The unit is extremely easy to set up and use. With 2 speed settings and a powerful 260-Watt motor, the EZBASICS Food Processor is designed to handle hard and soft ingredients with precision and accuracy with just a press of a button. The sharp S-shaped blades efficiently and quickly chops to give you the desired results in seconds.
All the removable attachment parts, including the lid, chopping blades, and work bowl are dishwasher-safe, making clean up a breeze.
AmazonBasics 4-Cup Food Processor
The AmazonBasics 4-Cup Food Processor is another great choice if you are looking for the best small food processor for pesto making at home. With a 4 cup capacity work bowl that allows you to prepare pesto ingredients without a hassle, this unit is designed for shredding, chopping, grinding and more, thanks to the interchangeable discs and blades as well as a powerful 450-watt motor that comes with this machine.
For improved stability when processing ingredients, the unit comes with non-skidding suction feet that ensure that the processor does not fall from the countertop. The digital button controls allow you to move from hard to fine with just a press of a button. When it comes to safety features, this mini food processor comes with an interlocking bowl and lid that prevents spillage while ensuring user safety.
A one-year AmazonBasic limited warranty against manufacturing defects is also included.
Oster Oskar 2-in-1 Salad Prep & Food Processor Pesto
People searching for a reasonably priced and versatile food chopper that can make homemade pesto, salsa, coleslaw, nut butter, and more will find this unit useful. With a compact design, this attractive machine is one of the best small food processor for pesto that you can buy at an affordable price.
It comes with a powerful 400-watt motor that can handle a variety of foodstuff easily and quickly. Additionally, this food processor is constructed from BPA-free and toxic materials for public health safety. The detachable parts are dishwasher safe.
Cuisinart DLC-2ABC Mini Prep Plus Food Processor Brushed Chrome and Nickel
Cuisinart is a renowned kitchen appliance brand that boasts of high-quality products and outstanding craftsmanship. The Cuisinart DLC-2ABC Mini Prep Plus Food Processor is one of their best appliances with a 250-watt motor with a 3-cup capacity plastic work bowl.
With the patented reversible stainless steel blades, and simple push-button control panel, you can chop, slice, and grind any type of food you can think of with this machine.
Furthermore, the Cuisinart DLC-2ABC Mini Prep Plus Food Processor is lightweight yet very robust and measures 5.00 x 7.00 x 9.25 inches and weighs 13.40 lb when fully assembled, saving more countertop and storage space.
KitchenAid KFC3516WH 3.5 Cup Food Chopper
KitchenAid is another popular company and brand in the world of small kitchen appliances. The company is dedicated to manufacturing top-notch products that are praised by thousands of consumers globally. The KitchenAid KFC3516WH 3.5 Cup Food Chopper is one of the best small food processor for making pesto, hummus, salsa, shredding cabbage, and much more that is elegant and good looking. The sleek design can perfectly fit any kitchen setting and décor and is available in 17 different colors.
The machine is also is to assemble and operate with simple one-touch buttons. The 3.5 cup capacity working bowl is designed with BPA-free and nontoxic material with a pour spout, handle and locking blade for easy operation.
The KitchenAid KFC3516WH 3.5 Cup Food Chopper is compact and lightweight, making it one of the best mini food processor for pesto that you can buy at an affordable price. All removable parts are dishwasher-safe.
Cuisinart DLC-2APK Mini-Prep Plus Food Processor
Another best Cuisinart food processor for pesto that is a great choice for people who love homemade food is the Cuisinart DLC-2APK Mini-Prep Plus Food Processor. It comes with a 250-watt motor, an auto reversible smartPower blade that allows two powerful processing options, a durable stainless steel blade with blunt and sharp edges, a recipe/instruction book, and a spatula. For easy and convenient clean-up after use, all detachable parts are dishwasher-safe, making washing a snap.
Pesto Nutrition Facts
Commercial pesto usually is available in stores either in its red form (with sun-dried tomatoes or red bell peppers) or in green form (pesto alla genovese). It has around 430 calories per 100 grams. Pine nuts have the highest protein concentrations. They contain not less than 31 grams per 100 grams. Moreover, they feature a high concentration of monounsaturated fat, just as olive oil, adding to its list of advantages, and also a great deal of anti-oxidative elements.
Cooking with Pesto – Pesto Dishes and Recipes
For Italians, pesto means, a sauce they serve with any type of pasta. But, pesto can be made and served with other types of dishes, too—even shrimp recipes. The results were terrific.
Besides pepper and salt to taste, some other ingredients for a real pesto sauce are worth serving as the delicacy pesto can be.
Fresh Basil Leaves
Fresh basil leaves are the traditional foundation of green Pesto sauce, originally from Genoa, Liguria in North Italy. Basil is what gives the Genovese Pesto its green color and typical flavor. Some variations and recipes might substitute basil with parsley, either wholly or partly.
When cleaning the basil leaves, be careful not to break them, as they might lose their flavor. Use very slow running water or a wet towel to wash.
Fresh garlic also adds to the typical pesto flavor, whether it is the red one or the green one. Garlic is mostly used in Mediterranean cuisines. Garlic features many strong benefits for our health. It is commonly used as a home remedy for light colds and natural antibiotic. When preparing pesto, we appreciate garlic for its flavor.
Always choose fresh garlic instead of garlic powder for a much better result. Before crushing the garlic with mortar and pestle, mince it. If you use the best food processor for pesto preparation, this step is optional.
Olive Oil – Extra Virgin
The best choice for pesto is undoubtedly olive oil. Olive oil is not only very healthy –prevents cardiac diseases and lowering the cholesterol level – but also widely treasured for its strong and typical flavor. As we are looking for a superior taste for our pesto, it’s advisable to get Extra virgin olive oil. Pine nuts, peeled and ready to be used for your pesto sauce
Pine Nuts and Why to Choose Them (Mostly)
Pine nuts, or Pinoli, are an essential ingredient for many recipes in Mediterranean cuisines. Pine nuts play a key role in adding a special flavor to your pesto. Furthermore, there are many good reasons to vary your pesto taste and, thus, use other nuts such as walnut, peanut or hazelnut. Even a tropical flavor, as to be achieved with the Brazil nut, might be desirable – if we choose to.
Sun-dried tomatoes are used for pesto rosso, the red tomato pesto stemming from Sicily. They are chosen for their very intensive flavor, while their nutritional value is preserved. Pesto rosso depends on this feature of sun-dried tomatoes.
Easy Pesto Recipes for Dinner, Lunch
Pesto Chicken Recipe
- 1 whole chicken (about some 4 ½ lbs)
- 4 ½ lbs potatoes
- 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon of Rosemary
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Paprika powder
- For the sauce you will need:
- 1-2 garlic cloves
- salt and pepper to taste
- a cup of fresh basil
- 3 tablespoons of grated parmesan
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of pine nuts
- First, while boiling the potatoes (add the lemon to the potatoes while boiling – this will add a fresh flavor), begin preparing the chicken. Clean it and ensure that it is ready for getting stuffed. Slather it with olive oil. Season the chicken with some salt and pepper, (sweet) paprika powder, and a little bit of nutmeg. Also season the chicken with rosemary. Do this also from the inside.
- Wait until the potatoes are ready. They should not be overdone – try it from time to time with a fork. If the fork enters easily, but the potatoes still stick rather than breaking apart, they are ready for our purpose. Now drain them, take the lemon and put it into the chicken.
- Now bake the chicken for about 20 – 30 minutes in the preheated oven at some 400 degrees F (about 200 degrees Celsius), then add the potatoes let them bake with the chicken for another 20 – 30 minutes. Check now and then, and if it is the case, add half a cup of water into the casserole so that the chicken and the potatoes will not dry too much.
- Meanwhile, you can prepare the pesto sauce. Crush the basil leaves using a mortar and pestle (you might also use a blender), add step by step the crushed garlic, pine nuts, salt, and pepper to taste.
- Give the paste into a bowl, add the olive oil and parmesan (another grated hard cheese might do it) and continue to mix until the sauce is getting creamy.
- After the chicken is baked, put the pesto on it and serve it with potatoes, green salad with lemon juice.
Pesto Pasta Recipe
For the following Pesto Pasta recipe you can use all kind of pasta, such as penne, linguini, fusilli, fettuccine, tagliatelle or farfalle, and spaghetti. Just feel free to choose your favorite.
The following ingredients are for four persons:
- 1 lbs of pasta
- 30 fresh basil blades
- 1 tablespoon of grated parmesan
- ½ tablespoon of pine nuts
- 1 tablespoon of grated pecorino cheese
- sea salt
- 2 garlic cloves
- 10 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil
- Use a food processor for pesto to crush the sea salt, the garlic and the basil leaves after cleaning them gently with a wet sponge. Next, slowly add the olive oil and also add the parmesan and pecorino to your pesto.
- Meanwhile, you can boil the pasta in salted water, according to the instructions on the package. No other special treatment is needed. After the pasta is ready (aldente is best) drain it, but keep a little bit of the pasta water.
- Spice your pasta with the pesto sauce and serve it warm. Use small amounts of the pasta water to control the concentration of the pesto flavor.
- The pesto sauce could also be prepared in a blender where you mix all the ingredients.
- Prepare the pesto at least one hour before the pasta. Thus, the flavor can unfold better. You could also prepare a larger quantity of pesto sauce and keep it in the fridge up to one week or in the freezer for a longer period.
Pine Nut Pesto Recipe
Though several kinds of nuts or even almonds may be used for pesto, pine nut is still the most classic ingredient for every pesto sauce. In Italian stores, you find pine nuts under the name pinoli (that’s the word Italians use). It will contribute significantly to the flavor of your pesto.
- 2 hands of basil leaves
- 1-2 tablespoons of pine nuts
- 1 tablespoon of grated parmesan cheese (pecorino cheese if you find)
- 4 small garlic cloves (you can use 2 big ones)
- Olive oil
- Salt to taste
- The original recipe says that the pesto has to be prepared into a mortar, but we may use the best food processor for pesto in the modern world. Use a vertical one if you chose this method.
- Wipe the basil leaves gently with a wet towel. If you wash the basil leaves without the case, you might risk them losing some of their flavor. If you are not into basil, you can use half parsley and half basil.
- So, put the basil, garlic, pine nuts, and salt into the food processor and mix it well. Add the grated Parmesan; add olive oil step by step like you would prepare a mayonnaise until you obtain a substantial paste.
When you have guests, you can use pesto for Crostini (Italian for small toasts). You can add two can of sardines fillet and mix it with the pesto. Toast some bread and put on each slice some pesto with sardines.
Pesto Salmon Recipe
To combine salmon and pesto you should have also a third ingredient: rice. Our Pesto salmon recipe is a delicious dish, yet easy to cook.
- 2 lbs salmon fillets cut into small pieces
- 1/3 cup of pesto sauce (look here for a good pesto recipe)
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 2 onions, cut into fine pieces
- 1 cup of rice
- ½ oz of fish soup
- 2/3 glass of dry white wine
- In a bigger pan, melt the butter at medium heat, roast the onion until it turns transparent. Now add the rice and stir it until it turns white. Now add the fish soup and the wine and let it boil at low heat, stirring occasionally.
- Cover the pan with a lid and let it on the fire for 15 minutes, without mixing the rice too often. In a bowl, mix the salmon pieces with pesto sauce. Later, add the salmon to the rice, and let it another 20 minutes at low heat until the rice is well soaked and absorbed all the liquids. The salmon is ready if you literally can cut it with a fork.
- Serve it with a glass of Italian white wine.
Eggplant and Tomato Pesto Dip Recipe
Although red pesto (pesto rosso, made in Sicily) is not that famous as the green pesto, the red pesto is also delicious (some even strictly prefer it). Have patience when you start preparing it because you will need all your muscles for this variation.
- 4-5 dried tomatoes, minced (you can use dry tomatoes kept in oil, which you can buy at the stores)
- 3.5 oz of pine nuts (can be bought from Arabic or Mediterranean)
- 1 cup of fresh basil leaves
- 1 cup of fresh mint leaves
- 2-3 crushed garlic cloves
- 3 tablespoon of grated Parmesan (don’t use grated Parmesan from the supermarket, buy original Italian Parmesan and grate it yourself)
- 4 oz of olive oil
- ½ teaspoon rosemary
- 2-3 tablespoons of tomato puree
- 1 tablespoon of spicy sauce (I’ve used Sriracha, but you can use also Tabasco or chili garlic)
- 2 medium-size eggplants
- Salt, pepper
- Cut the eggplants in thick slices (about 6 slices/eggplant) and put them into a big bowl with salted water. Let them stay there for around 20 minutes. Cover them with a lid or a plate.
- After 20 minutes, take them out of the water, wash them with cold water, and dry them with paper towels. After that, fry them in olive oil, for some 3-4 minutes on each side and then put them on the baking tray. Season with rosemary and garlic and bake them in the oven for 20 minutes. Afterwards, take them out and let them cool off.
- Later, give them into the blender or best food processor for pesto making, add the mint and basil leaves, Parmesan, pine nuts, the dried tomatoes, later the mashed tomatoes and the spicy sauce. Mix all the ingredients for 2-3 minutes, season with salt and pepper.
You can use this dip not only with pasta, but also with bread.
Pesto with Walnuts Recipe
When you prepare homemade pesto there are always two ingredients that can be replaced. One is the basil, which can be (at least partly) replaced with parsley and the other are the pine nuts which can be replaced with other nuts, often walnuts. This is a pesto recipe with parsley and walnuts,whereas pine nuts would be classic.
- 1 cup of parsley
- 3,5 oz of rusted walnuts
- 3 tablespoons of Parmesan
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
- 7 oz of olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1-2 garlic cloves, to taste
- Give the parsley into a blender (or use mortar and pestle if you like to) and add the walnuts, Parmesan, and lemon juice. Add garlic. Now use best food processor for making pesto to process them until you get a paste. Add the olive oil, salt and pepper, and the pesto is ready.
You can replace the walnuts with any other kind of nut you like to. Almonds are a popular choice. Hazelnut will add a more woody flavor, while the Brazil nut or even coconut might get some tropical flavor into your pesto. Use the best small food processor for pesto listed in this article.