I want to make a huge batch of pesto and freeze it. Should I leave out the cheese? Nuts?

Is it ok to just make the pesto with all of the ingredients and freeze it or are there ingredients that I should add after I defrost the pesto?

  • Posted by: erinbdm
  • July 15, 2013


Vivian August 8, 2019
I read that some kind of weird bacteria will form if you freeze the pesto with the garlic in it and that you should only add garlic to the unthawed pesto that you are ready to use.
Gabriella July 15, 2013
You should probably leave out the cheese it doesn't keep as well if you add it
carswell July 15, 2013
I always freeze it without cheese. I think it gives me more options when I decide to use it - for instance I combine the pesto with more olive oil to drizzle on a caprese salad where I wouldn't want the additional parmesan.
petitbleu July 15, 2013
I freeze it as-is. Some would argue that when the pesto thaws, the basil will "weep," and while this may be the case, I've found that the taste is still true after freezing and thawing. There's absolutely nothing like homemade pesto in the middle of winter to wake up your tastebuds!
smslaw July 15, 2013
The advantage of leaving out the cheese and/or nuts is that you can use it in recipes where you just want the basil flavor.
amysarah July 15, 2013
I've frozen it without cheese - as I'd always heard it was preferable - and with cheese. Honestly never noticed a difference. So I just freeze the whole shebang.
ChefJune July 15, 2013
I used to freeze the whole thing, but these days I preserve the basil and garlic in olive oil and freeze that. I like it better, think it tastes fresher, when the cheese is stirred in after the pesto is thawed. And as for the nuts -- many times I prefer Pistou -- the French version that has no nuts.
acookswords July 15, 2013
'Tis the season, isn't it. I've come to freeze it without the cheese, as cheese, even grated, tends not to freeze and thaw without a significant change in texture, and not for the better. I add the cheese as I'm tossing the pesto with hot pasta and a ladle of its cooking water.
SpaCook July 15, 2013
Agree! I always freeze with a little extra film of oil on top, as well!
SpaCook July 15, 2013
Agree! I always freeze with a little extra film of oil on top, as well!
SpaCook July 15, 2013
Agree! I always freeze with a little extra film of oil on top, as well!
Author Comment
Hey Erinbdm! Save yourself some work with no worries. The whole kit-n-caboodle can be frozen and defrosted beautifully. Enjoy fresh summer taste in the fall or winter. Have fun!
Monita July 15, 2013
You can freeze it completely made. Here's a great piece by Melissa Clark about doing just that
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