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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?

asked by erinbdm over 3 years ago
13 answers 2048 views
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Monita

Monita is a Recipe Tester for Food52

added over 3 years ago

You can freeze it completely made. Here's a great piece by Melissa Clark about doing just that
http://www.melissaclark...

Wholefoods user icon
added over 3 years ago

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!

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added over 3 years ago

Agree! I always freeze with a little extra film of oil on top, as well!

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added over 3 years ago

Agree! I always freeze with a little extra film of oil on top, as well!

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added over 3 years ago

Agree! I always freeze with a little extra film of oil on top, as well!

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added over 3 years ago

'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.

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ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 3 years ago

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.

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Trena Heinrich

Trena is a trusted source on general cooking.

added over 3 years ago

ChefJune - what ratios do you suggest for the basil, garlic, and olive oil?

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amysarah

amysarah is a trusted home cook.

added over 3 years ago

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.

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added over 3 years ago

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.

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added over 3 years ago

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!

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added over 3 years ago

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.

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added over 3 years ago

You should probably leave out the cheese it doesn't keep as well if you add it