Pesto Freezing Method





Introduction: Pesto Freezing Method

Here is a quick one on how I like to freeze pesto. The short version is that I put the fresh pesto in a decent Ziploc back, cut a corner of the bag (1/2" size hole) and squeeze like icing into ice cube trays. Freeze the trays and then transfer into freezer bags. I freeze mine with the cheese in there. when we want pesto in the middle to winter, we just pop out a couple of cubes and toss in the dish. Much easier than carving out of a large frozen block... I also do a few tricks to keep it from oxidizing while freezing etc.

I’ve also included my favorite recipe and a few gratuitous close-ups of the green goop. There is a good instructable on actually making there stuff here.

Any comments or actual hard facts on why not freeze the pureed cheese with the pesto? I always see advice on not doing that but have had bad experience with it… I suppose it may taste slightly fresher if done when thawed but I cant tell the dif…

Step 1: Make Pesto and Put in Ziplock Type Bag

Make lots of pesto at once.

I like the recipe below - simple and good. But I am going to try some of the other ingrediants that this person put up here.

The pesto recipe comes from the Produce Station in Ann Arbor. Oh how we miss Ann Arbor...

Step 2: Get Out Ice Cube Trays and Cut Bag

Remove ice. Place in your drink or give to the dog.

Line up your ice trays.

Cut a corner of the bag (not the corner where the zipper is...) with a pair of scissors - i think a 1/2 inch size hole is good. Be careful that is does not start squirting out as soon as you cut the bag...

Step 3: Squeeze It. Its Fun.

Squeeze the pesto into each cube section. Do not overfill. Better to do more batches than overfill it and have a mess on your hands.

After the trays are full, level off the pesto, cover with saran wrap and press saran wrap into the pesto. This reduces oxidation (dark green color).

Step 4: Freeze and Bag.

Freeze in the tray for a few hours. Then transfer to a freezer bag for long term storage.

Its best to get as much air out of the bag as possible. Vacuum sealing would be ideal.

Anyone have a DIY for a vacuum bagging system?

Now, when you need pesto for one, two or five, you have the chunks ready to go. I buy into the conspiracy theories that microwaving kills the good stuff in veggies so I just let them thaw slowly if I cant just throw it in with the hot food. They thaw pretty quickly anyway because of the olive oil....



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for the vacuum sealing, you can have a plastic bag. Fill it with your goods, use the jig i used here> . sandwich the bag into the jig (don't fold it like in the 'ible) then vacuum the air out. The jig is to prevent the plastic from wrinkling too much. Then it's a vacuum, you can seal it with an impulse sealer.

Mmm...great 'ible!
For those asking "why freeze?" -- not everyone has the time nor the available ingredients to make fresh pesto.
Freezing is not, I repeat...NOT a sin! (If so, then I'm a definite sinner...weeee!)
The cubes trick is great but using snack size or sandwich size bags is good too.
My husband and I freeze many things (we're so baaaaad!) and using bags that freeze flat and are stackable is the best way for us.
Either way -- freeze on!!!

You cant just put everything in the food processor at once. You gotta SLOWLY oh so slowly drizzle the olive oil in as the ingredients are being pureed.

I make my pesto in the blender. The first time, I drizzled the olive oil and it was a pain. The second time, I dumped everything in and just let it go...that worked WAY better.

the reason I buy basil (and many other healthy foods) is because I live in the city. I cannot grow anything at home.

I think your pesto is to thick, I've always seen it very thin and watery, did you buy the basil from a store? The way my mom makes it always produces a watery slurry, she uses fresh basil from our garden.

When I want to vacuum seal a plastic bag, I just seal it closed most of the way then insert a drinking straw into the bag (go in about half way) then I suck all the air out and seal the bag quickly closed that last little bit. Sometimes you may have to do this a couple of times to get all the air out, but this really works!

try using cilantro instead of basil. Also pistachios in lieu of pine nuts make for a very nice pesto. Not that pine nuts aren't great- they are.


Aaahhhhh! I understand you cannot get  basilico from Prà or Coronata, but it's not pesto without basilico.. You can try nuts instead  pine nuts, but please not pistachios.

I've used pine nuts for years, but after the scare about tainted cat food from China, I refuse to eat ANY food grown or processed in China. Nearly all pine nuts come from China. I use walnuts and can scarcely tell the difference.. I usually make a year's worth of pesto each summer, frozen it in ice cube trays I've never had a problem with freezing the olive oil or the cheese. Freshly made pesto is the best, but how are you going to keep your pesta plants fresh until next winter? Susan