Low Calorie Basil Pesto

basil pesto recipe

This Low Calorie Basil Pesto is just 24 calories! It’s low fat and healthy, and so easy you’ll want to make it all the time!

low calorie basil pesto recipe

Ingredients You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon freshly shredded parmesan cheese

Low Calorie Basil Pesto

low calorie basil pesto recipe

Healthy Pesto Meal Prep and Storage

  • Meal Prep – Make the pesto according to the directions below, add to a jar and seal.
  • Fridge Storage – Will hold for 1 week in the fridge. The basil will darken and oxidize, you can minimize this by adding 1 teaspoon lemon juice.
  • Freezer Storage – You can add the prepared pesto to ice cube molds and freeze. Then pop out and add to a freezer bag for storage. Will hold for 1 month in the freezer.
low calorie basil pesto recipe

Low Calorie Basil Pesto

basil pesto recipe

Low Calorie Basil Pesto

Lose Weight By Eating
This low calorie basil pesto recipe tastes just like the full fat version!
I cut 100's of calories with a few modifications, and without any weird ingredients… just basil, garlic, pine nuts, parmesan, and olive oil.
4.91 from 10 votes
Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 3 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8 servings
Calories 24 kcal


  • food processor or blender


  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon freshly shredded parmesan cheese


  • Add the basil, olive oil, pine nuts, garlic, parmesan to a food processor or blender.
  • Blend until you reach desired consistency adding 1 teaspoon of water at a time to thin if needed.


3 Ways to Serve Healthy Pesto:

  1. Use Pesto as a Marinade – Make pesto chicken and marinade chicken breasts in pesto sauce before baking or adding to the Instant pot.
  2. Use Pesto on Pasta – After draining pasta, add to a bowl and top with skinny pesto. Toss together and top pesto pasta with rough chopped basil and parmesan cheese.
  3. Make Pesto Salad – Chop summer veggies like tomatoes, cucumbers and avocado into bite sized chunks. Toss in the low calorie pesto recipe.


Serving: 1tablespoonCalories: 24kcalCarbohydrates: 0.4gProtein: 1.1gFat: 2.2gSaturated Fat: 0.5gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 16mgPotassium: 9mgFiber: 0.1gSugar: 0gCalcium: 21mgIron: 0mg
Keyword Main Course, sauce
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

About the Author

Hi, my name is Audrey Johns and I am a 4 time best selling cookbook author! All 4 of my low calorie cookbooks are published by HarperCollins (the oldest publishing house in the US!) and have been featured on prominent TV shows like The Today Show, Rachael Ray and The Doctors. I am a low calorie and healthy recipe authority and my delicious recipes are tried and loved by thousands of readers. 

After a one year 150 pound weight loss (and I’ve kept it off for 13 years!) I started sharing all of my low calorie recipes with the world. They are always all-natural and geared around weight loss and weight management. I have even made some of these recipes with my Biggest Loser pal Bob Harper! Check out my weight loss story, my best selling cookbooks, and my numerous TV appearances by clicking here.

Nutrition and Calories in Pesto

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Low Calorie Basil Pesto Recipe

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