Basil is a leafy green herb we all know and love.
Not only does it smell fresh and go great with a simple mozzarella and tomato salad, it is also the main ingredient in pesto.
Fresh, salty, and loaded with healthy fats, pesto is literally one of the best (in terms of taste and nutrition) low-carb sauces or marinades you can make.
It's made entirely with fresh ingredients, and there are no "culprits" in it that make the carb count go through the roof.
After all, this pesto recipe only has 1.5g of net carbs in it per serving.
The two ingredients besides basil that help make this sauce so perfect are pine nuts and FBOMB Olive Oil. The pine nuts add a fresh, buttery flavor to the pesto while the cold-pressed olive oil is packed with flavor and heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids [*].
As such, this pesto doesn't just taste good, it also offers benefits like reduced risk of heart disease, lower inflammation, and improved brain health.
Basically, you can't go wrong with this low-carb pesto!
Here's how we make ours—stick around until the end and we'll share our secret for whipping up an easy pesto dish on weeknights in just a matter of seconds.
- Fresh basil
- Pine nuts
- FBOMB Olive Oil
- Parmigiano-Reggiano or Romano cheese
Ingredient Spotlight: Basil
Originally from Asia and Africa, this aromatic green leaf offers a ton of health benefits.
After all, basil [*]:
- Is loaded with vitamin K
- Contains minerals like calcium, iron, copper, and manganese
- Has almost no calories or carbs
- Has been used to treat nausea and reduce inflammation [*]
- Has been shown to help treat depression and anxiety [*]
- Can help reduce blood pressure for those with hypertension [*]
There's a reason it's been used for thousands of years across many cultures. Not only does it taste great and stand out in every dish it's featured in, it's also very good for you!
Ways to Use Pesto
Here are some low-carb-approved ways to incorporate pesto into meals:
- As a marinade or sauce for chicken, beef, pork, fish, or shrimp
- As a marinade on roasted or grilled vegetables
- With low-carb noodles (Great Low Carb Bread Company makes some that we really like)
- On a low-carb pizza or bread dough
- With zucchini noodles
- As a sauce for meatballs or chicken wings
And here's a pro tip: freeze your pesto in ice cube trays, then store them in the freezer. When you're ready to serve, simply melt the cubes along with your protein right in the pan.
This cuts your meal prepping time down to seconds. Simply get the food going on the stove and add the cubes in a few minutes before you serve. Talk about easy weeknight cooking!
Other Low-Carb Recipes You’ll Enjoy
Low-Carb Homemade Pesto Recipe
- Yield: 8
- Serving size: 2 tablespoons
- Prep time: 10 minutes
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
- ½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano or Romano cheese, freshly grated
- 4 packets (½ cup) FBOMB Olive Oil
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- In a food processor, combine the basil with the pine nuts and pulse a few times. Add the garlic, pulse a few times more.
- Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula.
- Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Note: Spinach and arugula both work well, either in addition to, or in place of the basil. It is also a great way to slip some extra nutrients into your pesto. Just make sure to adjust the rest of the ingredients depending on how much you add.
Nutrition Facts Per Serving:
- Fat: 19g
- Protein: 3g
- Total Carbohydrates: 2g
- Fiber: 0.5g
- Sugar Alcohol: 0g
- Net Carbohydrates: 1.5g
- Fat: 90%
- Protein: 6%
- Carbohydrates: 4%