Learn all the tips and tricks for freezing pesto to save money and prevent food waste. A freezer stash of frozen pesto opens the door to amazing meals packed with flavor.
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Homemade pesto is a delicious summer treat made when fresh basil can be purchased at any farmer’s market or roadside farm stand.
But it’s also possible to enjoy it all year long when you have a freezer stash full of frozen pesto. If you’ve ever wondered “can you freeze pesto”, the answer is yes!
Let me show you how easy it is to preserve this incredible sauce.
Can You Freeze Pesto?
Yes! Having frozen pesto is like having the taste of summer stored in your freezer.
Maybe you found a fantastic sale on your favorite brand, made too much of your favorite recipe, or just can’t finish a batch before the expiration date.
Freezing pesto is a great way to cut down on food waste, and also have this versatile ingredient ready to go.
You can also freeze fresh basil by itself. Check out our tutorial on How to Freeze Basil.
What is the Best Way to Freeze Pesto?
I highly recommend you freeze pesto in various sizes. A little bit of pesto goes a long way, so it’s rare to need more than 1 cup of pesto at a time.
I also love using 4 oz mason jars for larger portions. Bonus: they are stackable in the freezer.
How to Freeze Pesto
*I’ll walk you through it here with some photos and tips, and you’ll also find a printable recipe card at the bottom of the post with exact measurements, etc. You can click “jump to recipe” to skip down.
Start by spooning pesto into mini muffin tins/Souper Cubes/ice cube trays, filling them three-fourths full. The pesto will expand as it freezes, so you don’t want to fill up the containers to the brim.
Drizzle olive oil over each portion of pesto until it creates a thin layer covering the top.
Freeze for 2-3 hours, and then remove the pesto “pucks” from the trays and transfer them to freezer-safe storage.
Frequently Asked Questions
It will keep for 6 months in a conventional freezer or 9-12 months in a deep freezer. Try to use it up before next summer so that you can make space in the freezer for even more frozen pesto!
You can allow it to defrost at room temperature for 1-2 hours, or overnight in the fridge. If you freeze in small quantities, you can use the defrost setting on your microwave.
Not at all! Frozen and then thawed pesto tastes exactly the same as fresh.
The exception would be if odors from other foods in the freezer alter the flavor. Freezing pesto in freezer-safe storage goes a long way to make sure your pesto tastes fresh.
Absolutely! Homemade or storebought pesto will freeze the same.
Storebought pesto has preservatives to prevent discoloration from oxidation, so it will stay a brighter green compared with homemade. If you’re planning to freeze homemade pesto, plan to put it in the freezer as soon as possible after you make it.
Either version will freeze well. The cheese in pesto is most often Parmesan, and the texture is very fine. The act of freezing and thawing the pesto won’t change the texture of the cheese.
Pro Tips/Recipe Notes
- Drizzle a small amount of olive oil over the top of the pesto prior to freezing. This will create a barrier layer to prevent it from browning upon defrosting.
- We love these reusable silicone bags for storing all our frozen produce and when freezing garlic.
- I do recommend that you wash your trays multiple times after removing the frozen pesto. The strong garlic flavor in pesto tends to “cling” to plastic trays.
MORE HOW-TO RECIPES
- How to Freeze Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
- How to Dry Basil
- How to Freeze Celery
- Dehydrating Garlic
- Freezing Peaches
- Dehydrating Tomatoes
- How to Freeze Cranberries
- Dehydrating Onions
- Freezing Cauliflower
- Freezing Cherries
- How to Freeze Spinach
- Freezing Pumpkin
- Freezing Buttermilk
- Freezing Potatoes
- How to Freeze Peppers
- Freezing Blueberries
- How to Freeze Asparagus
- Freezing Strawberries
How to Freeze Pesto
- Spoon pesto into mini muffin tins lined with muffin papers/ice cube trays, filling them three-fourths full.
- Drizzle olive oil over each portion of pesto until it creates a thin layer covering the top.
- Freeze for 2-3 hours, and then remove the muffin liners from the pan and freeze each pesto"puck" in an air-tight container.