Keto Authentic Italian Genoese Pesto


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Keto Authentic Italian Genoese Pesto. 1.4g net carbs per 50g serving.

With 5 minutes prep and no cooking whatsoever, pesto is the ultimate healthy fast food. My keto-friendly version is modified to ensure carbohydrate content is at minimum level, without sacrificing flavour.

If you’ve been buying jars of pesto and never thought you could make your own, now is the time to change that mindset, save yourself some money, and taste the difference.

Pesto uses are infinite. You may wish to try it with my Fettuccine Pasta #1, for a quick and tasty clean keto meal.

How to Make Keto Authentic Italian Genoese Pesto

Whilst using a pestle and mortar is de rigueur if you ask any Italian chef, it really isn’t necessary. A small food processor, such as the one that comes with immersion blenders, delivers the same result. With much less effort and in much less time.

Keto Authentic Italian Genoese Pesto

Pecorino cheese is a classic Italian pesto ingredient that I omit in my version. Too strong and salty, for my liking, and not too dissimilar to Parmigiano Reggiano, which is much easier to source in any grocery shop.  To make this recipe dairy-free, omit the Parmigiano or use a vegan alternative.

To make my pesto more keto-friendly, I’ve simply swapped the ratio of pine nuts to herbs. That’s basically it. Ingredients  – except Pecorino – are the same, so the flavour is absolutely authentic.

It may surprise you that I use a small clove of garlic and that I mince it using a garlic press before adding it to the other ingredients. Reason being that garlic shouldn’t be the over-riding flavour. You’d never find chunky pieces of garlic in a proper Italian pesto, nor loads of it. Pesto should be nutty and herby, not overpowered by a ton of pungent garlic.

Put the herbs in your mini food processor first, then the minced garlic, then everything else. Whizz to a paste. Scrape down the sides. Whizz again. Stop when you have the consistency you desire. You can let pieces of pine nuts float around, or create a super-smooth paste. Entirely your choice.

Transfer your delicious home made sauce to a sealable jar and hey-pesto (he he). All done.


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Keto Authentic Italian Genoese Pesto

Keto Authentic Italian Genoese Pesto

Better than any shop-bought pesto and ultra-quick.
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Course: Make your Own
Diet: Dairy Free, Egg Free, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Italian, Keto, Low Carb
Keywords: basil, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, italian, parmigiano reggiano, parsley, pesto, pine nuts
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 190 g



  • following the above ingredients order, put everything in a small-capacity food processor, such as the one that usually comes with a stick blender/whisk.
  • blend on medium speed until the paste has plastered the sides and the blades are running empty; scrape the paste back down and blend again, on high speed this time, until you obtain the fine or coarse consistency you prefer.
  • taste, adjust seasoning if necessary and store in a sealed jar in the fridge.


To make this dairy-free, omit the Parmigiano or use a vegan alternative.
To obtain a denser pesto (e.g. for sandwiches or canapés), or a more liquid pesto, simply adjust the quantity of extra virgin olive oil.
Unless otherwise indicated, use Metric Kitchen Scales to measure ingredients accurately (U.S. option HERE).


Serving: 50g | Calories: 332kcal | Carbohydrates: 1.4g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 33g
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