How to Make a Nut Free Basil Pesto

This Nut Free Pesto is the perfect condiment to brighten up any dish. It’s also a great way to use up the overabundance of basil at the end of the season to put up for winter!

nut free pesto recipe in a bowlNut Free Pesto Recipe

Everyone loves a good pesto recipe! But not everybody can have nuts and most pesto recipes call for them. So we whipped up a bright and flavorful basil pesto that doesn’t use pine nuts so that everyone get can enjoy it. This pesto recipe also sneaks in some healthy greens by using a combination of basil and kale.

Basil pesto is great for nearly any dish. And it’s simple to put together and a great way to use up an overabundance of herbs. It also freezes well so make a bunch now while it’s abundant and you can use fresh pesto in your dishes all summer long!

Nut Free Pesto Ingredients

  • Basil
  • Baby Kale
  • Parmigiano Reggiano
  • Lemon juice
  • Garlic
  • Salt
  • Olive oil

ingredients for nut free pesto going in blenderHow to Clean Herbs

Herbs can be very dirty and gritty, whether coming from the supermarket or the farmer’s market. The best way to clean herbs is to fill up a big bowl with clean, cool water. Dunk the herbs in the water, letting all the dirt and grit sink to the bottom. Empty the water, fill it back up and repeat until no sand or dirt remains at the bottom of the bowl.

Ways to Use Pesto

This bright pesto would be great with so many dishes! It is great with both chicken, turkey or even pork. You can use pesto in pasta dishes, rice dishes, in a salad, as a dip or spread and served over a grilled meat or veggies.

Check out these recipes using pesto:

How to Freeze Pesto

Pesto freezes really well. You can freeze it in small jars for single serve portions. Small mason jars work well for this.

How to Prevent it from Turning Brown

Pesto turns brown when the fresh herbs oxidize by coming into prolonged contact with oxygen. It isn’t harmful to eat brown pesto, but it can have an off taste and it looks unpleasant. To prevent browning you can float some olive oil over the top of pesto in the container. Make sure to cover the pesto entirely. This creates an airtight seal and will prevent the pesto from turning brown immediately.

You can freeze for up to 3 months. The longer you freeze fresh herbs, the less potent they become. To defrost leave in the refrigerator overnight.

nut free pesto recipe in a bowl

If you like this herb recipe, check out these others:

Nut Free Basil Pesto Recipe

Prep Time 00:05 Total Time 00:05 Yields 2 cups

Ingredients

  • 2 cups packed basil
  • 2 cups packed baby kale
  • 1/3 cup parmigiano reggiano, grated
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Salt to taste
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • hot water, as needed

Directions

  1. Add all of the ingredients except the olive oil to a food processor or a high speed blender. Pulse until finely chopped. With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil. If needed you can add in a tablespoon of hot water as needed to make a smooth pesto. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  2. Use immediately or store for up to 1 week in a tightly sealed container.

Recipe Notes

  1. You can replace the kale with equal portions basil for a basil only pesto.
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There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!

Bruschetta Chicken

With summer in full swing, this simple Grilled Bruschetta Chicken recipe is calling your name! Perfectly marinated chicken is grilled up, sliced and topped with a fresh and bright tomato and basil bruschetta. A delicious dinner that’s gluten-free, low-carb and paleo and whole30 friendly.

easy bruschetta with grilled chicken

Easy Bruschetta Chicken Recipe

This Bruschetta Chicken is perfect anytime of the year now that you can find ripe greenhouse tomatoes year round. However this is especially on point during grilling season when farm, fresh tomatoes are everywhere. It’s the perfect semi no cook meal when the weather begs for you to cook and eat outside. The chicken is marinated to perfection, grilled, and topped with a delicious fresh tomato bruschetta. It’s perfect on it’s own, but if you want you can serve it with a light salad or with pasta! This dish is already gluten-free and low-carb but leave out the cheese for a Whole30 compliant or paleo meal.

What is Bruschetta?

Bruschetta (pronounced bru-sketta in case you ever find yourself in Italy and want to do as the Italians do) is an Italian appetizer of grilled bread rubbed with garlic and olive oil, and sometimes topped with other things like tomatoes. In American culture bruschetta usually means bread topped with diced tomatoes and basil, and sometimes cheese. Our recipe takes the idea of the grilled bread, and uses grilled chicken instead for a heartier more nutrient dense version, making it appropriate as a meal (and dang delicious!)

bowl of bruschetta

Easy Bruschetta Chicken Ingredients

  • Boneless + skinless chicken breasts
  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Fresh Tomatoes
  • Red Onion
  • Garlic
  • Basil
  • Fresh mozzarella

How to Serve Bruschetta Chicken

This recipe is intended to be a stand alone dish! But it wouldn’t be out of place to serve it with some pasta (spaghetti or linguine might be nice), spaghetti squash or cauliflower rice. It also could be great on a bed of tender greens like spinach or arugula!

Can I make it without a grill?

Yes! While we love the charred smoky taste of the grill, this dish would still be perfectly acceptable on a grill pan inside of even if you need to, in a regular skillet! Do what works for you, either way a nice marinated juicy piece of chicken will be delicious topped with this tomato salad.

easy bruschetta chicken dinner

If you like this grilling recipe, check out these others:

Watch the video:


Bruschetta Chicken
Serves 4
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
For the Chicken
  1. 1 pound boneless chicken breasts
  2. 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  3. 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  4. 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  5. 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
Bruschetta
  1. 4 tomatoes
  2. 1/2 red onion, finely diced
  3. 1 garlic clove, minced fine
  4. 1 to 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  5. 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  6. Salt, to taste
  7. Black pepper, to taste
  8. 1/2 cup (packed) fresh basil, chopped
  9. Optional: 1/2 to 1 cup fresh chopped mozzarella
  10. Additional basil, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Season chicken with salt and pepper then place chicken, balsamic, and oil into a resealable ziplock bag or glass marinating dish. Let marinade for at least 1 hour or up to overnight.
  2. When ready to grill, grease grill and heat to medium heat.
  3. Add chicken and let cook for 7 minutes on each side or until fully cooked through.
  4. While grilling, combine all bruschetta ingredients in a large bowl and toss to combine.
  5. Top chicken with bruschetta and serve immediately.
Lexi's Clean Kitchen https://lexiscleankitchen.com/

How to Preserve Fresh Herbs in the Freezer

Whether you have a bunch of fresh herbs from the farmer’s market, your garden or the grocery store, we are sharing tips on how to preserve them in the freezer for use any time of the year! If you are looking for how to store fresh herbs in your refrigerator, see this post.

Showing how to preserve fresh herbsPreserving Fresh Herbs in Your Freezer

Using fresh herbs is a great way to brighten any dish and bring it from just ok to really delicious! But sometimes a little goes a long way with fresh herbs and you can be left with an entire bunch leftover from one recipe. Or you have an overabundance of herbs from your summer CSA or your backyard garden and want to preserve the freshness all year long. Fear not there are TONS of ways you can preserve fresh herbs so you don’t have to waste any. We’re telling you all about the ways we’ve been successful preserving fresh herbs in the freezer. If you are looking for ways to store herbs fresh in the refrigerator, check out this post here.

There isn’t one hard and fast rule about preserving herbs, so we’re going to walk you through all of our favorite ways to store each particular herb that is good to freeze!

Can you freeze fresh herbs?

Absolutely yes. We’re talking about three main ways to store fresh herbs in the freezer for preservation today.

  1. Storing whole herbs in the freezer.
  2. Storing herbs submerged in water, stock or oil in the freezer in ice cube trays or jars.
  3. Storing pureed herbs in the freezer.

Not all herbs are equally freeze well, though. Depending on the type of herb will determine how it is best to freeze it. Soft herbs, like parsley, cilantro and dill have to be slightly processed before being able to be frozen. Others, like sage and rosemary can be frozen just as is because they are more hearty. If you don’t see an herb on this list, such as mint, it’s because we do not recommend freezing.

The Best Way to Clean Herbs

Herbs can be very dirty and gritty, whether coming from the supermarket or the farmer’s market. The best way to clean herbs is to fill up a big bowl with clean, cool water. Dunk the herbs in the water, letting all the dirt and grit sink to the bottom a few times. Empty the water, fill it back up and repeat until no sand or dirt remains at the bottom of the bowl.

It is best to dry herbs in a salad spinner. If you do not have that you can let the herbs dry in a clean kitchen towel, taking off as much water as possible, especially if you are storing the herbs in oil.

containers for saving fresh herbs

Storing Whole Herbs

Some herbs are great candidates to store in the freezer whole. To prepare them for freezing follow the steps below. Most important you want to remove as much air as possible from the storage containers, so plastic bags are a good choice here for storing whole herbs. You can use a straw to suck as much air out of the bag as possible before closing. But we preferred using glass jars to store herbs that are best cut before freezing.

Rosemary: Wash and dry the leaves / stems very well. Place in a plastic bag with as much air removed as possible and store in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Thyme: Wash and dry the leaves / stems very well and then pick off the leaves. Sometimes picking off all of the leaves can be tedious and difficult if the stem is soft. It’s okay to have some bits of stem in there, so long as it is soft as this contains lots of flavor. You can chop it small if you want. However, make sure you discard any woody pieces of stem as they don’t taste good! Store in a plastic bag or airtight container in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Chives: Wash and dry and slice. Store in a airtight container or plastic bag or with as much air removed as possible and store in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Lemongrass: Wash and dry and remove the outer layer, then slice. Store in a airtight container or plastic bag or with as much air removed as possible and store in the freezer for up to 6 months.

pieces of fresh herbs preserved

Storing Chopped Soft Herbs in Water or Oil

Soft herbs cannot be stored whole without some processing in the freezer. The herbs are washed, chopped how you would like it to be used and then submerged in either oil, water or broth. Small portions can be stored in ice cube trays, small mason jars or bags. Freeze in small quantities so you can easily take out a small amount that you’ll need in a specific dish.

Oil preserves the herbs the best because it’s air tight and prevents discoloration, plus then the oil is infused with the herb flavor. BUT you won’t always need the oil in the recipes you’ll be using the fresh herbs for. You can alternatively use water or broth to store the herbs in.

Parsley: Wash and dry the parsley and pick off the leaves. Rough chop parsley and freeze in ice cube trays or other small containers and submerge with either water, broth or oil.

Cilantro: Wash and dry the cilantro and pick off the leaves. Rough chop cilantro and freeze in ice cube trays or other small containers and submerge with either water, broth or oil.

Basil: Wash and dry the basil and pick off the leaves. Rough chop basil and freeze in ice cube trays or other small containers and submerge with either water, broth or oil.

Sage: Wash and dry the sage and pick off the leaves. Rough chop sage and freeze in ice cube trays or other small containers and submerge with either water, broth or oil.

Sage pesto with spoon

Storing Pureed Herbs in the Freezer

Our favorite method for storing herbs is to make a simple puree with olive oil and storing in the freezer. Delicate herbs like basil, dill and cilantro are best preserved this way. We’ve included a recipe for a simple pesto below but really any combination of herbs with a touch of olive oil and some seasoning will brighten up any future dish. We recommend adding an extra splash of olive oil to the surface of the herbs to help preserve them longer, since oil creates an air tight seal. You could also use broth and stock as well.

When making a puree you do not always need to take all of the stem off. There is a lot of flavor in the stem so often times we will leave portions of the stem in and not be as careful with taking off individual leaves. This is only true though for soft herbs like basil, parsley, dill and cilantro. “Woody” stems from herbs like thyme, rosemary and sage are not edible.

Parsley: Clean the parsley. Pick the leaves from the stem or optionally leave some of stem in for more flavor.  Puree with oil or water and (optionally with additional flavoring) and make parsley pesto.

Cilantro: Clean the cilantro. Pick the leaves from the stem or optionally leave some of stem in for more flavor. Puree with oil or water and (optionally with additional flavoring) and make cilantro pesto.

Dill: Clean the dill. Pick the fronds from the stem or optionally leave some of stem in for more flavor. Puree with oil, water or broth.

Basil: Clean the basil. Pick the leaves from the stem or optionally leave some of stem in for more flavor. Puree with oil, water or broth or make a pesto.

Sage: Clean the sage Pick the leaves from the stem (do not puree with stem). Puree with oil, water or broth or make a pesto.

Ways to use preserved herbs:

  • in soups, stews or sauces
  • With pasta, rice
  • In a salad dressing
  • In egg dishes (omelet or quich)
  • As a sauce (think freezer pesto chicken)
  • As a spread on sandwiches, pizza
  • As a dip

Simple Pesto

Prep Time 00:05 Total Time 00:05 Yields 1 cup

Ingredients

  • 2 cups herbs
  • ⅓ cup nuts or seeds (pine nuts, almonds, pistachio, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds)
  • ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. In a food processor or blender, combine herbs and nuts and process until finely chopped.
  2. Add the Parmesan, if adding, and pulse again.
  3. With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil and lemon juice.
  4. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. When storing, drizzle some extra olive oil on top of the pesto to create an air tight seal.
  6. Will keep in refrigerator about 1 week. Will keep in freezer about 3 months.
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There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!

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How to Preserve Fresh Herbs in the Freezer

How to Store Fresh Herbs in the Refrigerator

Fresh herbs can accumulate quickly in your refrigerator, whether you have a bunch of fresh herbs from the farmer’s market, your garden or the grocery store we are sharing tips on how to store them in your refrigerator so they remain fresh for as long as possible! If you are looking for how to preserve fresh herbs in your freezer, see this post!

how to store fresh herbs so they lastHow to Store Fresh Herbs So They Last

Using fresh herbs is a great way to brighten any dish and bring it from just ok to wow! But sometimes a little goes a long way with fresh herbs and you can be left with a whole lot leftover from one recipe. Or you have an overabundance of herbs from your summer CSA or your backyard garden and want to make them last as long as possible. We’re sharing all the ways we’ve succesfully stored fresh herbs in the refrigerator to get the maximum use out of them. If you are looking for ways to preserve fresh herbs in the freezer to last all year, check out this post here.

There are two main ways we recommend storing fresh herbs for maximum longevity in the refrigerator. But how you store them depends on what type of herb it is! Soft herbs, or herbs with a soft stem, such as cilantro, dill, parsley, basil should be stored liked fresh flowers, in a jar of water. Hard herbs, or herbs with a hard stem should be stored rolled in a slightly damn paper towel in a bag in the refrigerator.

Cutting the ends off herbs so they last longer

How to Store Soft Herbs: treat as flowers

Storing soft herbs in jars with water prolongs the life of the herbs by keeping them alive like flowers.

Pro-tip: Don’t wash these herbs until right before use.

To store parsley, cilantro or dill cut off 1” of the stems and place in a jar with water and store in the refrigerator. We found it unnecessary (and wasteful) to place a plastic bag over the top of the herbs as they stayed just as fresh without one. Check and replace water as necessary, or every few days. Store until the leaves start to turn yellow or very limp, about 2-4 weeks (seriously).

To store fresh basil: cut off 1” of the stems place in a jar with water and store at room temperature just like fresh flower. Refresh water as necessary, or every few days. Store for about 1 week or until the basil has turned soft and limp. Please note: this only works with very fresh basil cut from a garden or the farmers market. The boxes of basil that you buy in the store is typically grown in green houses and are not hearty enough to be stored for longevity. Store bought green house basil must be used within a few days before it starts to go bad.

How to Store Hard Herbs: prolong moisture content

Storing hard herbs in damp paper towels prolongs their moisture levels and keeps them fresher, longer. You’ll notice there is one herb included in here that is not technically a hard herb: chives. Chives last the longest when they are frozen, see this post, but they can have a longer shelf life in the refrigerator when stored the same way as hard herbs.

To store sage, thyme, rosemary, mint, or chives:  Clean and dry the herbs very well (see below for cleaning tips). Place in a pile in a slightly damp paper towel and wrap them up. Place inside of a plastic bag with a few punctured holes. Keep in the refrigerator about 1-2 weeks or more. 

Best ways to store fresh herbs

The Best Way to Clean Herbs

Herbs can be very dirty and gritty, whether coming from the supermarket or the farmer’s market. The best way to clean herbs is to fill up a big bowl with clean, cool water. Dunk the herbs in the water, letting all the dirt and grit sink to the bottom a few times. Empty the water, fill it back up and repeat until no sand or dirt remains at the bottom of the bowl.

It is best to dry herbs in a salad spinner. If you do not have that you can let the herbs dry in a clean kitchen towel, taking off as much water as possible.

Rolling up herbs so they last the longest

Recipes that feature herbs:

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How to Store Fresh Herbs in the Fridge

Lemon Basil Shrimp Salad

This Lemon Basil Shrimp Salad is tangy with a kick and the perfect refreshing lunch or light dinner on a summer day! Simply toss everything in a bowl, taste, and devour! Check out the video below for how to make it.

 

Tossed Shrimp Salad in lettuce cupsLemon Basil Shrimp Salad Recipe

Don’t you love easy, 1-bowl, super flavorful lunches or dinners? This Lemon Basil Shrimp Salad is light on the prep but heavy on the deliciousness. Eat this tossed shrimp salad in a lettuce cup, over a bed of grains or all by itself! It’s my favorite meal to whip up super quickly that has so much flavor! The options are endless!

Here’s what you need to make it:

  • 1 lemon
  • rice vinegar
  • olive oil
  • garlic
  • fresh basil
  • sriracha
  • honey
  • dijon mustard
  • 1 lb. (about 15-20) large cooked shrimp
  • cherry tomatoes
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 avocado

Shrimp tossed salad in a mason jar

Can’t buy precooked shrimp?

This shrimp salad recipe calls for fully cooked shrimp. If you can’t buy them, you can starting with raw shrimp. Clean, devein, and remove the tail. Cook in a small skillet with oil of choice, salt, and pepper until pink, fully opaque and fully cooked through.

Can this be made ahead of time?

You can make this day up to 1 day ahead of time, but ideally served within a few hours after making it.

Lemon dressing for shrimp salad in lettuce boats

Like this shrimp recipe? Check out these others:

Watch the video here:


Lemon Basil Shrimp Salad

Prep Time 00:10 Cook Time 00:00 Total Time 0:10 Yields 4

Ingredients

  • 15/20 large shrimp, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, diced
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, more for garnish

Lemon-Basil Marinade

Directions

 

  1. In one bowl combine cooked shrimp, grape tomatoes, onion, avocado and basil and set aside.
  2. In another bowl combine marinade ingredients and mix well, taste and add more ingredients to your liking.
  3. Pour marinade over shrimp salad and toss.
  4. Serve in a lettuce leaf, garnish with fresh basil, and serve with additional lemon if desired.

 

Recipe Notes

If you are starting with raw shrimp. Clean, devein, and remove the tail. Cook in a small skillet with oil of choice, salt, and pepper until pink, fully opaque and fully cooked through.

 

You can also use about 30 whole baby shrimp instead of the large.

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There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!

Spinach Basil Pesto

This Spinach Basil Pesto is the perfect condiment for your pasta, chicken, or seafood! It is creamy, flavorful, easy to prepare, and delicious on top of most dishes! Add a flavor boost to your meals with this homemade pesto that coms together in under 5 minutes! 

Spinach Basil Besto

 Try it in a pesto chicken salad with this easy shredded chicken!

Spinach Basil Pesto

Prep Time 5 min Total Time 0:05

Ingredients

Directions

  • Combine everything but the oil in your food processor or high-speed blender and pulse until ground down. Add oil and pulse again.
  • Store in the fridge.
  • Recipe Notes

  • Updated: 2/1/2017
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    There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!