Cilantro-Basil Pesto

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I’ve said before one of the practices that keeps the Autoimmune Protocol flavorful and easy in our house is having various sauces on hand to switch things up. Of all the sauces in my routine (Green Curry, Golden Turmeric, Cherry BBQ) this is by far the one that ends up on the meal plan week after week. It only takes a few minutes to make, and is very adaptable — you can make it a little spicier by adding an additional clove of garlic to the mix, or throw in whatever fresh herbs you have on hand, like mint!

Last year I had a fantastic idea to buy up a ton of basil while it was in peak season, make five extra batches of this recipe, and freeze for use during the winter. Nothing brightened up those dark days like the taste of summer!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Cilantro-Basil Pesto
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 1½ cups
  • 4 ounces fresh basil (about 1 cup very tightly packed)
  • 4 ounces fresh cilantro (about 1 cup very tightly packed)
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  1. Place all ingredients in a high-powered blender or food processor, and blend on medium speed until desired consistency is reached, using a tamper or stopping to scrape the sides of the processor if needed. If the blend is too thick, add some additional olive oil.
NOTE: Keeps well in the refrigerator for a week.


About Mickey Trescott

Mickey Trescott is a cook and one of the bloggers behind Autoimmune Wellness. After recovering from her own struggle with both Celiac and Hashimoto’s disease, adrenal fatigue, and multiple vitamin deficiencies, Mickey started to write about her experience to share with others and help them realize they are not alone in their struggles. She is a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner by the Nutritional Therapy Association, and is the author of The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook, a guide and recipe book for the autoimmune protocol, and AIP Batch Cook, a video-based batch cooking program. You also can find her on Instagram.


  • Stacey Goitia says

    I love this site! Thanks so much for ‘being out there’ for people like me. I’m so reactive and problematic toward foods that I had no idea what I could/couldn’t eat anymore. After being diagnosed with more than one autoimmune disease, I really didn’t know what the heck to do with myself. This looks like a great recipe for me!

    –Stacey G.

  • Shona Kane says

    Hi there,
    I am grateful for this site as I transition from Paleo to aip! I just tried this, as I’m struggling for sauces and dressings, but I found it to be very bitter. Perhaps the basil in the UK is different! Any ideas of something to add to sweeten it or make it a bit creamy. Next on my list is the turmeric sauce!

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hey Shona! Sorry to hear, I would maybe try to add a little honey to sweeten it up a bit? I wouldn’t do much, maybe a teaspoon. The turmeric sauce is quite a bit sweeter due to the sweet potatoes. Wishing you luck!

  • Ellen says

    I freeze pesto in ice cube trays, then pop them into zip bags – then you can choose exactly how much to defrost, and it takes less time. it’s great for boosting flavor in soups or other sauces. standard ice cubes are 1 ounce liquid, so if a recipe calls for 1/2 cup of pesto, you just need 4 cubes!

    • Mickey Trescott says

      I do the same! Handy trick 🙂

  • Jean says

    As one of those who cannot stand cilantro (it tastes like soap to me), I wonder if this would work by substituting parsley? Maybe increase the basil and decrease the parsley, rather than equal amounts of each, since parsley has a strong taste of its own.

    Does the basil remain green, or does it blacken?

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Jean, you can certainly use parsley but I might suggest mint as it will have more flavor. Or use 50/50 of them both? Yes, the basil does brown on day 2, but it tastes the same and I don’t worry about it!

  • […] Cilantro-Basil Pesto from Autoimmune Wellness *Make a bunch of this pesto and freeze it so you can enjoy it year-round! […]

  • Victoria says

    I loved this! I did use an additional clove of garlic, because who uses just one? Lol. Spicy in a good way. I put it on spaghetti squash ‘noodles,’ and can’t wait to try it in many other ways. Your cookbook gave me an excellent start on AIP, thanks.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Glad you enjoyed it Victoria! And yes, that extra clove can add quite a kick!

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