Cooking experiments has known no bounds. Therefore we see varieties of a dish popping up every day in different parts of the world. One such dish is Pesto. Those making it from scratch ask this- Can You Freeze Pesto? The answer is YES! Freezing Pesto is the easiest thing to do.
Pesto is a green coloured sauce based on a crushed mixture of basil leaves. Originated in Italy, Pesto has become common in many households. One can make it easily from scratch, or one can buy it from a grocery store. Other common ingredients for this sauce are Parmesan cheese, Olive oil, garlic, and pine nuts. Topped with salt and black pepper, it is perfect for dressing tuna, chicken and pasta salads. Those who want to try a new variety of pizza can choose this it as its base sauce.
Pesto is used in so many ways:
- Pesto goes well with appetizers. It can be used as dips for chips, spread as a sauce on a shrimp cocktail.
- Pesto can be used standalone or combined with other ingredients such as salad to enhance flavour.
- Pasta and Pesto go hand in hand. It naturally enhances the flavour of the pasta.
Let’s answer some questions related to the freezing of pesto.
- Can you freeze pesto sauce?
- Can you freeze pesto with cheese?
- Can you freeze pesto pasta?
- Can you freeze pesto in glass jars?
- Can you freeze pesto in ice cube trays?
Can you freeze pesto sauce?
There are multiple ways by which you can freeze pesto sauce. You can freeze pesto sauce in a glass jar or a ice cube tray. Pesto is a freezer-friendly sauce that doesn’t lose its flavour if used in three months from freezing the sauce. If you use an ice tray, you can use smaller quantities easily, unlike glass jars where by default more quantities of sauce would be stored. Refreezing isn’t the option because it deteriorates the texture, colour and quality. Use as early as possible to keep the aroma and flavour intact.
Can you freeze pesto with cheese?
You can, but try not to! As there is a slight difference in flavour when freezing pesto with or without the cheese. If you are freezing your pesto without cheese, you get to enjoy a lighter basic, if you wish to avoid the heaviness of the cheese. Also, you will find the texture and taste of cheese profoundly if you add it right before serving. To enjoy the flavour of cheese, it is suggested to put it separately. Don’t worry, whether you add cheese to your pesto or add it separately, it will thaw well. So, the choice is yours!
Can you freeze pesto pasta?
You can freeze your leftover pesto pasta, but the texture won’t be the same as before. Also, the pesto sauce will lose its freshness because it has constantly gone through varying temperatures. It won’t be useful to serve it to royalty, because as said earlier, it loses the texture and aroma, but otherwise, one can eat it comfortably.
But if you don’t have time to cook, then use the gallon-sized freezer-safe bags made from silicon, recycled plastic etc to keep your pesto pasta salad. Then seal the bags while removing air and freeze it flat. Pesto Pasta Salad made from bow tie pasta, caesar dressing, frozen peas etc. is good for serving cold. But then, that’s a different recipe.
Can you freeze pesto in glass jars?
Surely you can! Make sure you only use the freezer-friendly jars for that. After making your pesto, transfer it into the jar and leave the thumb-width size space from the top of the jar. Don’t fill it to the brim of the jar. Cover it with a layer of olive oil. Make sure to use jars with a good seal. Seal it and it is available for use for up to two months. Invest in a good quality jar as it will be handy for years. When you want to use it, keep it in the fridge for a week to thaw. Stir before using it, and you are ready to serve it! Make sure you don’t refreeze pesto, it will lose its colour and aroma.
Can you freeze pesto in ice cube trays?
Freezing pesto in ice cube trays is the best way to freeze it. This way, you don’t have to refreeze the leftover, and you only use pesto as much as you need. Plus, cubes allow you to be accurate in your pesto servings.
Making and storing pesto sauce is effortless. To make pesto sauce, add basil leaves, garlic and parmesan cheese in a blender and process it until leaves are finely minced. Add a drizzle of olive oil to prevent it from turning brown, scrape the sides of the bowl. Due to oil and cheese, it sticks to the sides.
To freeze and store the pesto sauce:
- After making the pesto as mentioned above, pour the pesto sauce into an ice cube tray.
- Freeze it for 3-4 hours. It will turn frozen solid.
- It will take the shape of cubes. Now place it in a freezer bag made with plastic and put it in the freezer.
- Your pesto sauce now can be frozen for three months.
- Remember the fresh it is, the better it tastes. Therefore, for better taste and aroma, use it as soon as possible.
Can you freeze pesto with parmesan cheese?
Yes, you can! Parmesan Cheese is traditionally used in Pesto, and it thaws well. Other cheese may not freeze well the way parmesan cheese does. Use glass jars or ice cubes to freeze pesto.
Can you freeze pesto from a jar?
Definitely! Put your freshly made Pesto in a jar, but don’t fill it to the top. Leave the space equal to a thumb’s width and drizzle some olive oil over it. Use only freezer-safe jars with a good seal to prevent air. You can keep it this way for two months. When you wish to use it, keep it a week in the fridge to thaw and then it is ready to be used.
Can you freeze pesto pasta salad?
Many pesto pasta salad recipes are meant to be eaten cold. In such cases, you only have to transfer your salad from the freezer to the refrigerator. It can last for a week in the freezer.
Can you freeze pesto after opening?
We would strongly recommend against doing that. It is exposed to air and when once it refreezes it will develop a brown colour along with losing its aroma and texture.
Can you freeze pesto chicken?
Pesto chicken has the rich flavour and aroma of basil leave and garlic. One can put this great dish before or after cooking.
If you want to freeze pesto chicken after cooking, then let it cool first. Place the chicken in an airtight container, and it will be edible for up to a month. You can chop pesto chicken and keep it into multiple small jars for small servings, as refreezing is not an option.
To freeze pesto chicken before cooking, mix cream cheese and pesto sauce in an airtight bag. Then place pesto mixture and chicken in a large airtight bag and freeze it. For cooking, thaw it, put it in a pan, spread the pesto mixture over chicken, and cook as per recipe.