Pesto is a sauce that’s popular with Italian dishes. Their popularity is due to their versatile uses. The pesto can be used as a sauce for pasta, on pizza, in soups and stews, sandwiches, marinades, and so much more. Since it takes time to make pesto, most people will make them in bulk.
For storage, the refrigerator will keep them fresh for only a week. For longer storage, freezing pesto is a great option.
In this short guide, we’ll through the process of freezing pesto, best ways to preserve them, and how to defrost pesto. If that’s the information you’re looking for, keep reading.
Can You Freeze Pesto?
Yes, you can freeze pesto. The primary ingredients used in pesto is basil, which is an herb that freezes well in the freezer too.
Pesto can be frozen without any changes to them. The only problem with this sauce is when it thaws. During thawing, it will start to lose some of its texture.
To preserve their texture and color, you’ll need to enhance the quality of the pesto before it’s frozen. This can be done by blanching the basils in boiling salt water before it’s made into pesto. The salt will help maintain the fresh basil flavor for longer.
When freezing pesto, you should prepare just enough to use within a short time. This is due to the pesto having a short life in the freezer of just about a month.
Therefore, make just the right amount that you know will be used within a month. If it’s a couple of months after that, the quality will diminish a bit. Using them in soups or in pasta, the quality will not be noticed much. If it’s going to be used as marinades or a dipping sauce, the
How to Freeze Pesto
With pesto, it can be frozen as an ice cube or in a jar. Depending on what you’ll be using pesto for, you should store them according to your uses.
Below are the 2 methods for preparing and freezing pesto:
Freeze Pesto in Ice Cube Trays
This method is simple and quick to prepare and can be instantly added to foods that are being cooked. Spaghetti sauce is one of the food where you just take enough pesto ice cube from the freezer and add it to the sauce while it’s being cooked.
Things you’ll need:
- Ice cube tray
- Olive oil
- Freezer bag or airtight container
- Start by giving the ice tray a good cleaning to remove any debris that may be on there.
- Once it’s clean, pour the pesto into each slot of the ice tray. Leave about 2 millimeters at the top of the slot.
- In each slot, pour a small layer of olive oil across the top of the slot. Make sure the pesto is not exposed. This act as a barrier to prevent air from getting to
- the pesto and damaging it.
- Once the tray is filled, wrap the entire tray with a cling film.
- Place the tray into the freezer for about 5-10 hours or until it’s completely frozen.
- Once it’s frozen, remove the ice tray from the freezer and immediately transfer the frozen pesto to a freezer bag or an airtight container.
- If using a freezer bag, press out as much air as you can from the bag and seal it tight.
- Label the bag or container and place it into the freezer.
Freezing Pesto In A Jar
Use this method if you’re planning to store a lot of pesto at once.
Things you’ll need:
- Jar or an airtight container (approved for freezer use)
- Olive oil
- Start by cleaning the jar to remove any debris that might be in there.
- Pour the pesto into the jar.
- Leave about half an inch of space at the top of the jar. This is to allow the pesto to expand when it freezes.
- Add a layering of olive oil to the top of the pesto. The olive oil will act as a barrier to prevent air from reaching the pesto, just in case, the jar isn’t sealed tight.
- Seal the jar as tight as possible.
- Label the jar with a date and place it in the freezer.
How Long Can You Freeze Pesto?
Pesto can be stored in the freezer for about a month. However, it can last much longer than that, but the quality of it will diminish. A couple of months will not change it’s texture and flavor much, but 6 months or more can.
In the freezer, if the storage container isn’t sealed tightly, air will start to get in. When the pesto is exposed to air, it can cause oxidation, which will change the color of the pesto. The flavor will also be affected by oxidation as well.
How Do You Defrost Pesto?
The great thing about pesto is that you don’t need to defrost them if you’re going to cook with it. If you freeze the pesto as ice cubes, simply take as much as you need from the freezer and put them directly into the pot. Continue to stir the pot until it melts and turns to a nice creamy texture.
Depending on what other ingredients you’re using, if it turns a little soggy or watery, add a couple of drops of olive oil. Additionally, you can add extra basils to bring their texture back.
If the pesto is going to be used to make dipping sauces, you can leave them on the kitchen countertop for about half an hour to thaw. Depending on how hot the room is, it can thaw much quicker. Make sure to keep an eye on it so they don’t start to spoil once it’s completely thawed.
Can Frozen Pesto Go Bad?
Like most other food, pesto can go bad if it’s stored in the freezer for a prolonged time or it isn’t used after thawing.
Pesto stored in the freezer can last up to 1 month. However, it can last much longer than that, but the quality will start to decrease.
After it’s been in the freezer for many months (6 months or more), it will start getting freezer burn. This will cause the pesto to lose their flavor and texture.
When the pesto is thawed is another way it can go bad. Remember, the pesto spoils very quickly when it’s exposed to air. When it starts to thaw, it will naturally lose some of the flavors.
If you left it to thaw and don’t use it within a couple of hours, it will probably be already spoiled. It’s best to just throw the batch of pesto away.
Is it okay to use expired pesto?
Homemade pesto will usually stay fresh in the freezer for a month. After that time, it’ll still be safe to use them, but the quality will diminish. As for pesto bought from the store, it has a printed date on the jar. The date will usually be a “best by” date, which means the pesto will be fresh by that date. Therefore, if you want to use the sauce after that date, it’s perfectly fine, but again, the quality of it will diminish.
Can you freeze pesto in muffin tins?
Freezing pesto in muffin tins is perfectly fine. Just follow the steps to freezing pesto in an ice cube tray. Instead of using an ice cube tray, you’ll be using muffin tins.