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How to Make Frozen Pesto Cubes Using Muffin Tins

Pesto in Muffin Tin

Frozen Pesto CubesWhile most how-to’s for frozen pesto cubes use ice cube trays, I’ve found that muffin tins work much better because the size is just right.

Why Freeze Pesto

Making pesto with the remainder of the summer’s basil has become a tradition in our household. I love pesto because of its versatility—not only is it great with pasta, but it makes a tasty topping for pizza and can even be used as a sandwich spread. Freezing pesto is the perfect way to enjoy a little bit of summer for at least a few months into fall and it’s a good timesaver when you need a quick dinner.

My basil was determined to start flowering, no matter how many times I clipped the buds off of it, so I decided last weekend it was time to make our annual ginormous batch of pesto. In the past, I’ve frozen it in bags, Tupperware, and ice cube trays. The ice cube trays worked well, but they didn’t really match the serving size we’d typically use. This year I did something different and used mini muffin tins. I’ve used regular sized muffin tins for freezing sauces and broth and the mini muffin tins hold just the right amount of pesto for one or two people (depending on what you’re using it for, of course!).

Pesto in Muffin Tin

How to Freeze Pesto

Start by putting your pesto into the mini muffin tins. Because the pesto has olive oil in it, there’s no need to grease the them. Just freeze overnight, until the pesto is completely solid.

Pop Out Pesto Cubes with ButterknifePop the cubes out of the muffin tins with a butterknife.

Pesto Cubes in Freezer BagStore in a freezer bag for up to six months.

Frozen Pesto Cubes in Mini Muffin Tins
Stir frozen pesto cubes into hot pasta or toss with roasted potatoes; allow to thaw or heat in a microwave if you want to use them on a pizza or sandwich. Another way I love to use these cubes is in minestrone soup—just toss one in before serving. Not only does it give the soup a fresh, vibrant flavor, but it cools it down too so you can eat a little sooner.

Want some more ideas? Here’s a few!

Roasted Pesto Potato Hash
Mini Vegetable Lasagnas
Pesto Pizza with Roasted Red Peppers, Cremini Mushrooms & Asparagus
Pesto-Roasted Veggie Sandwiches

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  • Reply
    August 25, 2011 at 12:36 am

    Cool idea!

  • Reply
    Rivki Locker (Ordinary Blogger)
    August 25, 2011 at 2:27 am

    What a great idea. I make loads of pesto in the summer and miss it dearly all winter. I am definitely trying this. Do you freeze it with the cheese and all, or stir that in after defrosting? If you have a moment to email me, I'd so appreciate it: rivkilocker at gmail dot com.

  • Reply
    Texas Type A Mom
    August 25, 2011 at 3:16 am

    This is such a great idea and never would have occurred to me. My husband likes pesto way more than I do. I can handle pesto only ever other month or so but love basil in omelets and pasta and other dishes.

  • Reply
    August 25, 2011 at 6:32 am

    I LOVE pesto. I tried to make it once but it was a FAIL…hopefully the next time it'll be a success so I can freeze batches =)

  • Reply
    August 25, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    Totally stealing this idea. I was debating ways to freeze it, but this looks perfect!

  • Reply
    August 27, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    You are so smart ! I would not have thought of this one at all ! I guess this is why I love you ! LOL

    • Reply
      August 28, 2011 at 11:56 am

      Aw, thanks. 😀

  • Reply
    August 28, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    I’m going to freeze my pesto this way from now on!

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      August 29, 2011 at 12:09 am

      It’s so much easier than freezing it in a big container! I used to do that & it would always get frost burn.

  • Reply
    Stephanie @ henry happened
    August 29, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    I’m doing this today! I need a favorite recipe tho 🙂

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      August 29, 2011 at 10:59 pm

      I use this one:

      Very basil-y. 🙂

    • Reply
      March 8, 2016 at 12:13 pm

      This is the best pesto recipe I’ve ever made/tasted.

      6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
      1 cup basil leaves
      3 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
      1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
      1/2 teaspoon salt
      1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
      1/4 cup walnuts
      In a food processor or blender, combine the olive oil, basil, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, Parmigiano-Reggiano and walnuts. Process until the mixture is well blended.

  • Reply
    Stephanie @ henry happened
    August 29, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    P.S. Looks like your move to WP went well! Congrats!!

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      August 29, 2011 at 10:56 pm

      Thank you! I thought better of my plan to do it myself and I hired Blogelina to do it. 🙂 Because if I hadn’t, I just know I would be spending the rest of the week on it…

  • Reply
    Connie moore
    January 29, 2013 at 7:29 pm

    How do you make Pesto?

  • Reply
    Katie @ Produce on Parade
    August 19, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    Awesome! I normally just freeze it in little ziplocks, but I like this better! What a great idea!

  • Reply
    September 16, 2014 at 11:29 pm

    We call them pesto-pucks in our house because we use regular sized muffin tins, and they come out looking like green hockey pucks.

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      September 18, 2014 at 1:38 pm

      Usually “puck” doesn’t have the best connotation when it comes to food (makes me think of stale biscuits!), but in this case, it works. 🙂

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