Easy Basil Pesto: Fresh & Freezable Camp Recipe

There are so many great options to make awesome camping food that is quick and simple if you add a flavor-packed ingredient like basil pesto!

Basil Pesto Fresh and Freezable - Camping For Foodies .com

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Make-Ahead Fresh & Freezable Camp Recipes

I absolutely LOVE cooking at the campsite but not every meal has to be made from start to finish while camping. It’s nice to have some menu items that have most of the prep work done at home so you can quickly throw together a fresh and homemade meal in just minutes on your camp trip.

My Basil Pesto recipe is perfect to make from scratch at home with fresh ingredients but it’s also perfect to freeze for later use.  

See all of my make ahead camping meals that include “dump & cook” and “dump & re-heat” recipes.

Easy Camping Recipes That Use Pesto

Here are some of my favorite camping recipes that use basil pesto.

Pesto Tortellini Bake Freezer Meal

Pesto Tortellini Bake Freezer Meal by CampingForFoodies features a black cast iron Dutch oven filled with cubed chicken, red cherry tomatoes and cheese-filled tortellini pasta in a creamy pesto and alfredo sauce. The family-style meal has been baked and is ready to be served.
Pesto Tortellini Bake Freezer Meal by CampingForFoodies

This is one of my make ahead freezer meals you just “dump and cook” at camp. The chicken, cheese tortellini and grape tomatoes taste so yummy in a creamy sauce made using pesto and alfredo sauces.

Pesto Steak Pasta

Pesto Steak Pasta Recipe by CampingForFoodies features a blue camping plate filled with a serving of pesto steak pasta that includes bow tie pasta, cherry tomatoes and strips of skirt steak tossed in pesto then topped with Parmesan cheese and fresh basil.
Pesto Steak Pasta Recipe by CampingForFoodies

This meal cooks in 1 pot and is ready in 30 minutes. The pasta cooks right in the sauce, no boiling water is required!

Pesto Ricotta Pasta Bake

Baked Pesto Pasta With Ricotta by CampingForFoodies features a blue camping plate filled with a serving of this lazy man’s lasagna made with layers of Italian sausage, green basil pesto, cherry tomatoes, ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan cheese that is golden brown from baking. On the side is a tossed green salad and a thick slice of garlic bread. A black cast iron camp Dutch oven sits in the background that is filled with the remaining pesto pasta bake that is ready to be served with text over the image that reads Pesto Ricotta Pasta Bake.

This is my “lazy man’s lasagna” that combines oven-ready noodles, basil pesto and 3 cheeses to make one of my favorite one pot camping meals.

Pesto Tomato Wraps

Pesto Tomato Wraps Easy Camping Recipe by CampingForFoodies is an image of a no-cook, vegetarian camping recipe on a wheat tortilla and stacked with basil pesto, fresh red roma tomatoes, creamy white fresh mozzarella cheese and basil leaves sitting on a blue camping plate ready for serving at the campsite.

Quick wraps make awesome easy camping meals for a fast lunch or light dinner. This one uses just a few simple ingredients. The secret to easy recipes that taste delicious is using fresh and flavorful ingredients like fresh tomatoes, basil and mozzarella.

Chicken Pesto Pizza

Chicken Pesto Pizza - Camping For Foodies .com

This simple pizza uses only 6 ingredients to make one of the quickest camping dinner recipes you’ll ever make!

Grilled Cheese & Pesto Turkey Sandwich

Pesto And Turkey Grilled Cheese Sandwich Campfire Recipe - Camping For Foodies .com

I love making easy camping lunches that are not plain lunchmeat sandwiches. Pile some ingredients on bread and grill it to make an ordinary sandwich a real treat!

How To Freeze Homemade Basil Pesto

Camp Cooking Tip: I like to make this recipe at home and freeze it so it is ready to defrost at the campsite. I freeze portions of about 1/2 cup each and take as many as I need on any particular camp trip depending on the number of people I will be serving.

The key to freezing successfully is to use plastic freezable containers, add the pesto and then top it with a thin layer of olive oil so that none of the pesto is open to air which will turn the pesto a dark grayish color rather than maintaining a vibrant green tone.

Once defrosted you can easily toss this basil pesto with some grilled chicken and pasta for a super flavorful and hearty meal.

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Basil Pesto Fresh and Freezable - Camping For Foodies .com

Easy Basil Pesto Freezable Recipe

Camping For Foodies Sauces Spices And More Camping Recipes: Easy Basil Pesto Freezable Recipe
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Sauces Spices And More Camping Recipes
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 4 Yields Approximately 1 cup total
Calories: 591kcal
Author: Kim Hanna


  • 4 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup olive oil


  • Add the basil leaves, garlic cloves, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts and salt to a food processor.
  • Start the processor and drizzle in the olive oil, process until a smooth paste consistency.
  • If freezing, add pesto in 1/2 cup portions to plastic freezable containers then top it with a thin layer of olive oil so that none of the pesto is open to air. The pesto will maintain its vibrant green color, otherwise it will turn a dark grayish color.


Here are a few more useful links:
Dutch Oven Temperature Chart https://www.campingforfoodies.com/dutch-oven-temperature-chart/
Camping For Foodies Recipes List https://www.campingforfoodies.com/camping-recipes-list/
Our Products https://www.campingforfoodies.com/shop/


Serving: 1g | Calories: 591kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 59g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 45g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 718mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g

More Camping Meal Ideas

Make every campsite meal taste yummy without doing lots of work or dishes!

If you’re looking for awesome ideas for yummy camping food, you’re in the right place! Here’s our entire camping recipes list.

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  1. I do like basil pesto and make a lot of it from my one basil plant. I really amp up the garlic, usually 10 good size cloves. I also add a dash or two of hot sauce in mine,

    I never really thought about making this for a camping trip. I suppose I could make a batch, freeze, then vacuum seal. Basil pesto and crackers, Yum!

    1. Kim Hanna says:

      Thanks for stopping by Bill! I love the idea of extra garlic and hot sauce!