Mug Meals: How to Make Pesto in a Mug

One of our favorite best-selling authors, Leslie Bilderback is back with a new cookbook. This time she’s teaching us how to make meals in mugs! Her latest book “Mug Meals” is packed with 100 no-fuss ways to make a delicious microwave meal in minutes. This book is a great solution for busy people who don’t have time to cook big meals but still want to enjoy a wide range of healthy, delicious food. As I continue to microwave my way through Mug Meals, the one recipe I can’t get enough of is Bilderback’s Mug Pesto. Check it out below!


Mug Pesto

Makes ½ – ¾ Cup Pesto

how to make pesto in a mug


You can find ready-made pesto in practically every store. But if you have the time and inclination, it is super easy to make at home in large batches or little mugs.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons walnuts, pecans, or pine nuts, minced
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups minced fresh basil leaves
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese


In a large mug, combine the oil, garlic, and nuts. Microwave for 30 to 60 seconds until the garlic is tender. Add the salt and basil, and, using the handle of a wooden spoon, stir and crush the mixture into a rough paste. Mix in the Parmesan, and add additional oil as needed to reach a smooth, spread­ able consistency. Use the pesto right away, or store in the refrigerator for a week. For longer storage, freeze in an airtight container.

how to make pesto in a mug

If you want to learn how to make more meals in mugs head to your local bookstore to pick up Leslie Bilderback’s “Mug Meals” or login to Amazon and order it online. 

For more delicious recipes check out our Food & Drink section.

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