10 min
Average: 2.6 (7 votes)

Pistou sauce

By La Cuisine de Géraldine , Food Blogger

Pistou sauce is the French version of pesto and is used to spice up Provençal dishes. It’s also the basis for the traditional French Pistou soup recipe. Discover this simple yet flavourful recipe for pistou sauce, a classic of Provençal cuisine that’s perfect for adding a burst of fresh taste to your dishes.

Tips for a Perfect Basil Pistou Sauce

  • Use Fresh Basil Leaves: The fresher the basil, the better. Choose green leaves with no signs of browning.
  • Liquid Ratio: Want a runny sauce? Then just add a little more olive oil.
  • Best When Fresh: Pistou sauce tastes best when made just before serving. But you can keep it refrigerated in a closed container for up to 3 days.


Suggestions for Using Your Basil Pistou Sauce

  • Pasta: Combine pistou and cooked pasta for a simple yet delicious meal.
  • Soups: Add a spoonful of pistou to vegetable soups for an extra flavour dimension.
  • Sandwiches: Try spreading pistou on sandwiches for a bright, herbal note.
  • Grilled Veggies: Serve as a flavourful dressing to add some spice to your grilled vegetables.


Difference Between Pistou and Pesto

Pistou is quite similar to pesto. The main difference is the lack of pine nuts in French pistou. Nuts give the Italian sauce a different texture and flavour.


Can You Freeze Pistou Sauce?

It’s best eaten fresh, but you can also freeze your pistou sauce so you always have it on hand. Store it in airtight containers, a freezer bag, or use ice cube trays. It stays good in the freezer for up to 3 months.


Can You Make Vegan Pistou Sauce?

Classic pistou recipes use Parmesan or Emmental cheese. But you can easily make a vegan version by simply using vegan cheese or nutritional yeast.


How do you pronounce Pistou?

The correct French pronunciation of Pistou is "pea-stoo”.

Ingredients For



Wash and dry the fresh basil leaves thoroughly. Place them in a mortar or food processor.


Peel and coarsely chop the garlic. Add the garlic to the basil. Then add half the olive oil and grated Emmental cheese (optional).


Using a pestle (or food processor if you don’t have one), crush the basil leaves and garlic together until they form a smooth paste. Then slowly add the remaining oil. Finally, add a pinch of salt to taste.

© ©Cuisine de Géraldine

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