Costco Kirkland Signature Basil Pesto Review

Pesto lovers rejoice! You can stop making your own pesto.

Please note that this review was not paid for or sponsored by any third party. The opinions in this review are strictly my own. I am not affiliated with Costco or any of its suppliers. I am just a fan of the company. I write these honest reviews to help my fellow shoppers.

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So I have to tell you a secret. I hated pesto before I had ever tried it. I never had pesto prior to meeting Sean. He introduced me to it when he made dinner for our first valentine’s day together (awww so sweet!). Anyways I remember Sean saying we had to stop at a grocery store because he needed to pick up this store made pesto. I was all cool with the idea of pesto until I picked up a jar and saw the nutritional info. HOW can there be SO much FAT in such a small amount I thought. Instantly I was turned off but because Sean was making dinner I had no choice but to try it. Well I thought this high fat pesto I feared tasted pretty darn good. When I saw Costco had released their own Kirkland Signature pesto I knew I had to try it.

First off. What is Pesto? Pesto is essentially pine nuts, basil, extra virgin olive oil and cheese. Kirkland Signature uses 100% Genovesa basil from Italy (where pesto originated). So that must make it more authentic right?

Taste wise, pesto is delicious. If you like the flavors of basil, nuts and cheese (pecorino, parmesan) then you’ll love pesto. It goes well in a frittata or eggs, with pasta, as a spread on bread or crostinis, on sweet potatoes, as a pizza sauce, with crackers, certain meats such as prosciutto and chicken. It’s not a super sharp, distinct overpowering flavor and goes well with a variety of foods.

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Nutrition wise, okay let’s break it down. A quarter cup has 330 calories, 30 grams of fat, 630mg of sodium, 6 grams of protein and 4 grams of fibre. No sugar. That might seem a little mind blowing at first. When I first saw the nutrition information on pesto years ago I swore I would never eat it. However these are healthy fats, coming from olive oil, pine nuts, cheese. Also if you think about it, let’s say you make a massive pasta salad and add a quarter cup of pesto to it and eat it amongst 4 people over 2 days, you’re probably only getting a maximum of 10 grams of fat and not that many calories. Do I recommend you eat pesto everyday on bread for lunch? Maybe not, but a lot of people do well on a higher fat diet. Fats are good for hair, nails and skin! To all the vegans out there I apologize, this is not vegan but it is gluten free and vegetarian.

Cost wise, this is a 630 ml container of Pesto for 10.99 Canadian. I’ll just say it, you will not find pesto that is this high quality at this price. You just will not. At a specialty Italian store this would probably be 20 dollars or more. Have you ever bought a small bag of pine nuts? My friends, they are not cheap. Basically this pesto scores high on being reasonably priced. Some may think, 10.99 for sauce?! That is ridiculous, but you have to consider the quality and price of ingredients used.

Convenience? It does not get anymore convenient. The alternative to store bought pesto is using your own food processor to combine the ingredients and make it fresh which takes time as does buying all the ingredients. There’s a use by date on the side of the bottle and you can even freeze this as well. (I love to freeze everything, even small tiny amounts of cooked rice that my husband finds 2 years later buried in the freezer).

Overall! Pesto is awesome, this pesto is delicious, high quality, priced right and I would buy it again. The only downside is that it’s such a large container that using it by the best before date may be tricky for some.

Nutrition: 5/10 (high calorie and full of healthy fats, a little high in sodium).

Taste: 9.5/10

Cost: 9/10

Convenience: 10/10

Do you like pesto? What is your favorite food to have with pesto? Mine is pasta for sure!

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27 thoughts on “Costco Kirkland Signature Basil Pesto Review”

  1. Would just like to say that since it has rennet as one of the ingredients (and it isn’t stated as vegetarian rennet) it is most likely not a vegetarian friendly pesto! So unfortunately cannot be advertised as safe for vegetarians.!

  2. Disappointing to see their website still showing a photo of the original ingredient list including EVOO. At some point they moved to Sunflower oil, an unhealthy PUFA that I can’t recommend.

  3. Just tried it. Tastes horrible (and it looks worse than it tastes). The #1 ingredient is deceivingly listed as “Basil blend”, which consists of basil, sunflower oil, and sea salt. The #2 ingredient is listed as “Sunflower oil”. Had they listed ingredients without misleadingly combinining them into something else, the #1 ingredient would actually be sunflower oil — by far.

    Straight in garbage after tasting it.

    I recommend De Cecco. Now that tastes like basil!

    • I agree. Costco’s is increasingly oily, way too much oil of a low quality, way too much salt. It’s convenient but nasty. Has gone downhill for years, now I can’t buy it anymore.

  4. I love this Pesto!
    The Basil tastes fresh.
    It’s so nice and salty. I really love that. I eat it right out if the jar.
    Unfortunately I don’t eat it enough so I threw away 1/2 of my first jar. It’s a big jar. But I was craving it so I bought another jar.
    I don’t like wasting food but I can’t see myself going without this yummy pesto.

  5. This is a great review! A bag of pine nuts over here is almost the cost of this jar, lol. I find this very convenient and I love this pesto with pasta!

  6. I agree with Grace778. The Kirkland Basil Pesto is not only very salty, it is very oily and there is too much cheese. You can hardly taste the basil! I decided to make a double batch of my pesto recipe using fresh basil from Safeway and put it in those small portion containers which hold about one ounce and freeze them. I was able to make about 15 containers. I fill them full so there is very little freezer burn even after a couple of months. Mine is MUCH BETTER than this product even after freezing and thawing. We have mine with Lamb Loin Chops which I cook on our grill and it is great.

    • Our family is down with stomach flu because of this pesto from Costco. I highly recommend for Costco not to sell this product any more

      • a stomach flu is a virus, so doubt if you got it from pesto. if you mean more like food poisoning it probably came from contamination on your end

  7. Clearly this reviewer is a shill for Co$tco.
    The Kirkland brand basil pesto is vile in every way.
    The sequence of tastes : oil, salt parmesan and finally a hint of pesto.
    bad stuff

    • Clearly you could have been kinder in your comments. If you don’t care for this product, that’s your opinion, to which you are entitled. But that does not give you the right to bad mouth the blogger.
      FWIW, I like the pesto!

  8. I had to agree with you 100%. I love this stuff & usually buy a few jars at a time. I divide them into smaller portions & keep them in the freezer until needed. It doesn’t take a lot of pesto per serving to make a very delicious meal.
    Keep up the good work. Ovo-lacto vegetarian, I guess :))

  9. Thank you for this article! I find the basil pesto from Costco to be quite delicious, and not too salty. When it’s warm, it is so aromatic! I’m a fan.

  10. I tried the Costco Kirkland Signature Basil Pesto and it was disgustingly salty. It has 680 mg of sodium per serving. Costco used to carry the CIBO brand of pesto. I looked CIBO’s website and their pesto has 230 mg of sodium per serving. I was so pissed off about how bad the new Kirkland brand was, that I returned it to Costco and got my money back. I used to always make my own pesto because the commercial brands tasted too much like lemon juice (which they use as a preservative), but when Costco started selling the CIBO brand, I was very happy. But now, their Kirkland brand has replaced it. Whoever the pesto food buyer is for Costco must not have any tastebuds because their new pesto is horrible.

    • This pesto is not for everyone! Some love it, some hate it. It’s mostly oil and cheesy salty. Gives you a stomach ache compared to the real stuff, but it’s not bad if you like that salty flavor, it’s just not like real pesto.

  11. Agree with AVani and was about to ask the same question. Are you sure the rennet is from vegetarian microbial sources?

  12. I got this to give it a try, but ended up wasting most of it. I found we didn’t eat nearly enough things that pesto can be paired with to use up the whole container. I didn’t mind the taste, but it wasn’t amazing.

  13. Please do your research before calling this product Vegetarian. It contains Rennet, an animal product which is why it is not suitable for Vegetarians.

      • Avani is right. You have to butcher calves and shred their stomachs to get rennet. Vegetarians generally don’t eat things that require killing animals.

  14. I found this pesto sauce to be disgusting. It is sooooo salty. One might as well eat a large Ms. Vickies bag of potato chips.


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