Our Best Pesto Recipes
Enjoy these unique recipes for a classic Italian sauce to use on pasta, salads, sandwiches and more.
Winter Greens Pesto Pizza
Hearty collard greens pack this pesto with vitamin K, an essential nutrient for bone health. Buttery Castelvetrano olives make any extra pesto perfect for adding big flavor to pasta and grilled cheese sandwiches; substitute any green olive if you can’t find them.
Roasted Red Pepper Pesto
Wait a sec... pesto should be green, right? Not this basil bowl! Roasted red pepper gives this pesto an earthy umami flavor. Pair it with grainy, toasted pine nuts and Parmesan, for a nutty finish.
This versatile herbed pesto is great on grilled bread and hard-cooked eggs. Or toss a spoonful with your favorite pasta for a savory punch.
Green Pea Pesto Crostini with Prosciutto
All you need are green peas, basil leaves and olive oil for this variation on the classic sauce. Spread on crostini for a tasty afternoon snack requiring next to no prep time.
Garlic, olives and collards are the key ingredients here. You can make this pesto and freeze portions in an ice cube tray. Pop out the "cubes," and keep frozen in a zip-top plastic bag for up to one month.
Fettuccine with Squash & Pistachio Pesto
The pesto sauce in this easy-to-follow dish is made with pistachios, garlic, parsley and lemon zest. You can sub in almonds or walnuts for the pistachios.
Broccoli Rabe and Barley Grain Bowl With Cilantro Pesto
Broccoli rabe (also called rapini) is a leafy cousin to broccoli known for its bracing bitterness. A quick blanch followed by pan-searing tames its bite and renders the greens meltingly tender. Want to make this dish fully vegan? Just leave off the parmesan cheese—or sub in a touch of nutritional yeast.
Pesto Shrimp and Broccoli Fettuccine
Put your knife away—store-bought pesto and precut broccoli florets mean no chopping required. Your Dutch oven pulls triple duty in this recipe by cooking the pasta, blanching the broccoli, and bringing the whole dish together, all in one pot.
Mint Lime Pesto
Use this pesto on everything from pineapple to grilled fish.
Chicken and Cucumber Salad With Parsley Pesto
This hearty supper salad is a lean-protein powerhouse thanks to chicken, chickpeas, and edamame; the parsley pesto delivers bone-boosting vitamin K. Pick up frozen shelled edamame to make this meal extra speedy.
Veggie Noodles with Shrimp and Pistachio Pesto
Vegetable spiralizers make creating your own veggie noodles fast and fun. If you don’t have one, look for already spiralized zucchini noodles near the prepared vegetables in your produce department. Here we show you how to make a batch of homemade pesto that tastes so fresh and delicious, you might be tempted to pass on the premade stuff forever. Double it and save some for later in the week, or freeze the extras to enjoy a taste of summer on a chilly winter day. Already peeled and deveined shrimp save on prep time.
You can make these vegetable-forward pizzas even more colorful by mixing in yellow squash or yellow bell pepper for half the zucchini. Lose the crushed red pepper if your kids don't like the heat. Ready-to-use prebaked crusts are the secret to getting this pizza to the table quickly. Cut the zucchini and mozzarella as thin as possible to guarantee tender zucchini and expertly melted cheese in under 10 minutes. If you like to make your own pizza crust and have one on hand, prebake your crust for about 8 minutes before flipping it over and adding the toppings.
Pasta with Shaved Asparagus and Pea Pesto
Thick asparagus stalks are best for this dish because they’re easier to shave. The trick to this recipe? We cook the pasta in as little water as possible so the resulting pasta water becomes viscous with starch. Adding a little of the water to the sauce makes it extra creamy and helps it cling to the noodles. Pine nuts can be expensive—a good budget substitute is unsalted sunflower seed kernels.
Pan-Seared Scallops with Tomatoes and Pesto
Entertain on the fly with a quick-cooking and delicious scallop dinner.
Grilled Chicken Kebabs with Arugula Pesto
Wake up your grill from winter hibernation with flavorful skewers (chicken, sweet onion, and zucchini) paired with a zippy arugula pesto on the side. Serve with plenty of crusty bread to mop up the pesto.
Steak and Carrots with Parsley Pesto
Grass-fed beef is more flavorful but also tends to be tougher, so the salt-and-sugar rub here will help tenderize the meat. Look for carrots with tops that are about 10 inches long and typically sold in bunches. Save yourself some time and skip peeling the carrots. Just give them a good scrub to get off any residual dirt. Any leftovers can be turned into a nice salad—chop the meat and carrots, whisk a little yogurt or mayo into the pesto, then serve over mixed greens or arugula.
We like the flavor of toasted, skin-on, whole almonds, but any almonds will taste great–just be sure to toast them first for the extra depth of flavor. Serve this sauce over grilled flank steak or lamb chops, or toss with tuna, white beans, and cherry tomatoes.
Sorrel and Almond Pesto Pasta
With its tart, almost kiwi-like flavor and bright color, sorrel lends itself perfectly to pesto. Toss it with room-temperature fettuccine for a fresh take on pasta salad.
All you need is 10 minutes to create a brilliant herbed pesto. Stir a spoonful or two into lightly beaten eggs to make a seasoned omelet or scrambled eggs.
Steak Baguettes with Pesto Mayo
Piled high with steak and veggies, the real treat on this sandwich is the sauce, a pesto mayonnaise. Use sirloin for a more tender bite than you get with cuts like flank steak.
Cilantro and Kale Pesto Toast with a Fried Egg
Sliced bread is the perfect blank canvas, ready to be loaded up with virtuous ingredients. Here is a toast recipe from the Instagram queen of the genre, Diana Ngo (@diningwithdiana), a cook and mom in the Seattle area who is working on her RD.
Chicken, Tortellini, and Spinach Soup with Pesto
Diced tomato and a dollop of garlicky pesto add freshness and color to this quick chicken-pasta soup. Searing the chicken thighs first creates browned bits that add savory richness to the broth.
Pappardelle with Scallion Pesto
While they may not be the most traditional green to add to pesto, the tops of scallions make for a flavorful, exciting addition. If you want to add the entire green onion, you can, however the pesto will have a more onion-forward flavor. Topped with extra basil, Parmesan, and toasted walnuts, this effortless scallion pesto pasta is a summertime favorite.
Pesto Yogurt Dip
Use this herby dip to anchor a tray of what we call Snack Dinner. Surround it with lots of fresh vegetable dippers, seasonal fruit, sliced cheese, olives, nuts, and a little meat.
Zoodles with Tomatoes and Spinach-Caper Pesto
In this recipe, traditional Italian pesto takes a detour through the continent of Asia, swapping in peanuts for pine nuts, toasted sesame oil for olive oil, and miso and fish sauce for Parmesan.
Pesto Chicken Salad Sandwich
Isn’t it time you started packing a sandwich you’re proud to show off in the break room? With vibrant herb flavor and a perfect balance of meaty/creamy/crunchy texture, this fresh twist on a chicken salad sandwich is sure to be the envy of the office. Feel free to use your favorite store bought pesto if you’re not game to make your own. If you’re packing this sandwich to go in the morning, you should have no problem with it becoming soggy before lunchtime as long as you toast the bread.
Rigatoni with Kale Pesto
Whole-wheat pasta would be a tasty option here, complementing the earthy flavor of kale.
Flatbread with Kelp-Walnut Pesto and Asparagus
Roasted Squash and Arugula Pesto Toasts
Sausage and Kale Pesto Pizza
Switch things up for family pizza night and enjoy a healthy pesto based option. Instead of the usual tomato sauce, this tasty deep-dish pizza is topped with a vibrant green pesto made with fresh basil and kale. This deep-dish pizza is made in your favorite cast-iron skillet. Don’t skip preheating the cast-iron skillet, which helps create a nice crisp crust.