8 Pesto Recipes (That Don't Involve Basil)
You're probably used to making pesto with basil, which totally understandable: A traditional basil pesto IS incredible, after all. But that doesn't mean it's the ONLY way to make pesto. This light, refreshing sauce is just as good (and sometimes better!) when its made with other herbs, veggies, and nuts.
Mint Lime Pesto
Use this pesto on everything from pineapple to grilled fish.
An evergreen, everyday pesto will perk up pastas and pizzas when fresh basil is no longer in season. The warmth from the toasted walnuts will help the sauce emulsify; don't skip this step. Try the sauce on seared salmon or chicken.
Toasted Pecan and Kale Pesto
Spread this hearty pesto on pizza, or add a dollop to your favorite comforting fall soup.
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.
Flaxseed and Parsley Pesto
Toasting the flax seeds and walnuts before combining with the rest of the ingredients brings out their rich, nutty flavor while taming any hint of bitterness. This parsley-based pesto is a fun change of pace from the more typical basil-and-pine-nut pesto. Go ahead and throw in some of the parsley stems along with the leaves in this recipe—they add the same fresh taste and are processed until smooth. Serve with steak, chicken, or fish, or stir into a pot of steamed mussels and sop up the leftovers with some crusty bread.
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.
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.
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.