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My mom never cooked much with pesto when I was growing up, so it wasn't until high school that I discovered the glory of this Italian condiment. Needless to say, I quickly fell for the versatile ingredient--how could you not?

Whether you buy a jar at the store or whip up your own, this nut and herb-based mixture is flavor-packed, bright, and seems to have a way of making almost anything more delicious. That said, I highly recommend making your own. It's so dang easy and happens to be one of the most customizable spreads out there, so do yourself a favor and break out your food processor to make an impromptu pesto with whatever leftover herbs, nuts, and cheese you have on hand. Here's how to do it with nearly anything you have lying around your kitchen.

Now that you have your pesto in hand (I assume), I challenge you to think outside the box when using it up. Sure, it's great mixed in with hot, cooked pasta, but there are so many other options out there. Explore them.

Here are 9 places you should put pesto other than pasta:

#1. On a sandwich

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Caprese Burgers

Caprese Burgers

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#2. On pizza

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Pesto Biscuit Pizza

Pesto Biscuit Pizza

#3. In an appetizer

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Creamy Pesto Pinwheels

Creamy Pesto Pinwheels

#4. In chicken salad

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Pesto Chicken Salad Sandwiches

Pesto Chicken Salad Sandwiches

#5. In a casserole

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Baked Ziti with Turkey and Pesto

Baked Ziti with Turkey and Pesto

#6. Anywhere at breakfast

Mustard Green Pesto and Egg Open-Faced Sandwiches
Pesto Egg Sandwich

#7. All over your grilled chicken

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Chicken Drumsticks with Cilantro Pesto

Chicken Drumsticks with Cilantro Pesto

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Buttermilk-and-Honey Chicken Kabobs

Buttermilk-and-Honey Chicken Kabobs

#8. Tossed with veggies

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Baby Potatoes with Arugula Pesto

Baby Potatoes with Arugula Pesto

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Pesto Green Bean Salad

Pesto Green Bean Salad

#9. On top of bruschetta or crostini for an easy, satisfying snack

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Avocado Crostini Two Ways

Avocado Crostini Two Ways

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Mint and Pea Pesto on Toasted Baguette

Mint and Pea Pesto on Toasted Baguette