Delectable Ideas for How to Use Pesto
Pesto’s traditional ingredients are basil, pine nuts, and Parmesan cheese. They’re crushed together with a mortar and pestle to form a luxurious no-cook sauce that’s delicious on pasta, vegetables, meats, and more. The beauty of pesto is how versatile it is. If you make a batch on the weekend, you can use it as a sauce for one dinner, a spread for a sandwich the next night, and a dip for a side of veggies after that. It’s simple to make with a food processor. You can mix up the ingredients to feature your favorite herb, nut, or cheese. The possibilities are endless.
Recipes with pesto
Fresh Basil Pesto.
Classic, simple basil pesto recipe with fresh basil leaves, pine nuts, garlic, Romano or Parmesan cheese, extra virgin olive oil, and salt and pepper.
Every year we plant basil and every year the plants do so well that we can’t use it up fast enough. What to do? Basil pesto, of course! Here is a simple recipe.
Note that pesto is always made to taste, based on the ingredients at hand. So adjust the ingredients to your taste.
Most pesto recipes call for Parmesan cheese, we often use Romano which has a stronger flavor. Basil pesto recipes often call for pine nuts but you can easily substitute walnuts.
Basil is a powerfully aromatic herb and a little goes a long way. You can mellow the pesto out a bit by subbing half of the basil with fresh baby spinach leaves.
The pesto will more easily stay vibrant green and the flavor of the basil will still come through, though just not as strongly.
Easy Baked Pesto Chicken.
This Easy Baked Pesto Chicken is a tasty low-carb dinner that you can make with purchased pesto if you don’t have any pesto in the freezer. And this is a dish the whole family is probably going to like!
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
This easy chicken dish would be suitable for any phase of the South Beach Diet, or any other type of low-carb or low-glycemic eating plan. It would be recommended to use low-fat mozzarella for South Beach since pesto is relatively high in fat. For other low-carb eating plans, full-fat mozzarella would be preferred.
Creamy Pesto Pasta.
This recipe is for one of my favorite pasta dishes ever: Creamy Pesto Pasta. Our daughter requests this recipe often. I think she has good taste! It’s quick and easy to throw together in no time. Make your own fresh basil pesto or buy it already prepared. Once the pesto is made this Creamy Pesto Pasta Recipe is so very quick, and perfect for any night of the week.
2 ingredient pesto chicken.
pesto chicken grilled or oven-baked smothered in a creamy, homemade basil pesto! served with cherry tomatoes, this chicken is out of this world crazy good, low carb, and only need 2 main ingredients!
2 Ingredient Pesto Chicken, two ingredients… no way!
Chicken and Pasta With Lemon Pesto.
Chicken and pasta with lemon pesto is an easy and elegant main dish recipe perfect for entertaining but simple enough for a weeknight dinner. The lemon adds a bit of freshness and brings out all of the flavors of the other ingredients. This recipe calls for simply adding lemon juice and grated lemon zest to purchased pesto and then mixing with cream, making an almost-instant sauce that is delicious tossed with juicy chicken and tender pasta. Baby peas and freshly grated Parmesan cheese add the finishing touch.
All you need to complete this meal is a green salad tossed with a simple dressing along with some garlic toast.
Pesto Pasta Salad with Tomatoes and Mozzarella.
This Caprese-inspired pasta toss is the ultimate summer main for a busy weeknight, outdoor picnic, or lunch on the go.
Recipes with pesto
Is pesto the kitchen’s most perfect sauce? Flavorful, aromatic, and fresh-tasting all at once, pesto is easy to make in a food processor and infuses recipes with loads of delicious flavor. It’s also a fabulous way to use up a bunch of herbs from your garden or windowsill.
We’ve collected our best recipes here to give you ideas for what to make with pesto, from classics like spaghetti and pizza to pesto grilled cheese sandwiches, steaks with pesto sauce, seafood pesto dishes and plenty more. We’re sure that you’ll find something to help spruce up your daily dinner routine!
Keep pesto in your pantry or freezer, and great meals are just minutes away.
Pep up your dinner with a dose of punchy pesto. This green sauce can be easily adapted too.
quick and easy recipes with pesto for the ultimate flavor boost. Keep things classic with our super-simple Pasta Alla Genovese, or mix it up and try making your own broccoli pesto. If you’re looking for healthier meal ideas, pesto is perfectly paired with courgette for a low cal option that doesn’t compromise on taste!
How to make pesto:
Blend 8 cups packed basil leaves, 1 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts, 2 to 4 garlic cloves, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a food processor until almost smooth. Stir in 1/2 cup grated Parmesan.
- Pesto Frites Whisk 1/3 cup mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons each pesto and olive oil, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Serve with french fries.
- Pesto Cornbread Prepare an 8.5-ounce box of cornbread mix as the label directs, adding 3 tablespoons pesto to the batter.
- Pesto Mash Boil 3 pounds peeled russet potatoes until tender. Mash with 1 cup milk, 1/2 cup grated Parmesan, 1/4 cup olive oil and 3 tablespoons pesto.
- Pesto Bean Soup Make Pesto Beans (No. 46). Add 3 cups chicken broth and 1 cup chopped celery; cook 15 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup each chopped olives and roasted peppers.
- Pesto Beans Saute 5 sliced garlic cloves and a pinch of red pepper flakes in a skillet with olive oil. Add 2 cans drained cannellini beans and 1 cup water; simmer until thick, 8 minutes. Stir in 3 tablespoons pesto and 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan.
- Pesto-Sausage Chicken Mix 1/2 pound crumbled sausage with 1/4 cup pesto, 1 chopped shallot, and 2 tablespoons each breadcrumb and grated pecorino. Stuff under the skin of 4 bone-in chicken breasts. Roast in a 375 degrees F oven, about 45 minutes.
- Pesto Roast Chicken Mix the juice of 1 lemon, 1/3 cup pesto, and 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes; rub onto a 6-pound chicken. Stuff with garlic and lemon. Roast in a 375 degrees F oven, about 2 hours.
- Pesto Shrimp Marinate 1 pound shrimp in 2 tablespoons each pesto and olive oil; add 1 lemon (cut into wedges) and 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes. Grill about 3 minutes per side. Season with salt.
- Pesto Swordfish Mix 1/4 cup pesto with the juice of 1 lemon and 1 tablespoon hot water. Spoon over grilled or broiled swordfish.
- Pesto Salmon Cakes Mix 1 pound cooked flaked salmon with 1 cup panko, 1/4 cup pesto, 1 egg, and 1 tablespoon lemon zest. Form patties; cook in an oiled skillet, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Serve with tartar sauce mixed with pesto.
- Pesto Lamb Kebabs Skewer 1 pound cubed lamb and some red onion. Brush with a mix of 1/4 cup pesto and 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar. Marinate 1 hour, then grill.
- Pesto Wings Marinate 2 pounds chicken wings in 1/2 cup pesto and 1/4 cup each cider vinegar, hot sauce, and honey. Roast at 425 degrees F, 40 minutes. Toss with chopped basil and mint.
- Pesto Fried Chicken Mix 1 cup milk and 1/2 cup pesto; add 3 1/2 pounds chicken pieces and soak 30 minutes. Dredge the chicken in 3 cups flour mixed with 1 teaspoon each paprika, salt, and pepper. Fry in 350 degrees F vegetable oil, 12 to 15 minutes.
- Pesto Frittata Cook 1 grated zucchini in an ovenproof skillet with butter. Stir in 1/4 cup chopped parsley and 2 tablespoons each pesto and grated Parmesan. Add 6 beaten eggs and cook until almost set 3 minutes. Bake in a 350 degrees F oven until set, 15 minutes.
- Pesto Steak Mix 1/4 cup pesto, 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar, and 1 tablespoon hot water. Grill or broil 1 1/4 pounds skirt steak; brush with the pesto.
- Pesto-Tomato Soup Cook 3/4 cup chopped shallots and some fresh thyme in a pot with butter. Add 1 large can crushed tomatoes, 1 1/2 cups water, and 1/2 cup cream; simmer 20 minutes. Puree, then stir in 3 tablespoons pesto.
- Pesto Grilled Cheese Brush 2 slices rustic bread with pesto, then sandwich with sliced cheddar or provolone. Butter the outside of the bread and cook in a skillet over medium heat until golden.
- Pesto Quesadilla Saute 1/2 cup each sliced scallions, mushrooms, and zucchini with some pesto, minced jalapenos, and cilantro. Brown a flour tortilla in a skillet with butter; top with the vegetables, shredded muenster, and another tortilla. Flip and cook.
- Pesto Caesar Salad Whisk 2 tablespoons pesto with 1/2 cup Caesar dressing. Toss with romaine and croutons; top with shaved Parmesan.
- Pesto Salad Whisk 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar and 1/4 cup pesto. Toss with baby greens and serve with baguette toasts spread with goat cheese.
- Pesto Panzanella Toss Pesto Croutons (No. 29) with 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 3 tablespoons olive oil, some chopped tomatoes, and cucumber, sliced red onion and more pesto.
- Pesto Croutons Toss 4 cups bread cubes, 3 tablespoons pesto and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Spread on a baking sheet; bake 20 minutes at 350 degrees F.
- Pesto Hummus Mix 1 cup hummus with 2 tablespoons pesto. Top with chopped mint, toasted pine nuts, and a dash of paprika.
- Lemon-Pesto Dip Whisk 1/2 cup sour cream with 1/4 cup each mayonnaise, Parmesan and pesto, 2 tablespoons capers, and 2 teaspoons each lemon zest and juice. Season with salt and pepper.
- Pesto Succotash Cook 5 cups corn, 1 cup sliced cherry tomatoes, and 1/4 cup chopped red onion in a skillet with 1 tablespoon butter until soft, 5 minutes. Add 2 cups cooked lima beans and 1/4 cup heavy cream; heat through, then stir in 2 tablespoons pesto.
- Pesto Tuna Salad Toss 2 cans drained tuna, 1 can drained chickpeas, 1/4 cup each chopped parsley, red onion, and roasted red peppers, 3 tablespoons pesto and 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar.
- Pesto Egg Salad Whisk 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons each pesto and olive oil, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Fold in 8 chopped hard-boiled eggs, 1 cup chopped celery, and 2 tablespoons minced red onion.
- Pesto Chicken Salad Whisk 3 tablespoons pesto with 1/4 cup each mayonnaise and sour cream. Stir in 4 cups chopped cooked chicken, 1/2 cup chopped celery and 1/4 cup each chopped red onion, walnuts, and crisp bacon.
- Pesto Potato Salad Cook 2 pounds quartered new potatoes in salted boiling water until tender, 10 to 15 minutes; drain and cool slightly. Whisk 1 cup mayonnaise, 3 tablespoons pesto, and the juice of 1 lemon; toss with the potatoes and 1 cup diced celery.
- Pesto Orzo with Peas Makes Pancetta-Pesto Peas (No. 20). Stir in 1 1/2 cups cooked orzo and 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan.
- Pancetta-Pesto Peas Cook 4 ounces diced pancetta in a skillet with olive oil until crisp; remove with a slotted spoon. Add 1 bag frozen peas and 1 cup water to the skillet; simmer until tender, 10 minutes. Stir in 3 tablespoons pesto and heat through.
- Pesto Green Beans Toss 1 pound steamed green beans with 3 tablespoons pesto and the juice of 1/2 lemon.
- Pesto-Clam Linguine Make Pesto Mussels (No. 17), using clams instead of mussels. Add 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes. Toss with linguine.
- Pesto Mussels Saute 4 sliced garlic cloves in a pot with olive oil until golden, 2 minutes. Add 2 pounds mussels and 1 cup white wine; cover and cook until the mussels open, about 4 minutes. Stir in 3 tablespoons pesto.
- Calamari-Pesto Pasta Make Potato-Pesto Pasta (No. 15). Saute 1 pound calamari in a skillet with olive oil, 3 to 4 minutes. Toss with the pasta.
- Potato-Pesto Pasta Cook 1/2 pound cavatelli and 1/2 pound chopped peeled russet potatoes in boiling water until tender, 8 to 9 minutes. Drain and toss with 1/4 cup pesto and some of the cooking liquid.
- Pesto Primavera Salad Toss 12 ounces cooked Gemelli or penne with 4 cups sliced steamed vegetables, 1 cup diced mozzarella, 3/4 cup pesto and 1/4 cup grated Parmesan. Top with toasted sliced almonds.
- Tuna–White Bean Pasta Cook 1 sliced garlic clove in a skillet with 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 minute. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, 1 can each drained tuna and white beans, and 1/4 cup pesto. Toss with 12 ounces cooked spaghetti and some torn basil.
- Baked Pesto Gnocchi Toss 1 pound cooked gnocchi with 3 tablespoons pesto and 1 tablespoon softened butter in a baking dish. Sprinkle with grated pecorino and broil until golden.
- Ricotta-Broccoli Pasta Toss 1 pound cooked orecchiette with 1/2 cup each pesto, ricotta, and grated Parmesan. Add 1 bunch chopped steamed baby broccoli.
- Pesto Cream Tortellini Simmer 1 cup heavy cream with 1/4 cup pesto in a skillet until slightly thickened. Stir in 1/4 cup grated Parmesan. Toss with 12 ounces cooked tortellini and 2 cups steamed broccoli.
- Pesto Sweet Potatoes Bake sweet potatoes at 425 degrees F until tender, 40 minutes. Quarter lengthwise and spread with Pesto Butter (No. 7).
- Pesto Corn Grill or steam corn, then brush with Pesto Butter (No. 7). Sprinkle with Parmesan.
- Pesto Butter Mash 3/4 cup pesto into 4 tablespoons softened butter.
- Pesto Fritters Mix 1 cup each ricotta and chopped spinach, 1/2 cup flour, 1/4 cup each grated Parmesan and pesto, and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder; chill 30 minutes. Deep-fry tablespoonfuls in 350 degrees F vegetable oil until golden, 4 minutes. Serve with marinara sauce.
- Italian BLT Spread pesto mixed with mayonnaise on toasted bread; fill with crisp pancetta, sliced tomato, and arugula.
- Pesto Pizza Split a loaf of French bread and brush with pesto. Top with capicola, shredded mozzarella, and grated Parmesan. Broil until the cheese melts.
- Pesto Burgers Make Pesto Meatballs (No. 1) but form into patties and grill. Serve on toasted ciabatta rolls with pesto, mozzarella, tomato, and arugula.
- Meatballs in Pesto Cream Make Pesto Meatballs (No. 1); cook until just browned, then add 1 cup chicken broth and 1/4 cup pesto and simmer until tender. Stir in 1/2 cup cream and simmer.
- Pesto Meatballs Mix 1 pound ground turkey with 1/2 cup each breadcrumb and pesto, and 1/4 cup each milk and grated Parmesan. Form into small balls. Cook in a nonstick skillet with olive oil, 10 to 12 minutes.