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Posted by on Feb 24, 2014 in Basil, Cooking recipe, Garlic | 2 comments

Pesto, it’s the Best-o! Plus 10 Creative Recipes


Pesto: A Staple for Your Kitchen

Pesto is delicious and satisfyingly healthy. It is a multi-purpose staple that deserves a place in everyone’s kitchen. When you see pesto at the grocery store, you might gasp at the ridiculously expensive price tag on a very small jar of the stuff

I am here to tell you that pesto, when made from home, is easy AND cheap to make! 

Pesto has many uses in the kitchen, including:

  • Pasta: use pesto in place of marinara sauce
  • Pizza: instead of BBQ sauce or tomato sauce, use pesto
  • Chicken: pesto-covered chicken is delicious
  • Hamburgers: instead of mustard and ketchup, add pesto to your buns
  • Veggie Dip: dip your veggies into pesto as a simple appetizer or snack
  • Sauce for Veggies: this creates a bold sauce to cover your potatoes, broccoli, etc.
  • Fish: looking for a new way to eat fish? Top it with pesto
  • Sandwiches: make a creative sandwich with pesto instead of normal condiments
  • Salad: pesto would make an excellent salad dressing

How do YOU use Pesto? Please feel free to include recipes in the comment section below!

Pesto: A Simple Recipe


The great thing about Pesto is that you can switch most of the ingredients to anything you have around the home.

Another great thing about Pesto is that most of the ingredients are common ones that you already have in your kitchen.

Here is a Simple Pesto Recipe:

*3/4 cup olive oil (like this)
*3 cups of fresh basil (can include some stems…I just cut of the top third of each basil plant and put it right in the  food processor)
*1/2 cup of good quality Parmesan, grated (like this)
*4 garlic cloves
*1/4 cup (2 oz.) pine nuts (like these)
*1-3 tsp. lemon juice

1) Place all of the ingredients in a food processor. Blend to perfection. Taste and add additional items if necessary. Enjoy!


See? Pesto is easy to make and most of those ingredients are probably already in your home. You can make a big batch and freeze some, either in ice cube trays or glass freeze-safe jars for future use. 


10 Creative Pesto Recipes

Now that you know the simple, typical Pesto Recipe, you can start exploring new options and tastes with it. Pesto is one of the funnest staples to use, because you can use whatever greens, nuts, spices, etc. that you have on hand from your garden or the store.

If you want some inspiration, check out these 10 Creative Pesto Recipes:

1. Rainbow Chard Pesto: Don’t have basil or pine nuts? This recipe uses Rainbow Chard and walnuts. From Veggie Converter.

2. Arugula PestoArugula instead of basil gives a peppery bite to your pesto. This one also uses a substitute for the cheese and pine nuts. From Mary Vance.

3. Walnut Basil Pesto: This pesto recipe uses walnuts, spinach, and basil. There is no cheese in it either. From Kula Mama.

4. Raw Vegan Pesto: This vegan pesto recipe contains zucchini and nutritional yeast, among other awesome ingredients. From Small Footprint Family.

5. Lemon Pepper Pesto: This is a creative pesto that is heavy on the lemon taste as well as adding a kick of spice. From Popular Paleo.

6. Garden Greens Pesto: This is a nut-free recipe. I love how this pesto recipe also gives you ideas of different garden greens to use as well as how to make it dairy-free. From Primally Inspired.

7. Garlicky Kale Pesto: This delightful pesto recipe uses lots of garlic, kale, and almonds. From Frisky Lemon.

8. Spinach Pesto: If basil isn’t in season, you can always make pesto with spinach! This recipe also has a kick of spice as well as dairy-free options. From Popular Paleo.

9. Spicy Radish Pesto: If you love a spicy kick to your foods, this spicy pesto will be perfect for you. With radish greens, parsley, and lots of lemon, it is lip-smackingly delicious! From Oh Lardy.

10. Vital Green Pesto: This is a unique pesto in which the main greens are parsley and cilantro. Instead of nuts, it uses pumpkin seeds! Check it out, from Savory Lotus.


I hope I have inspired you to make your own pesto. Be Creative!




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By Cris Daining


  1. We used to make pesto and put it into baby food jars, when the basil, oregano, etc. was being harvested in late summer. We would freeze it in these jars, and make sure the top layer was always covered with olive oil so that it didn’t turn black. We would make enough to last the whole year (while the fresh ingredients were available) and use it out of the jar from the freezer, just replenishing the olive oil on the top to maintain the color.

    • Thanks for the tip!


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