This is a blog about Food With Pesto. The recipes are centered around the use of pesto in every meal, from breakfast to dessert, but there’s a lot more to read here than just recipes. There’s also information on natural health, beauty, travel and much more.
Food With Pesto
- Classic Basil Pesto SauceThe Spruce Here’s a go-to recipe for classic basil pesto sauce that you’ll use again and again. Fresh basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts, olive oil, and aged hard cheese are blended to create a crowd-pleasing sauce that makes a beautiful accompaniment to pastas, fresh fish, roast chicken, grilled meat, and vegetables.This pesto also freezes beautifully, making it easy to save and serve whenever you’re craving the goodness of this Italian sauce.
- Vegan Pesto SauceThe SpruceDo you adore pesto but are committed to a vegan diet? This simple vegan pesto recipe—without cheese—tastes surprisingly like the real thing! The secret to its great taste is nutritional yeast to replace the Parmesan cheese and plenty of extra garlic for added flavor. Plus, there are all those basil leaves in the recipe, which is really what makes this pesto taste so fresh and flavorful.Use this simple vegan and gluten-free pesto sauce with pasta, to dress up a vegan pizza, or simply serve it with bread or crackers for an appetizer.
- Chicken and Pasta With Lemon PestoLauri Patterson / Getty ImagesChicken and pasta with lemon pesto is an easy and elegant main dish recipe perfect for entertaining. Fresh lemon juice and zingy grated lemon zest, plus some cream, add that special something to store-bought pesto sauce, to make it taste homemade and bring out all the flavors in this elegant main dish meal.The almost-instant sauce that results is savory, rich-tasting and absolutely perfect on juicy chicken and tender pasta, accented with baby peas and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
- Breakfast Grilled Cheese With Arugula PestoThe Spruce / Grilled Cheese SocialGrilled cheese for breakfast? Who wouldn’t want to enjoy this grilled cheese sandwich in the morning, when it’s filled with soft eggs, savory pesto, and fresh crunchy greens! Plus, it really takes only minutes to make.Scrumptious arugula pesto, made with walnuts, Parmesan cheese, garlic, olive oil, salt, and fresh baby arugula leaves, is the star of this savory breakfast grilled cheese sandwich that also includes perfect scrambled eggs and tangy goat cheese. The whole lot is piled between two slices of crispy, buttered whole wheat bread, to create one explosively flavorful sandwich.
- Tilapia With Spinach Pecan Pesto Philippe Desnerck / Getty ImagesHere’s a beautiful fish dinner recipe that’s quick and easy to make in about 30 minutes. It’s simple enough to make for your lucky family at weeknight dinners but elegant enough to have the starring role at your dinner parties.Easy, fresh homemade spinach pesto tops slices of tilapia—a mild African whitefish with high protein content and a delicate flavor.
- Chicken Provencal WrapThe Spruce / MacKenzie SmithBring this French-inspired sandwich wrap in your brown bag lunch to brighten your workday, or make a whole bunch for your next picnic.Provencal mustard is a fantastically flavorful, low-calorie mustard that’s made with a base of Dijon and blended with roasted red peppers, garlic, and herbs. Combined in a warm whole wheat wrap with some bright and lively pesto, fresh nutrient-packed spinach, rich and tangy crumbled goat cheese, sweet and spicy peppadews, and protein-packed rotisserie chicken, it’s a wrap recipe you won’t be able to resist!
Things to Make with Pesto
5-Ingredient Chicken Pesto Soup
Although this soup is made with just five ingredients, the cooking technique packs the soup with flavor. You start by poaching bone-in chicken thighs in chicken broth, which amps up the flavor of the broth and leaves you with meat so tender, it practically falls off the bone. A swirl of pesto at the end delivers a cheesy, herby hit and turns the soup a vibrant green.
Pesto Lasagna Rolls
Each of these pesto-packed noodle roll-ups has just the right amount of filling and bakes in a fraction of the time a traditional deep-dish lasagna takes. Talk about a winning dinner!
Pesto-Rubbed Baked Salmon with Smashed Cucumber and Green Apple Salad
Geoffrey uses a combination of prepared pesto, mustard and lemon juice to make a savory sauce for salmon fillets. He tops the fish with the sauce before cooking — so that every bite is full of flavor
Garlic Bread Pinwheels
If you love picking up an assortment of pinwheels at the local pizzeria then you’re going to want to keep this homemade versio in your recipe box. They’re a cinch to make, thanks to store-bought crescent dough and flavorful basil pesto.
Carrots with Pesto and Ricotta
Instead of relying on rich, wintery flavors like maple or smoky spices, these oven-roasted carrots are bright and spring-y topped with dollops of pesto and creamy ricotta cheese.
Grilled Pesto Chicken Sandwiches
These grilled chicken sandwiches have all the flavor of a classic caprese salad thanks to slices of tomatoes and fresh mozzarella — and a generous slather of fragrant basil pesto.
Gnocchi Pesto Pasta Salad
Katie combines store-bought pesto with mayonnaise to make a creamy and delicious dressing for her reimagined pasta salad. Her other twist? She uses tender gnocchi instead of the pasta!
Grilled Pesto Ravioli
Cooking the ravioli in one skillet all the way through means there is no need to boil, drain and reserve the starchy cooking water. The residual cooking water will thin out the pesto just enough for a loose coating and help the pesto sauce thicken a touch without becoming gummy.
Turkey Pesto Meatball Sheet Pan Dinner
This family-friendly meal is full of tricks that will save time and energy. Aside from making fewer dishes (the meatballs and veggies cook together on one sheet pan) you can also skip extra chopping and measuring for seasonings since the meatballs get their flavor from store-bought pesto.
Pesto-palooza! Ten Ways to Eat Pesto
A couple of months ago, I happened across a most magnificent vendor at the farmers’ market. She was selling tie-dyed shirts and bright green basil—lots and lots of it. I felt like a kid in a candy store when I scored six cups of basil for nine dollars under the shade of her colorful tent. I went home feeling giddy about my purchase, which turned into a big batch of pesto the next day.
I froze the pesto in ice cube trays for later, just like I did with the arugula pesto, and I’ve been putting pesto on practically everything since. I’ve found that adding flavorful homemade pesto to a quick, ordinary meal makes it seem like a gourmet special.
A few of my experiments weren’t worth sharing, but I managed to come up with ten fantastic, easy ideas for you. Plus, I’ve typed up a basic basil and walnut pesto recipes and some tips on making pesto at the bottom of this post. Buon appetito!
Pesto pasta with extra protein: Toss steamed, shelled edamame, lightly sautéed spinach (optional) and whole wheat rotini in pesto. The buttery texture of edamame complements pesto surprisingly well.
Pesto tortilla pizza: Top an organic whole wheat tortilla with pesto, reduced fat mozzarella and sliced tomatoes. Bake at 450 degrees Fahrenheit, preferably on a baking rack, until the cheese is golden and bubbling.
Pesto scrambled eggs: cook your scrambled eggs as usual and take the pan off the burner once the eggs are mostly set. Stir in pesto and top with Parmesan and diced tomatoes.
Pesto popcorn: stovetop popcorn lightly tossed with pesto and grated Parmesan (optional).
Pesto grilled cheese: layer pesto, mozzarella, and roasted red peppers or tomatoes on good whole wheat bread. Grill. Amazing!
Pesto quesadilla, take one: pesto, tomato and mozzarella between a whole wheat quesadilla.
Pesto quesadilla, take two: pesto, cannellini beans and low fat mozzarella turned into a quesadilla. Highly recommended!
Arugula pesto pizza bagel: Oh my. Top a 100% whole wheat bagel with pesto, mozzarella pearls and cherry tomatoes. Bake at 450 for about ten minutes, until the cheese is melted. Let the bagels cool slightly and top with arugula that has been lightly tossed in lemon juice, salt and pepper. I can thank Joy the Baker for inspiring this creation.
Avocado pesto pasta: This might not be the prettiest pasta around, but it sure is tasty. Combine roughly equal parts avocado and pesto in your food processor. Add a squeeze of lemon juice. Blend thoroughly. Drizzle in extra olive oil if necessary. If you’re feeling adventurous, blend in some goat cheese, too. Toss with whole wheat pasta.
Pesto lasagna: mix pesto into the ricotta cheese. This lasagna was beautiful, yes, but the recipe wasn’t quite right.
6 smart ways to use up leftover pesto
Whether you buy pesto or make your own, it’s just too good to let any go to waste. Choose one of our six tasty ideas to make the most of any leftover pesto.
1. Save for later
Pesto freezes well. If you’ve only used a quarter of a jar for your dinner, reseal it and pop it in the freezer– no need to decant into another container.
2. Quick soup
Heat leftover roasted, steamed or boiled veg with low-salt vegetable stock and blend with a dollop of pesto for a delicious 5-min soup.
3. Gluten-free toastie
Spread a slice of gluten-free bread with pesto. Add a little reduced-fat grated cheese and some sliced tomatoes, then top with another slice of bread before popping in a sandwich toaster (or cook on both sides in a frying pan sprayed with oil).
4. Gluten-free frittata
Prepare a simple frittata with cooked, sliced potatoes, chopped spring onions, spinach leaves and seasoned beaten eggs, adding a spoonful of pesto before cooking. Serve with a salad of your choice.
5. Healthy lunchbox
Make a speedy salad with leftover cooked rice, spelt, canned lentils or beans, mixed with a generous spoonful of pesto and a squeeze of lemon. Scatter over mixed leaves.
6. Speedy dip
Blend a can of drained cannellini beans with some pesto and a glug of olive oil for a creamy hummus-like dip. Serve with carrot sticks.