10 Ways to Make Pesto You Didn't Know Existed

It’s green, and makes spaghetti 10 times more delicious, right? All you need is your food processor and five minutes.

“Pesto” is a textured, oil based sauce made from pureed veggies, toasted nuts, garlic, oil, and salt and pepper (cheese: optional). It doesn’t have to be made from basil and pine nuts, though we certainly won’t say no to the classic combination. Here: fresh ideas to brighten your plate of pasta. Store in an airtight container for up to four days, or freeze in an ice cube tray for up to three months.


Broccoli Pesto

Photo by Gentl & Hyers

Here’s how to get the kids to eat their veggies: puree a bunch of broccoli florets with flat-leaf parsley, pine nuts, Parmesan, and olive oil—then spoon over cheese tortellini.

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Sundried Tomato Pesto

Sundried tomatoes packed in olive oil are your secret ingredient. Add toasted almonds, Parmesan, and garlic for a pretty bright red puree.


Arugula Pesto

Substitute the peppery leaves for basil, and combine with walnuts, Parmesan, garlic, and olive oil.


Sweet Corn Pesto

No need to cook sweet, fresh corn at the height of its season. Opt for organic, GMO-free ears, de-kernel, and blend with pecorino, toasted pine nuts, cilantro, lemon juice, and olive oil.


Green Olive Pesto

This combo is salty and flavorful, thanks to pitted green olives. Combine with garlic, parsley leaves, basil leaves, and olive oil. Try slathering over chicken cutlets, or simple spaghetti.

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Carrot Hazelnut Pesto

For a fresh but creamy take, try tender raw carrots, whole roasted hazelnuts, pecorino, garlic, and olive oil.


Toasted Sesame Pesto

Try this zesty combo: basil, garlic, ginger, lemon, toasted sesame seeds, and toasted sesame oil.


Kale Walnut Pesto

Because who wouldn’t want another delicious way to eat the super green? Kale, walnuts, pecorino, garlic, and olive oil.

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Mint Pistachio Pesto

Fresh mint, spinach, garlic, olive oil, and toasted pistachios.


Cilantro Parsley Pesto

Like normal pesto, only three times the herbs: basil, cilantro, and parsley. Plus pine nuts, parmesan, and olive oil.