20 Savory Recipes That Use Pesto
From classic basil pesto to unique iterations made with peas, arugula, fennel, mint, and more, we're sharing new ways to cook with this sauce.
Pesto is an aromatic, super flavorful sauce traditionally made from basil, garlic, pine nuts, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and olive oil. While a classic version is fantastic on its own, we don't stop at the basics. Swap basil with other fresh herbs such as mint, parsley, or cilantro, or other greens like arugula and spinach. Use walnuts or almonds in place of pine nuts and even throw in salty, flavorful additions like anchovies, capers, and sardines. Or try the sharp and spicy Mustard Green and Roasted Garlic Pesto with Pecorino-Romano Cheese, pictured here. While we could eat pesto by the spoon or with crusty bread, it's too delicious to not utilize in a spectacular dinner recipe. Here, we're sharing some of our most amazing ways to use pesto.
One of the most classic—and easiest—ways to make use of pesto is by pairing it with pasta. We have plenty of recipes that use broken lasagna noodles, campanella, orecchiette, spaghetti, and penne with pesto. But we don't stop there—add in lean turkey sausage, sliced salami, or seasonal vegetables to add even more might to a pesto pasta recipe.
Pesto is also a fabulous accompaniment to a cheese and charcuterie board, but to make it even more friendly as an appetizer, we created a pesto dip recipe that couldn't be easier to prepare. Simply mix pesto with sour cream and mayonnaise for a creamy, flavorful dip that you can serve with vegetables, chips, or pita bread.
From a traditional basil version to inspired twists featuring other aromatic herbs, ahead you’ll find an assortment of creative, delicious, and family-friendly pesto recipes.
Pull-Apart Cheesy Pesto Bread
This indulgent, over-the-top garlic bread is what dreams are made of. Start by making a batch of our homemade pesto, then slice Italian bread and spread the pesto between the slices and stuff with a combination of mozzarella and Taleggio.
Turkey-Pesto Meatball Soup
Spring Pesto Dip
Turn a pesto into a delicious, easy dip that you can serve alongside pita or crudités. All you need are three ingredients—pesto, mayonnaise, and sour cream.
Here's an unexpected use for lasagna noodles. Instead of the usual cheesy layered casserole, we used them in a delightful springtime pasta dish with a pea-based pesto that also includes basil, pine nuts, and Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Pasta with Cilantro-Almond Pesto
Sure, pasta and pesto are a fabulous combination, but here we kicked it up a notch with an aromatic pesto made from cilantro instead of the usual basil and toasted almonds in place of pine nuts.
Campanelle with Pistachio-Mint Pesto, Asparagus, and Cherry Tomatoes
Skillet Chicken with Sundried Tomato and Chickpeas
Penne with Spinach Pesto and Turkey Sausage
A combination of curly spinach leaves, fresh basil leaves, and thawed frozen peas are used to create a delicious pesto for this 35-minute pasta recipe.
Roasted Wild Salmon with Caramelized Fennel and Fennel-Frond Pesto
Lemony Pesto Chicken Soup
Orecchiette with Broccoli-Rabe Pesto
Whip up a quick pesto made with bitter broccoli rabe and walnuts, then toss with pasta and sautéed sliced salami—go for something spicy like soppressata!
Beet Noodles with Parsley Pesto and Parmesan
Think that vegetable noodles are boring and bland? Think again. Vibrant red beets are roasted, rather than sautéed, then mixed with our homemade parsley pesto and lots of freshly grated cheese.
Roasted Leg of Lamb with Asparagus and Herbs
Dyed Deviled Eggs
Spaghetti with Sicilian Pesto
What makes this pesto Sicilian? It's as simple as adding roasted red bell peppers, anchovies, capers, golden raisins, blanched almonds, Parmesan cheese, and plenty of extra-virgin olive oil.
Green-Pea Pesto Toasts with Soft-Cooked Eggs
Penne Rigate with Arugula-Almond Pesto
Peppery arugula and blanched, toasted almonds shine in this pesto recipe, which we toss with penne pasta. It's a simple but inspired take on the classic sauce.