11 Alternative Pesto Recipes

Comment author avatar
Angela Martello Modified: February 20, 2024
11 Alternative Pesto Recipes

Explore the World of Pesto: 11 Alternative Pesto Recipes

Pesto, with its vibrant green color and rich flavors, has become a staple in many kitchens. Traditionally made with basil, pine nuts, garlic, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil, pesto is a versatile sauce that can elevate any dish. But why stick to the traditional recipe when there are so many alternative pesto recipes to discover? Get ready to embark on a culinary adventure as we explore 11 unique ways to enjoy this classic sauce.

1. Pistachio Pesto

Bring a touch of nuttiness to your pesto with the addition of pistachios. The creamy texture and slightly sweet flavor of pistachios pair perfectly with the bright herbaceousness of traditional pesto ingredients. Use it as a dip, spread it on sandwiches, or toss it with pasta for a delightful twist on a classic dish.

2. Kale and Walnut Pesto

Looking to add some extra nutrients to your pesto? Look no further than kale and walnuts. This leafy green powerhouse combined with the earthy crunch of walnuts creates a pesto that is both healthy and delicious. Spread it on crostini, mix it into a grain bowl, or toss it with roasted vegetables for a flavorful boost.

3. Sun-dried Tomato Pesto

For a taste of the Mediterranean, try making pesto with sun-dried tomatoes. The intense, tangy flavor of these tomatoes adds a burst of brightness to any dish. Spread it on bruschetta, use it as a pizza sauce, or stir it into cooked grains for a quick and flavorful meal.

4. Spinach and Almond Pesto

Looking to sneak in some extra greens? Spinach pesto is the way to go. The mild and tender spinach pairs well with the crunch of almonds, creating a pesto that is not only nutritious but also incredibly versatile. Toss it with pasta, use it as a salad dressing, or spread it on your favorite wrap.

5. Pea and Mint Pesto

Embrace the flavors of spring with a refreshing pea and mint pesto. The sweetness of peas and the herbaceousness of mint marry together beautifully, creating a vibrant and flavorful sauce. Use it as a dip for crudités, toss it with roasted potatoes, or mix it into risotto for a burst of freshness.

6. Cilantro and Cashew Pesto

For those who love cilantro, this pesto is a must-try. The bright and citrusy flavor of cilantro, combined with the creaminess of cashews, creates a pesto that is packed with flavor. Spread it on tacos, drizzle it on grilled chicken, or use it as a marinade for seafood.

7. Roasted Red Pepper Pesto

Add a smoky and sweet dimension to your pesto with roasted red peppers. Their rich flavor pairs well with the traditional pesto ingredients, creating a sauce that is complex and delicious. Spread it on sandwiches, mix it into dips, or use it as a sauce for grilled vegetables.

8. Arugula and Pecan Pesto

Take your pesto up a notch with the peppery bite of arugula and the buttery crunch of pecans. This combination adds a delightful twist to the classic pesto flavors. Toss it with pasta, spread it on pizza, or use it as a topping for grilled chicken.

9. Avocado Pesto

Creamy, rich, and oh-so-delicious, avocado pesto is a game-changer. The smooth and velvety texture of avocados adds a luxurious element to the traditional pesto recipe. Use it as a dressing for salads, spread it on toast, or mix it into quinoa for a satisfying meal.

10. Mint and Pistachio Pesto

Refresh your taste buds with a mint and pistachio pesto. The cooling and aromatic flavors of mint combined with the crunch of pistachios create a unique and flavorful sauce. Spread it on lamb chops, mix it into a yogurt dip, or use it as a dressing for fruit salads.

11. Roasted Garlic and Parmesan Pesto

For those who appreciate the bold and comforting flavors of roasted garlic, this pesto is a must-try. The rich and caramelized garlic, combined with the nuttiness of Parmesan cheese, creates a deeply flavorful sauce. Toss it with roasted vegetables, spread it on grilled meats, or use it as a dip for crusty bread.

Now that you have discovered 11 alternative pesto recipes, it’s time to get creative in the kitchen. Whether you stick to the classic basil version or venture into new flavor combinations, pesto is sure to add a burst of flavor to your meals. So grab your ingredients, sharpen your knives, and get ready to explore the wonderful world of pesto!

Can pesto be made without basil?
Yes, pesto can be made without basil. While basil is the traditional herb used in pesto, there are numerous alternative pesto recipes that use different greens or herbs as the base. Some popular alternatives include spinach, arugula, cilantro, parsley, and even kale.
What are some alternative nuts that can be used in pesto?
If you want to switch up the usual pine nuts used in traditional pesto, there are several alternative nuts you can try. Some options include walnuts, almonds, pistachios, cashews, and even sunflower seeds. Each nut will bring its own unique flavor and texture to the pesto sauce.
Can pesto be made vegan?
Absolutely! Pesto can be easily made vegan by omitting the traditional ingredients like cheese and using vegan-friendly substitutes. Nutritional yeast is often used as a cheese replacement to add a cheesy flavor to the pesto. Additionally, you can use vegan-friendly alternatives like vegan parmesan or tofu to achieve a creamy texture.
Are there any alternative pesto recipes for people with nut allergies?
For individuals with nut allergies, making pesto can still be possible by substituting the nuts with seeds or omitting them altogether. Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and hemp seeds are excellent alternatives that offer a similar texture and nutty flavor. You can also add extra herbs and garlic to enhance the overall taste of the pesto.
Can I make pesto with non-traditional ingredients?
Absolutely! Pesto is a versatile sauce, and you can experiment with a variety of non-traditional ingredients to create unique flavors. You can add ingredients like roasted red peppers, sundried tomatoes, olives, avocado, or even roasted garlic to give your pesto a distinct twist. Let your creativity guide you in making a pesto that suits your taste preferences.