24 Recipes That Start With Pesto

24 Recipes That Start With Pesto

Delectable Ideas for How to Use Pesto

Is pesto the kitchen’s most perfect sauce? Flavorful, aromatic, and fresh tasting all at once, pesto is easy to make in a food processor and infuses recipes with loads of delicious flavor. It’s also a fabulous way to use up a bunch of herbs from your garden or windowsill.

We've collected our best recipes here to give you ideas for what to make with pesto, from classics like spaghetti and pizza, to pesto grilled cheese sandwiches, steaks with pesto sauce, seafood pesto dishes and plenty more. We're sure that you'll find something to help spruce up your daily dinner routine!


Watch Now: Classic, Easy Basil Pesto Sauce Recipe

  • Classic Basil Pesto Sauce

    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 Sauce

    24 Recipes That Start With Pesto

    Do 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 Pesto

    24 Recipes That Start With Pesto

    Chicken 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 Pesto

    24 Recipes That Start With Pesto

    Grilled 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.

    Continue to 5 of 24 below.

  • Tilapia With Spinach Pecan Pesto

    24 Recipes That Start With Pesto

    Here’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 Wrap

    24 Recipes That Start With Pesto

    Bring 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!

  • Vegetarian Pesto Pizza With Feta Cheese

    24 Recipes That Start With Pesto

    This vegetarian pesto pizza recipe uses pesto instead of tomato sauce. Topped with salty feta cheese, tangy artichokes, and Kalamata olives, this veggie pizza delivers a mouthful of Mediterranean and Greek tastes that go perfectly with baked pizza dough.

    Enjoy it for a yummy lunch or dinner, with a green salad on the side!

  • Warm Oven Brie With Pesto

    24 Recipes That Start With Pesto

    Soft, rich Brie cheese smothered with a quick homemade pesto sauce is the type of appetizer you should only make when company is coming, or you'll end up eating the whole thing yourself!

    Warm, luscious Brie cheese and creamy basil pesto melt together into a cheesy, garlicky appetizer that can be scooped up with slices of baguette. It’s the perfect appetizer to serve guests before sitting down to dinner or to place on a buffet table when you want to impress.

    Continue to 9 of 24 below.

  • Garden Pasta Salad With Rotini

    24 Recipes That Start With Pesto

    This tasty garden pasta salad is made with prepared pesto and loaded with freshly chopped vegetables, for a flavorful side dish that takes little time to make.

    The lemony pesto and mayonnaise dressing flavors this potluck-ready salad perfectly. You can also add some diced cooked chicken, ham, roast beef, turkey, and chopped or shredded cheese to make this salad hearty enough to be the main dish.

  • Shrimp and Fresh Pesto Pasta

    24 Recipes That Start With Pesto

    This shrimp and pasta recipe includes a pesto made with Pecorino Romano and Parmesan cheeses. It’s a delightful complement to the lightly fried shrimp and cherry tomatoes. When served over tagliatelle or spaghetti, it’s a quick, simple, and deliciously light meal.

  • Basil Sunflower Seed Pesto Recipe

    24 Recipes That Start With Pesto

    Raw sunflower seeds take the place of the usual pine nuts or walnuts, in this nutritious pesto recipe that’s chock-full of antioxidant vitamin E.

    This delectable, good-for-you recipe can be stored for up to two weeks in the fridge, or frozen for a pesto infusion anytime.

  • Pesto Salmon Pasta

    24 Recipes That Start With Pesto

    This super-easy and sophisticated recipe for pesto salmon pasta is perfect for company. Ready in just 30 minutes, but looking like it took forever to plan and make, this is a great dish for impressing company that makes use of leftover cooked salmon.

    Perfect for entertaining, especially if you are a beginner cook, this fish pasta recipe tastes like so much more than the sum of its ingredients.

    Continue to 13 of 24 below.

  • Pesto Meatballs With Spaghetti

    24 Recipes That Start With Pesto

    This delicious and hearty main dish pasta skillet recipe that’s perfect for family dinners on busy weeknights, takes less than 30 minutes to put together and serve.

    Store-bought frozen meatballs and prepared pesto sauce are great time savers for this recipe that makes a nutritious family meal, thanks to lots of veggies. Serve this easy recipe with a tossed green salad and some garlic toast, for a complete and delicious meal.

  • Sour Cream Pesto Dip

    24 Recipes That Start With Pesto

    Looking for a quick party appetizer when last-minute guests are arriving? You’ll love this easy party dip recipe that’s a snap to make, and packs loads of flavor.

    You can use purchased pesto in this simple three-ingredient recipe, or make your own pesto using fresh basil. Serve this pesto dip recipe with chips, crackers or tortilla chips. Or be healthier and surround the dip with baby carrots, bell pepper strips, broccoli, and cauliflower florets, for an easy appetizer platter. It also makes a great sandwich spread!

  • Tuna Alfredo Casserole

    24 Recipes That Start With Pesto

    Tuna casserole is the ultimate in tummy-warming comfort food. But when it’s made with just five ingredients and updated with some prepared pesto and fancy pasta, it’s fun to make and eat too. This five-ingredient tuna Alfredo casserole recipe is perfect for dinner on a busy weeknight when you’re rushing to put together a yummy and nutritious family meal.

  • Baked Tofu With Vegan Pesto Sauce

    24 Recipes That Start With Pesto

    Looking for a vegan-friendly main dish recipe that’s filling and full of flavor? This healthy vegan recipe for baked tofu with pesto sauce is so simple to prepare, and it’s super tasty.

    Tofu is treated to a light marinade including pesto and balsamic vinegar, then baked in the oven to bring out all the flavors and texture. Serve this recipe over brown rice, pasta, salad greens, or quinoa, or layer it in a warm sandwich stacked with veggies, for a satisfying vegan meal.

    Continue to 17 of 24 below.

  • Scandinavian Lemon Dill Pesto

    24 Recipes That Start With Pesto

    Walnuts and dill take the place of the usual pine nuts and basil, in this unusual, fresh-tasting, no-cheese pesto sauce that’s traditional to Scandinavian countries. As you might imagine, the dill in this recipe makes it a particularly delectable accompaniment for grilled fish or chicken.

  • Chicken Margherita

    24 Recipes That Start With Pesto

    Chicken Margherita is a tasty combination of tender chicken breasts, tomato sauce, gooey mozzarella cheese, and flavorful pesto. It’s a main dish that’s sure to please the whole family, and it’s ready in under 45 minutes.

    Serve it with pasta or crusty bread, or keep it gluten-free with a salad or roasted asparagus.

  • Chilean Sea Bass With Garlic Butter and Oregano Pesto

    24 Recipes That Start With Pesto

    When you really want to wow your dinner guests, serve this elegant recipe that features a mouth-watering combination of flavors and textures.

    As if grilled Chilean sea bass wasn’t good enough, this recipe calls for it to be drizzled with garlic butter and topped off with an oregano pesto. A truly delicious meal and perfect for Valentine’s Day, anniversaries, and birthday celebrations.

  • Cauliflower With Pesto

    24 Recipes That Start With Pesto

    Healthy steamed cauliflower gets an extra dose of yummy flavor with the addition of some delicious green pesto sauce. If you use prepared sauce from the store, add a bit of extra salt, lemon juice, or Parmesan cheese, for an extra kick of flavor.

    Continue to 21 of 24 below.

  • Oven-Fried Pesto Chicken

    24 Recipes That Start With Pesto

    Enjoy the finger-licking taste of fried chicken, without all the fat and calories, in this “oven-fried” chicken recipe that uses prepared pesto sauce to add plenty of great extra flavor.

    Juicy chicken breasts are pounded thin, then coated with pesto and a panko bread crumb mixture, and baked to crispy perfection. Serve these flavorful coated chicken breasts with a tossed salad and your favorite steamed vegetables for a delicious everyday family dinner.

  • Vegetarian Lasagna Rolls With Pesto

    24 Recipes That Start With Pesto

    Lasagna roll-ups are delicious, nourishing, and a fun alternative to the traditional layered lasagna. These vegetarian lasagna rolls are made with fresh basil pesto and sweet potatoes, which means they are sweet enough for vegetarian kids, but with pesto, ricotta, and fresh spinach, they are also suitable for adults. The whole family will love this rolled lasagna recipe.

  • Spinach Pesto Rice Bowl

    24 Recipes That Start With Pesto

    Rice bowls are a super trendy choice for lunch or dinner. Here’s a great recipe for a spinach pesto rice bowl, featuring a super fresh-tasting pesto made from spinach leaves, toasted walnuts, lemon, and garlic.

    This flavorful sauce is tossed with tender brown rice and then topped with crunchy and bitter radicchio, salty feta, creamy avocado, and a soft-boiled egg. The combination is healthy and hearty with plenty of bright flavors and makes a picture-perfect lunch.

  • Baked Grilled Cheese Pesto Sandwiches

    24 Recipes That Start With Pesto

    Pesto truly adds something special to these baked grilled cheese pesto sandwiches. Super delicious and so easy to make—with only four ingredients—this is sure to become one of your family’s favorite sandwiches.

    You can use your favorite cheese in this easy sandwich, which calls for store-bought pesto and whole wheat bread, which toasts up nice and crunchy when it's grilled.


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