Fresh Pesto Recipe Ideas

Fresh Pesto Recipe Ideas

Do more than dress your linguine with this fresh, fragrant green sauce. From sandwiches to soups, pesto shines in a number of everyday dishes.

Pesto, the unique and beloved basil-based sauce that originated in the gorgeous region of Liguria, has become increasingly familiar to food lovers in recent years. Whether it’s imported from Italy or made at home, this crowning glory of Mediterranean cuisine is now paired with a surprisingly diverse array of foods and dishes.

Originally made famous served with trofie or linguine pasta (and more recently with gnocchi), Pesto alla Genovese has long been known to be a great topping for pasta. Its intense flavor—an inimitable blend of aromatic basil, olive oil, pecorino cheese, pine nuts and garlic—requires a somewhat neutral accompaniment; pasta, of course, has been the traditional choice, but bread is the next most obvious suspect.

But it is so versatile and we love it so many other ways (check out our Pesto Beyond Pasta blog post as well)! It can be added to charcuterie boards and paired with cheese, spread on panini and pita pockets, dropped into soups, made into dressings and marinades, mixed in side dishes, topped on pizza, paired with grilled veggies and meat, added to eggs, the possibilities are almost endless!

We’ve rounded up some of our favorite ways to use pesto, starting with classic pasta dishes. Enjoy!

Shop Now: Traditional Basil

Shop Now: Squeeze Basil Pesto Topping

Recipe: Sun-Dried Tomato & Olive Pesto

Shop Now: Sun-Dried Tomato, Basil & Cheese Pesto


Pair herbaceous pesto with your favorite cut of pasta or gnocchi for a delicious and easy meal everyone is sure to love.

Recipe: Pesto with Linguine

Recipe: Ravioli with Lemony Pesto Sauce

Recipe: Gnocchi with Pesto & Cream

Pasta Salads

The ultimate picnic food! All you need is your favorite pasta, some veggies or a little protein and some pesto.

Recipe: Summer Pesto Pasta with Grilled Vegetables

Recipe: Summer Pasta Salad with Grilled Vegetables

Recipe: Pesto Pasta Salad


Pesto is a great addition to a charcuterie board or simply paired with cheese to get the party started!

Recipe: Pesto Pine Nut Hummus

Recipe: Pesto Pinwheels with Cheese and Prosciutto

Recipe: Pesto & Sun-Dried Tomato Zucchini Fritters


Dress your salads: By simply adding balsamic vinegar and other herbs—such as thyme, tarragon or marjoram—you can make a delicious dressing for any fresh salad.

Recipe: Snap Pea and Arugula Salad with Pesto Dressing

Recipe: Orzo & Arugula Salad with Pesto Balsamic

Recipe: Pesto Caprese Salad with Balsamic Glaze


A spoonful of pesto is great in Minestrone (Vegetable Soup)—a tradition in the Liguria region, but we love to add it to all kinds of soups and brothy dishes.

Recipe: Minestrone alla Genovese

Recipe: Brothy Beans & Pasta with Pesto Drizzle

Recipe: Chicken Meatball Tortellini Soup


Pesto can be used as a spread on a great variety of panini (sandwiches) and bruschette (toasted bread)—but one needn’t stop there: try a “schmear” of pesto on a bagel; or on a baguette.

Recipe: Garlicky Pesto Tuna Salad Wrap

Recipe: Italian Chicken Wrap

Recipe: Chicken Caprese Sandwich


Dish up a new twist on classic sides!

Recipe: Pesto Potato Salad

Recipe: Creamy Cheesy Pesto Stovetop Mac 'n Cheese


Substitute traditional pizza sauce for pesto! We like using it with chicken and veggie pizza pies.

Recipe: Chicken Pesto Pizza

Recipe: Brussles and Broccolini Pizza

Recipe: Crispy Fried Pizza

Fruits and Veggies

Season steamed, grilled, or roasted vegetables: Pesto can be a great base for preparing different sauces for cooked veggies. It’s also delicious when paired with fruits like peaches and strawberries.

Recipe: Grilled Peaches with Burrata

Recipe: Pesto Asparagus Noodles

Recipe: Italian-Style Street Corn

Meat and Seafood

Add a little zing to your grilled, baked or seared meats and seafood. Whether used as a marinade or brushed on at the end of cooking, pesto is the perfect brings on the flavor!

Recipe: Garlicky Pesto Pork Chops

Recipe: Grilled Pesto Shrimp Skewers

Recipe: Pesto Salmon


Start your day with the bright, fresh flavors of basil packed pesto. Perfect for eggs, smeared on toasts or as a spread for a breakfast sandwich.

Recipe: Gnocchi Pesto Baked Eggs

Recipe: Breakfast Pizza with Kale Pesto

Recipe: Roasted Broccoli & Potato Breakfast Burritos

Click here for a recipe to make your own pesto at home!