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Originally made famous served with trofie or linguine pasta (and more recently with gnocchi), Pesto alla Genovese has long been known to be a great topping for pasta.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!
Pair herbaceous pesto with your favorite cut of pasta or gnocchi for a delicious and easy meal everyone is sure to love.
The ultimate picnic food! All you need is your favorite pasta, some veggies or a little protein and some pesto.
Pesto is a great addition to a charcuterie board or simply paired with cheese to get the party started!
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.
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.
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.
Dish up a new twist on classic sides!
Substitute traditional pizza sauce for pesto! We like using it with chicken and veggie pizza pies.
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.
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!
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.
Click here for a recipe to make your own pesto at home!