31 Creative Things To Make With Pesto
Need some ideas on what to do with pesto?
You can do more than dress your linguine with this fresh, fragrant green sauce. From potato salad to pesto chicken, pesto sauce brightens up so many of your favorite everyday dishes.
Pesto is a unique and beloved fresh basil sauce that hails from Liguria—a crescent-shaped region of Northwestern Italy, known for its mountainous vistas and its beautiful coast, the Italian Riviera. Traditional pesto sauce is a raw (crudo) sauce that is famously made with Genovese basil, a cultivar of sweet basil named for the capital of Liguria, Genoa. Though there are many variations, pesto sauce is most often a combination of fresh basil leaves, extra virgin olive oil, pine nuts, minced garlic, lemon juice and a hard Italian cheese like Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano (Parmesan cheese). Once blended, these ingredients come together to form an herbaceous, nutty and vibrant sauce with a beautiful green color that is ready to dazzle just about any dish you can dream up.
Originally made famous with linguine pasta as Pesto alla Genovese, this simple yet flavorful olive-oil-based sauce has become so much more than a pasta sauce. There is never a shortage of what to do with pesto! Create a pesto topping or pesto dip to brighten up charcuterie boards and cheese trays. Use it as a spread for sandwiches, paninis and crostini toast appetizers. Drizzle on caprese salads of fresh basil, cherry tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. Bake up a pesto pizza or a colorful Italian-inspired flatbread. Finish grilled meats and seafood, roasted vegetables and breakfast eggs.
Want more pesto sauce inspiration? Check out our fan favorite pesto recipes.
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If you’ve never combined a rich cream sauce with basil pesto, you haven’t lived! It’s the perfect harmony of sweet, creamy and herbaceous. This pesto gnocchi recipe is an easy way to enjoy a rich, decadent pasta any night of the week. Just 5 ingredients!
Add a new edge to your favorite picnic pasta dishes with a spoonful or two of pesto sauce. This summertime recipe features lemony grilled chicken, garden veggies, twirly pasta and bold pesto sauce to round bring it all together.
Are you loaded up with garden zucchini? This pesto recipe features smoky grilled zucchini, tart Greek olives, roasted garlic, creamy ricotta and a rich pesto dressing. Serve it as a stand-alone dish or alongside some protein like grilled pesto chicken for a heartier meal.
Nothing says summer like fresh berries! This chicken spinach salad features grilled chicken, goat cheese, sweet strawberries, tender spinach and a homemade pesto dressing to top it all off. A quick and easy salad brimming with color and crisp flavor, this pesto recipe is sure to be your new summertime go-to.
Pinwheel appetizers are impressive, yet easy to make: a win-win! If you’re looking for some bites for your next holiday get-together, office party or just low-key happy hour hang, look no further than this savory combo of two types of pesto (basil and sun-dried tomato), prosciutto and creamy mozzarella.
Who needs lettuce? Crunchy snap peas, greens and fresh basil are the foundation of this green, green recipe. The addition of creamy burrata cheese and a homemade pesto dressing (with the help of sweet golden balsamic) take this pesto-lovin’ salad recipe to the next level.
This pesto recipe is for a creamy, lightened up dressing made with yogurt, mayo and basil pesto. Give your next picnic macaroni salad or potato salad a lightened up, Mediterranean-style twist. Who said something can’t be good and good for you?
Pesto is more than a brilliant summer sauce and condiment. Pesto sauce also adds an herbaceous pop to your favorite winter soups and stews. We love adding a drizzle of prepared pesto (or store-bought) to our Italian vegetable soup, Minestrone. This soup recipe is the Genovese version.
Bring on the cannellini beans in this brothy bean masterpiece. This protein-packed pasta dish gets its big flavors from Parmigiano-Reggiano rinds, brilliant basil pesto, a simmering soffritto and fresh herbs. We honestly can’t think of a better way to warm up.
This incredible panini gets its big flavors from bright basil pesto, juicy chicken cutlets, smoky roasted red peppers, bitter arugula greens and melty provolone. Featuring restaurant flavors at home, this pesto chicken sandwich is the lunch you’ve been dreaming of.
Who needs mayo when you’ve got pesto sauce? Give your traditional potato salad recipe an upgrade with toasted pine nuts, sweet peas, hard-boiled eggs and a vibrant lemony pesto dressing. This impressive pesto recipe is great for entertaining.
Pizza lovers know the best pizza is made at home. Our DeLallo Pizza Dough Kit makes it super easy to create an amazing crust. Featuring fresh garlic, cherry tomatoes, sweet basil pesto, melty Italian cheese, crushed San Marzano Style Tomatoes and fresh basil leaves, this pesto pizza recipe is nothing you can get delivered!
Swap out the red sauce and go green with this white pizza recipe. Loaded with shredded chicken, fresh basil leaves, red onion and mozzarella cheese, this homemade pizza pie uses extra virgin olive oil and pesto sauce to create a flavorful pizza sauce—no tomatoes required! Our DeLallo Pizza Dough Kit makes this recipe super simple, easy enough for a weeknight!
When thinking about what to do with pesto, pizza tops our list. This pizza includes all of your favorite green things in one pizza pie: broccolini, Brussels sprouts and our squeezable DeLallo Pesto Topping. We top it off with shaved Parmesan cheese and melty mozzarella.
Fruits and Veggies
We swap traditional pasta noodles for flat ribbons of asparagus in this unique pesto recipe. Dress this asparagus pasta with sweet peas, crumbled bacon and a generous sprinkle of Pecorino Romano cheese. Skip the bacon and make it vegetarian for a Meatless Monday meal idea.
Grilling gives fresh fruit like peaches and pears an incredible smoky caramelized flavor that is the perfect complement to fresh basil pesto and creamy burrata cheese. We top it off with pleasingly bitter arugula and slivers of almonds.
Meat and Seafood
Just a spoonful or two of pesto sauce can add so much flavor to your favorite cuts of meat and seafood—from chicken breasts to pork chops to grilled shrimp. These pesto pork chops are super simple weeknight entrée. Pair them up with a simple pesto pasta, a crisp garden salad or roasted veggies.
Sure, you love pillowy potato gnocchi, but have you ever had it for breakfast? This incredible pesto pasta recipe will forever change the way you look at the first meal of the day: tender potato pasta, fluffy scrambled eggs, cherry tomatoes, Italian cheeses and an herby green pesto sauce.
The best part of waking up is most certainly breakfast and these vegetarian breakfast burritos are the proof! Loaded with soft-scrambled eggs, smoky-sweet baked veggies and a drizzle of fragrant pesto sauce, this is one pesto eggs recipe for your breakfast (and brunch) rotation.