9 Ways to Make Pesto Straight from the Garden

If your garden is bursting with fresh herbs and vegetables, now is the time to make ALL THE PESTO! Don’t limit yourself to basil pesto. Try mint, parsley, arugula, kale and even carrot top pesto. It freezes beautifully so you can enjoy your garden bounty all year long.

Pesto has quickly become one of my favorite ways to use up my fresh garden produce. Don’t let the basil and pine nuts fool you; you can make pesto out of almost any fresh green, herb, or nut combination. Try mint and parsley, kale and cashews, or even carrot tops.

I love slathering pesto on summer sandwiches and burgers, using it as a sauce for pizza, and whipping up a quick weeknight pasta dish with pesto as the sauce.

Every time I taste its rich flavors and the way it miraculously transforms meals, I can’t help but think to myself, “Presto, pesto!” So, let’s see just exactly how many different ways you can make pesto and transform everyday dishes into wondrous adventures!

Basil Pesto Sauce

This is the most common way of making pesto. We use Romano cheese for a more robust flavor and found that adding a little spinach mellows out the basil a little. Plus, we include tips on how to freeze it!

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Kale Lemon Pesto

If you have some extra kale hanging around, this is a fun and fresh way to use it up! We balanced out the strong kale flavor with some lemon zest and lemon juice for a truly versatile pesto.

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Pesto made with carrot greens

If you’re growing carrots in your garden, don’t throw away the carrot tops! You worked so hard to grow them, why not make pesto out of them?

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Mint and Almond Pesto - jar of mint pesto on white counter

We mixed mint with parsley for a zippy pesto that’s unforgettable. Pro tip: The best way to keep the bright green color that mint and parsley have to offer is to blanch and then shock them in an ice bath!

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Walnut Pesto with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

This pesto doesn’t necessarily use anything from the garden (unless you’re making your own sun-dried tomatoes), but it definitely needed to be included with the other pesto recipes! It comes together quickly and offers a depth of flavor that can’t be beat.

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Arugula Pesto

Have an abundance of arugula but don’t really want to make a salad? Make pesto by adding a few ingredients to the food processor and giving it a whirl.

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Cilantro Pesto

Unlike other pesto recipes, cilantro pesto gets its complementary flavors from red onion and serrano chiles. It makes a marvelous addition to tacos or you could add some to cottage cheese and make it a chip dip!

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Walnut Parsley Pesto

Making pesto is the best way to use up greens, and parsley is no exception. All you need are some walnuts, parsley, Parmesan cheese, garlic, olive oil, and presto! You’ve got yourself some mighty tasty parsley pesto.

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Ramp and Parsley Pesto

Ramps have a bright, garlicky flavor that is absolutely perfect for pesto. The possibilities of enjoying it are endless! Think of smothering it on sandwiches, tossing it into pasta, or even swirling it into a summer minestrone soup!

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Claudia Cash

Claudia is the Community Manager for Simply Recipes, and finds joy building relationships with our readers through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. As the mother of 5 girls, she is passionate about family dinner and having that time together every day to connect with those we love, even if it's over toast and eggs.

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5 Comments

No Image9 Ways to Make Pesto Straight from the Garden

  1. Libby

    I have been making Basil Pesto for years and keep it frozen for later use. What are some suggested uses for Mint Pesto. I have tons of mint and would like to try making that.

    Show Replies (1)
  2. Dawn

    Thanks for the pesto post! I make pesto every week for my husband. He prefers cilantro or mint pesto, as it has a bright, bold flavor. I add sundried tomatoes and also use pecans, rather than pine nuts. Yum!

  3. Ra

    I always feel so guilty throwing away carrot tops…thanks to you I won’t have to anymore!

  4. Angela DePasquale

    It looks delicious and easy to
    Make. I’d like to try someday.