Carrot Top Pesto

Don't throw away those carrot tops! Make this delicious carrot top pesto with them to toss with pasta, beans, or eat straight up as a dip.

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cup of pesto


  • 1 cup (packed, about 40 g) carrot top greens, tough stems removed
  • 1 cup (packed, about 40 g) baby spinach
  • 1 large clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup (63 g) roasted unsalted cashews
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup (118 ml) extra virgin olive oil

Special equipment:

  • Food processor


1 Prep the carrot tops: Rinse the carrot top greens to dislodge any dirt. Pick out and discard any dry, yellowed, or otherwise unappetizing looking leaves. Discard tough stems.

prep carrot tops for carrot top pesto

2 Pulse greens, garlic, cashews, salt, pepper in food processor: Place the carrot tops greens, baby spinach, chopped garlic, roasted cashews, salt, and pepper in a food processor. Pulse several times. Scrape the sides down with a rubber spatula.

3 Slowly add the olive oil: While the food processor is running, slowly pour in the olive oil in a steady stream. Scrape the sides down with a rubber spatula. Pulse until smooth.

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  • Robin

    It was really good! I was skeptical at first, carrot tops. Easy quick recipe , loved it!! I wanted to put it on zucchini noodles but only had one zucchini. Had two organic chicken breast used those and loved it!


  • Tiffany

    this was good!!


  • Vienna

    First time making pesto and this is a good, easy to follow recipe!


  • Rosie

    Hi Elise. I want to thank you for this recipe. I was really just looking for a way to avoid the guilt of throwing away beautiful carrot tops, but what I found here is a recipe that will make me seek out more carrot tops in the future. Delicious! Btw, I used 1/3 cup of oil, like the previous commenter suggested. And because I am allergic to cashews, I used pecans that I toasted in a cast iron skillet. Mmmm!

  • Chris Corigan

    I made this recipe this weekend – I saw it just as our home garden is ready for a bushel+ harvest of carrots. I was a bit skeptical of the cashews, but the end result is a mild nutty flavor not unlike the effect of pine nuts in classic basil pesto. I would suggest a bit less olive oil. We make a lot of basil pesto and the proportions in this recipe seemed a bit off. I stopped at about 1/3 cup and the consistency was about right and the end product wasn’t over powered by the olive taste. This pesto has a light nut/herbal taste and it really did go well as a dip/spread with some home made pita chips. I made a 8X batch and froze most of it in 8 oz mason jars – pesto freezes well.


    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Chris, I’m so glad you liked it! Regarding the amount of oil, the first batch I made I only used 1/3 cup of olive oil. I found the result a little stiff. I wanted a looser pesto to make it easier to toss with pasta, so the next time I made it I used a full 1/2 cup, which led to a smoother consistency. This ratio of 1/2 cup of oil to 2 cups of greens is what I use for our basil pesto.