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Best Pesto Recipes and Meal Ideas

Pesto is a delicious accompaniment to many dishes. Explore the best pesto recipes HelloFresh has to offer.

All Pesto Recipes

From vegetarian pesto recipes to fish and chicken, you’ll find so many pesto recipes to inspire your next midweek meal.

A little pesto goes a long way

What is Pesto?

Pesto is a rich and vibrant Italian sauce that has become a beloved kitchen staple worldwide. Originating from Genoa in the Liguria region of Italy, pesto is traditionally made by combining fresh basil leaves, pine nuts, garlic, hard Italian cheese, and high-quality extra-virgin olive oil. The ingredients are finely blended into a smooth, green paste that has a herby taste and a fragrant aroma. Pesto's versatility extends beyond being a pasta sauce - it can be a tasty accompaniment to various dishes, including sandwiches, salads, and even as a marinade for meat recipes. The combination of its simple yet rich components results in a widely loved taste that adds a burst of freshness to a wide array of dishes, making pesto recipes a go-to when looking for easy yet indulgent meals.

Tips for Enjoying Pesto

Beyond Pasta: Surprising Foods that Shine with Pesto

Pesto is a versatile sauce that can elevate the flavour of various dishes, and some pairings may pleasantly surprise you. For example, consider stirring a teaspoon of pesto into a bowl of tomato soup to infuse it with added colour and richness, or add a dollop of pesto to a veggie burger for even more indulgence. There are so many different ways to enjoy pesto:
  • Chicken: Cut chicken breasts in half and spread pesto in the middle before baking for a burst of flavour.
  • Fish: Combine pesto with butter to create a delectable sauce when grilling white fish.
  • Pasta: Stir pesto through your favourite pasta dishes for a delightful twist on classic flavours.
  • Bread: Use pesto as a sandwich topping, pairing it with fresh tomatoes for a mouthwatering treat.
  • Pizza: Drizzle pesto over the top of your pizza along with mozzarella to elevate your pizza game.
  • Lamb: Cover the outside of lamb with pesto before baking to create a delicious and savory crust.
  • Grilled Vegetables: Toss grilled veggies in pesto for a zesty and herb-infused side dish.
  • Quinoa Salad: Mix pesto into a quinoa salad with roasted vegetables for a hearty and nutritious dish.
  • Eggs: Swirl pesto into scrambled eggs or fold it into an omelette for a savoury breakfast twist.
  • Potato Wedges: Coat oven-baked potato wedges with pesto before roasting for a delightful and aromatic side.
  • Stuffed Mushrooms: Fill mushroom caps with a mixture of pesto and cream cheese before baking for a tasty appetiser.
  • Pesto Mayo: Mix pesto with mayonnaise for a flavour-packed condiment to elevate sandwiches and wraps.

How to: Pesto - FAQs

How to make pesto?

The best advice for how to prepare pesto is to use a blender or food processor when making it fresh as opposed to a pestle and mortar, which is much harder work. Blend together fresh basil leaves, pine nuts and peeled garlic cloves together with Parmesan cheese shavings and olive oil.

How to make a creamy pesto sauce?

Because the sauce is so flavoursome, use pesto sparingly so the overall effect isn't too overpowering. Try adding some Greek yogurt to your pesto recipes for a creamier and milder taste.

How to make pesto without pine nuts?

A handy tip is that you don't have to stick to the main ingredients – experiment with walnuts and coriander or mint along with Romano cheese as substitutes for the standard ingredients. Anyone with a dairy intolerance can leave out the cheese completely.

How to store pesto?

When freshly made with no preservatives, pesto sauce should be kept in a sealed, airtight container such as a jar. It can then be stored in the refrigerator for about a week.

Can you freeze pesto?

Yes, pesto can be frozen. To do so, the ideal method is to scoop servings into an ice cube tray – this makes smaller portions to handle when defrosting. As an alternative, use plastic freezer bags to store manageable quantities of sauce in the freezer. When frozen, it will keep for around 6 months. To freeze it for longer, use a small jar or plastic container – this will keep for up to 12 months.
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Save money and time on your meals
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