Healthy Pesto Sauce Recipes

Find healthy, delicious pesto sauce recipes, from the food and nutrition experts at EatingWell.

Staff Picks

Avocado Pesto

Rating: 5 stars 10
Avocados add a silky consistency and cheese-like richness to this dairy-free pesto recipe. Toss it with pasta, spread it on baguette slices to make bruschetta, or use it for a healthy mayo substitute on your sandwich.
By Jason Mraz

Pesto Pasta Salad

Rating: 4 stars 2
A creamy pesto sauce turns this simple pasta salad into a delightful dinner. Adding broccoli to the pasta cooking water just before the pasta is done is a convenient way to briefly cook it so that it turns a vivid shade of green and softens slightly.
By Carolyn Casner

Grilled Veggie, Tofu & Pesto Sandwich

We load up tofu with spices like garlic powder and smoked paprika, then grill it along with vegetables to build a substantial meatless sandwich. (If you want to make it even more flavorful, let the tofu marinate in the spices and oil in the fridge overnight.) To make this grilled vegetable sandwich vegan, look for a plant-based pesto made without Parmesan cheese.
By Laura Kanya

Simple Vegan Pesto Zoodles

Zucchini noodles, or "zoodles," are a gluten-free, low-calorie substitute for traditional pasta in this easy and fresh vegan dinner. For best results, toss the zucchini pasta with the basil pesto sauce and serve right away.
By Hilary Meyer

Lovage Pesto

Rating: 5 stars 1
Lovage tastes like cardamom and celery had a baby. If you can't find lovage, increase basil to 1 3/4 cups and add 1 1/2 cups celery leaves. Recipe by Chef/Farmer Stacey Givens of The Side Yard Farm & Kitchen, Portland, OR.
By Stacey Givens

Pea Pesto Gnocchi with Burrata

Rating: 5 stars 2
Here we pan-fry gnocchi to get them crispy, then coat them with a pesto-like sauce made with sweet peas, spinach, basil and cashews.
A portrait of Breana Killeen, M.P.H., RD
By Breana Lai Killeen, M.P.H., RD

Classic Basil Pesto

Rating: 4 stars 1
Turn the bounty of summer basil into a delicious sauce with this easy pesto recipe. Try it stirred into a tomato or potato salad, or spread onto a sandwich in place of your favorite condiment.
By Hilary Meyer

Roasted Carrot Tart with Carrot-Green Pesto

Rating: 5 stars 4
In this vegetarian main-dish recipe, you use the entire carrot from root to greens, so there's less waste. Roasted carrots are layered on top of a creamy ricotta base with pesto made using the green tops from carrots. Untrimmed carrots can be tough to find, but when you do, cut off the tops and store them separately or they'll draw moisture from the carrots. If you don't have carrot greens, use 1 cup of parsley instead.
By Breana Killeen

Roasted Tomato Pesto

The concentrated sweetness of slow-roasted tomatoes balanced with savory thyme and a touch of red-wine vinegar makes this healthy pesto recipe a must-try for any tomato lover. Try it in place of tomato sauce on your next pizza or as a “secret” ingredient in your next lasagna.
By Hilary Meyer

Arugula Pesto

Rating: 4 stars 1
This fresh arugula pesto recipe is a great way to use the flavorful spring vegetable. Try tossing arugula pesto with pasta, spread it on pizza instead of tomato sauce, or use it as the base for a vegetable dip.
By Katie Webster

Creamy Arugula Pesto Pasta with Peas & Tomatoes

Here, we jazz up store-bought pesto with peppery arugula and tangy goat cheese to make a creamy pasta sauce.
By Breana Lai Killeen, M.P.H., RD

Basic Basil Pesto

Rating: 5 stars 5
Simplicity reigns in this traditional sauce--just basil, garlic, cheese and olive oil. Our one modification? We like omega-3-laden walnuts in the mix for their crunch and delicate flavor, but pine nuts, almonds, pecans or even pistachios may be substituted for the walnuts.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Inspiration and Ideas

The Best Avocado Pesto
Avocados add a silky consistency and richness to this vegan pesto recipe.
Pesto Pork Pinwheels
Stuff lean pork tenderloin with pesto for delicious flavor from the inside out.
Grilled Radicchio Pesto

Radicchio mellows from bitter to sweet when grilled in this healthy pesto recipe. Try it spooned over grilled chicken or steak, or stirred into your favorite pasta.