Healthy Pesto Sauce Recipes

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

Staff Picks

Avocado Pesto

Rating: 4.73 stars
11
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.

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.

Basic Basil Pesto

Rating: 4.45 stars
11
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.

Tarragon Pesto

Rating: 5 stars
1
The French flavor of tarragon inspires this pesto, which is wonderful stirred into a simple fish or chicken soup and brings a je ne sais quoi to chicken salad.

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.

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.

Roasted Tomato & Almond Pesto

Rating: 4.9 stars
10
The delightful richness of Ellie Krieger's sundried tomato and almond pesto is a perfect partner for nutty whole-wheat pasta. It's also delicious spread on grilled chicken.

Pea Pesto Gnocchi with Burrata

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.
By Breana Lai Killeen, M.P.H., RD

Goat Cheese Pesto

The taste of soft goat cheese is more present in this California version of pesto than Parmigiano-Reggiano is in a basil pesto. Consider it a multidimensional recipe: dip, sauce and spread.

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.

Parsley-Caper Pesto

In this dairy-free parsley pesto recipe, lemon juice and zest pack a citrusy punch to brighten any dish. Try it dolloped on grilled fish or stirred into pasta for an instant flavor boost.

Lovage Pesto

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.
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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.

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

Rating: 3 stars
1

In the '70s, with the advent of New American cooking, sun-dried tomato pesto became something of a cliché-and was summarily forgotten on the culinary landscape. It's well worth a revival, especially when you cut down the fat and add a little vinegar for a nice spike.