Pepita Basil Pesto - this pesto is made with pepitas and lots of fresh basil. Perfect to add to pasta, pizza, sandwiches, or grilled meats.
Today I'm sharing a recipe for pepita pesto. This recipe is a function of "make do with what you have". I recently had an abundance of fresh basil but no pine nuts, only pepitas. I improvised, and the result was delicious.
Pesto is one of my favorite condiments. It's so easy to make and is full of fresh, bright flavor. I love adding pesto to pasta, pizza, sandwiches, or grilled beef or chicken.
Pesto only requires a handful of ingredients. And many of them can be easily substituted based on what you have in your pantry.
- fresh basil - basil is traditional in pesto, but spinach, arugula, or kale can also be used.
- nuts - I used roasted and salted pepitas in this pesto. Pepitas are a "hull-less" seed from certain varieties of pumpkin. Pine nuts, which are traditional in pesto, and walnuts are both great options.
- olive oil is traditional, but avocado or grapeseed oil can be substituted.
- garlic - garlic adds tremendous flavor. Adjust the amount to suit your personal taste.
- parmesan cheese - a classic addition to pesto for its salty bite. You can also use Romano or Asiago cheese.
- lemon juice - don't skip the lemon juice! The acid adds a brightness that rounds out the pesto.
- salt and pepper - rounds out the flavors - season to taste.
Pesto is as easy as tossing the ingredients in a food processor. First, add the basil, pepitas, and garlic and blend until finely chopped. Next, add the lemon juice and parmesan and blend to incorporate. Then, with the food processor running, drizzle the oil in, blending until the mixture has a spreadable, spoonable consistency. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
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This pesto is loaded with so much flavor - you will be reaching for this green gold over and over again. If you try this recipe, please leave a comment below or post a picture on Instagram with #mycasualpantry or tag me @mycasualpantry.
Use Pepita Basil Pesto with these recipes:
- Pesto Pappardelle (Pasta with Pesto and Tomatoes)
- Pancetta Pesto Pasta with Olives and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
- Roasted Veggie and Pesto Pizza
- Easy Cauliflower Gnocchi with Pesto and Blistered Tomatoes
Pepita Basil Pesto
- 2 cups fresh basil packed
- ¼ cup pepitas roasted and salted
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese shredded
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
- ½ large lemon juiced
- ½ cup olive oil
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- To the bowl of a food processor, add the basil, pepitas, and garlic. Process until finely chopped.
- Add the parmesan and lemon juice and blend to combine. Drizzle in the oil with the processor running and blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Nutritional information is an estimate and will vary depending upon the exact amounts and specific ingredients used.