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Pesto with fresh basil is colorful and aromatic - a treat for the eyes and nose as well as the taste buds! Here's four things you can do with fresh homemade pesto, or, if you prefer, a store bought pesto (just read the label to make sure it doesn't contain anchovies). If you're vegan, you'll need to make your own homemade vegan pesto, as I've yet to find a store-bought pesto that is vegan.

  1. Pesto Pasta
    Ok, so this one is probably a no-brainer, but probably the most popular use for pesto is on cooked pasta. Try my easy vegan pesto recipe tossed with pasta, or try this fancier recipe for a California-style avocado and pesto pasta.
  2. Make a Pesto Pizza (pictured)
    After pasta, a pesto pizza is probably the most popular way to use pesto. You can use this recipe for a vegetarian pesto pizza with feta cheese, or, you can get creative and add your favorite toppings. Roasted garlic, tomatoes, artichoke hearts and black olives all go well with pesto. You can also try this recipe for an Italian pesto pizza.
  3. Make a Pesto Dip for Veggies, Pita or French Bread
    Vegetarian or vegan pesto can work as an appetizer or hors d'oeuvres when paired with fresh veggies, sliced French bread, or even pita and crackers. Or, try this recipe for a creamy pesto dip with bell peppers and sour cream. You might also want to try this recipe for a pesto cheese dip - it's super easy with just three ingredients.
  4. Pair it with potatoes!
    Liven up an ordinary side dish like mashed potatoes, baked potatoes or even potato salad with a flavorful pesto. Even if you're using pre-made ingredients, you can add that homemade touch!
  5. Get Creative! I'm sure there's dozens of fun ways to use pesto that aren't listed here. You can make a fun pesto pasta for kids with beans and tomatoes, or try making an Italian vegetarian pesto lasagna. Have another favorite way to use pesto sauce? Share it in the comments!
Pictured: Feta and Pesto Pizza, recipe and photo courtesy of the Wheat Foods Council.


May 22, 2012 at 7:07 am
(1) Julie Tritch says:

Wholegrain sandwich wrap or tortilla – spread half of one tortilla with pesto and the other half with roasted pepper hummus. Put assorted veggies/black beans and baby spinach leaves on tortilla, roll it up or fold in half for a very yummy sandwich wrap with pesto!

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