Quick & Easy Pesto Recipes

This page of easy Italian pesto recipes will have you churning out some seriously tastebud-pleasing pasta coverings in just a few minutes.

We kick off with traditional green basil pesto from the Northern Italian region of Liguria, then when you've nailed that guest-pleasing sauce just choose which pesto to tackle next: earthy walnut and arugula (rocket) pesto or moreish Sicilian pistachio pesto, direct from one of my very favorite Mediterranean islands.

pesto_sauce_recipe_for_pasta Ligurian basil pesto sauce

This delightful Ligurian sauce must rank as one of the easiest basil pesto recipes around. It takes just 5 minutes and creates a fresh and herbily aromatic Genovese pasta covering. Also see this video version.


recipe for pesto Rocket (arugula) and walnut pesto

This interesting pesto variation is also green in color but while it uses almost exactly the same preparation process it serves up quite a different taste; a nuttier, earthier aroma that I think you'll love. It's different but not too out there... go on, push the boat out and give it a bash!

easy pesto pistachio recipe Sicilian pesto pistachio recipe

Our wonderful third pesto variation dumps the leaves altogether and replaces them with nuts... moreish, 'one's-never-enough' crushed pistachios including their skins. Hailing from glorious Sicily, pistachio pesto is a scrummy n' crunchy covering that works a treat with fresh homemade pasta.

red pepper pesto recipe Red pepper pesto

This red pepper and crushed walnut pesto is a lovely rich-colored pasta covering with a nice little ‘bite’. My advice? The pepper grilling takes a good few minutes so why not do a big batch and freeze some portions for later?

sundried tomato pesto recipeSundried tomato pesto recipe

This second red pesto recipe is an equally great (and cheap, and quick) dinner winner. This one brings you the wonderful richness of sun-dried tomatoes, with a creamy lashing of ricotta cheese. Soooo scrummy!


sun dried tomato pestoSun dried tomato pesto redux

Yet another red pesto recipe and this one's a real interesting mix of flavors. You've the nutty crunch of macadamia, the aromatic scent of rosemary and the familiar tang of sun-dried toms. Smother it over pasta or toast.

pesto with broccoliMean Green - brocolli pesto recipe

I don't like broccoli at all, but this creamy green pesto is the exception. Thanks to its parmesan cheese and woody pine nut flavors it turns this nasty green veg into a sumptuous pasta covering. You must try it - it's a revelation!

More reader-submitted pesto dishes:

Pasta Pesto Recipe with Avocado

Chef's Knife Pesto Sauce Recipe

And if that's not enough pesto for you...

You must check out Pesto Lovers, a website packed full of even more pesto pleasure, published my good friend Elaine.

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