Meatless Monday Challenge

12+ Best Pesto Recipes

on April 10, 2023
last updated July 31, 2023
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Best Pesto Recipes including my favorite homemade pesto recipes, plus the recipes that use it!
Salmon Pesto Pasta on blue and white plates

If you’re a huge pesto fan like me and want more exciting ways to enjoy it, this list of Best Pesto Recipes is for you! It’s my all-encompassing list of my favorite homemade pesto recipes, plus the recipes that use it!

Pesto is famously fresh, vibrant, herbaceous, and packed with flavor, making it a welcomed ingredient in dishes that range from pasta to seafood to flatbread. Classically made with basil, pesto is a herby blended sauce that tends to be garlic-forward and peppery.

Green tip: Making your own sauces and syrups is a great way to avoid extra plastic packaging that eventually ends up in landfills or makes its way into the environment and becomes microplastics.

As an environmental scientist, I always prioritize being more sustainability-minded in the kitchen. Making my own homemade sauces and dressings is one of my favorite ways to lower my contribution to environmentally damaging microplastics.

1. Arugula Basil Pesto

Bowl of Arugula Basil Pesto
This Arugula Basil Pesto packs such a powerful punch of flavor and freshness. All you need is a food processor, 5 fresh ingredients, and 5 minutes and you’re off and running!
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2. Small-Batch Pesto Vinaigrette

Pesto Vinaigrette in a white ramekin next to a salad on a white plate
This Small-Batch Pesto Vinaigrette with Parmesan is a zesty, fresh, and flavorful addition to your salad that you can whip up in just 5 minutes!
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3. Pesto Butter

5-Minute Pesto Butter
This versatile, easy, and over-the-top tasty 5-Minute Pesto Butter requires just two ingredients and brings a punch of flavor to any meal!
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4. Mushroom Pesto Pasta

overhead shot of serving bowl filled with mushroom pesto pasta
This Mushroom Pesto Pasta is quick, easy, packed with flavor, and requires only one pot and 4 ingredients to come together!
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5. Salmon Pesto Pasta

Salmon Pesto Pasta on blue and white plates
With just four ingredients, one pot, and 30 minutes, you can whip up this easy and delicious Salmon Pesto Pasta to feed four.
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6. Pesto Butter Garlic Bread

Pesto Butter Garlic Bread on pink background
This Pesto Butter Garlic Bread is the best buttery, garlicky crispy carb-loaded shareable appetizer or starter to any meal! Just 20 minutes and 5 ingredients required.
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7. Ricotta Pesto Pasta

Bowl of Ricotta Pesto Pasta with a fork
This Ricotta Pesto Pasta blends bold and fresh flavors with creamy, but not-too-rich ricotta to bring you succulent and zesty pasta in just 20 minutes.
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8. Carrot Top Pesto

Carrot Top Pesto on a pink plate with two lemon wedges
Don't toss your carrot greens! Use the subtly sweet, earthy greens to make this Carrot Top Pesto in just 5 minutes.
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9. Canned Tuna Pesto Pasta Salad

serving of tuna pesto pasta on a black plate surrounded by lemon and basil
This Tuna Pesto Pasta Salad is fresh, hearty, and satisfying. And with it being so affordable, easy, and abundant, it will be your new go-to family meal!
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10. Pesto Butter Salmon

pesto butter salmon served on top of creamy pasta
This Pesto Butter Salmon requires just 3 ingredients and 15 minutes to bring you a healthful dish that's bursting with color and flavor!
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11. Burrata Pesto Pasta

Single serving of Burrata Pesto Pasta with fork
This Burrata Pesto Pasta is filled with flavor and delicious texture and only requires 5 ingredients, one pot, and less than 30 minutes to make.
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12. Fig and Goat Cheese Flatbread

Overhead shot of Fig and Goat Cheese Flatbread
This delicious Fig and Goat Cheese Flatbread comes together in just 30 minutes and with 5 flavorful ingredients that hit the perfect balance of salty and sweet.
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13. 25-Minute Orzo Pesto Salad

Orzo Pesto Salad with roasted tomatoes and mozzarella pearls
This Orzo Pesto Salad is light, fresh, and bursting with flavor. Only 7 ingredients and 25 minutes required.
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14. 2-Ingredient Pesto Tortellini (One Pot)

2-Ingredient Pesto Tortellini served up on a pink plate
This Pesto Tortellini brings tons of savory, herbaceous, and zesty flavor with just 2 ingredients, 15 minutes, and one pot!
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I hope this list of Best Pesto Recipes inspires you to embrace this awesome sauce! If you’re still not sure where to start, I’ve included the recipe for Salmon Pesto Pasta, a quick and easy 4-ingredient family-friendly meal that comes together in 30 minutes and in just one pot.

Salmon Pesto Pasta on blue and white plates

12+ Best Pesto Recipes, including Salmon Pesto Pasta

5 from 1 vote
Marley Goldin
Best Pesto recipes, including this Salmon Pesto Pasta that only requires four ingredients, one pot, and 30 minutes!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings



  • 16 ounces pasta (short or long)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 10 ounces salmon (1 portion = 3-5 ounces)
  • 8 ounces pesto (8 ounces pesto = approx 1 cup)


  • Cook the pasta al dente according to the directions on the box. Before straining, make sure to conserve at least 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Set pasta aside in a colander or large bowl.
  • Remove the skin from salmon if necessary and pat the salmon dry with paper towels (use these bamboo paper towels for a more sustainable option!). Cut it into small cubes, about 1 cubic inch in size.
  • Add the salmon to the pot with the olive oil and about 1 tablespoon of pesto. Cook over medium heat for about 5-7 minutes, tossing frequently so the salmon cooks evenly on both sides.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and add the pasta to the pot with the salmon.
  • Add the pesto to the pasta and toss to coat. While you are tossing, slowly add the pasta water, about 1 tablespoon at a time, assessing the consistency as you go. You should only need about 2-3 tablespoons of pasta water to successfully coat the pesto in the pasta. Serve hot and enjoy!

Pro Tips

  • For more easy and low clean-up recipes, check out this awesome list of my best One-Pot meals.
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Keyword 30 Minutes or Less, 5 Ingredients or Less, One-Pot, Pesto Pasta, Salmon Dinner, Salmon Pasta
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