7 Fresh Pesto Recipes | Living the Country Life
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7 Fresh Pesto Recipes

Incorporate delicious, homemade pesto into more recipes. Here are some ideas!
  • How to Prepare Pesto

    Total time:  20 min

    • 1/3 cup olive oil
    • 2 cups firmly packed fresh basil leaves
    • 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
    • 2 - 4 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
    • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated
    • Olive oil

    Step 1

    In a food processor combine the 1/3 cup olive oil, basil, nuts, garlic and salt. Process until nearly smooth, stopping and scraping sides as necessary. Stir in Parmesan. Add enough olive oil to reach desired consistency. Makes 1 cup.

    Step 2

    To store, cover the surface of the pesto with plastic wrap (this keeps it from turning brown) and refrigerate up to 1 week.

    Tip

    You'll get more flavor if you grate cheese by hand. Because texture is key, stir it in after you've processed other ingredients to avoid a thick paste. Everyone has a style of pesto they prefer. Add olive oil as you wish for the consistency you like best. 

    Per 1 tablespoon serving: 85 cal., 8 g fat, 3 mg chol., 101 mg sodium, 1 g carb., 0 g fiber, 2 g pro.

    Date Published: February 6, 2018
    Date Updated: February 7, 2018
  • Pesto Pasta Cold Salad

    Prep: 30 minutes

    Makes: 10 servings

    Ingredients

    • 8 ounces dried elbow macaroni
    • 1 jar of purchased or 7 ounces homemade pesto
    • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
    • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 2 15-ounce cans cannelini beans, rinsed and drained
    • 1/2 5-ounce package baby arugula (3 cups)
    • 2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shaved
    • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

    Step 1

    Cook macaroni. Drain and rinse in cold water and set aside.

    Step 2 

    In a large bowl stir together pesto, vinegar, and salt. Add beans, cooked macaroni, arugula, half of the cheese, and half of the pine nuts. Toss well. Top with the rest of the cheese and pine nuts, then serve immediately or chill up to 6 hours. 

    Per serving: 244 kcal, 12 g fat, 5 mg chol., 474 mg sodium, 25 g carb., 3 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 9 g pro.

    Date Published: February 6, 2018
    Date Updated: February 7, 2018
  • Chicken, Peach, and Pesto Pizza

    Prep: 30 minutes

    Makes: 8 servings

    Ingredients

    • 1/3 cup olive oil
    • 2 cups firmly packed fresh basil leaves
    • 1/2 cup unsalted, roasted almonds
    • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
    • 3 - 4 cloves garlic, peeled and quartered
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • Olive oil
    • Ground black pepper
    • 1 pound pizza dough, divided in half
    • 12 ounces grilled chicken breast halves, cut into strips
    • 1 1/2 cups shredded smoked Gouda
    • 2 fresh peaches, halved, pitted, and thinly sliced
    • Fresh basil leaves

    Step 1

    In a food processor or blender blend the 1/3 cup olive oil, 2 cups basil, almonds, Parmesan, garlic, and salt. Combine until nearly smooth, stopping and scraping sides as necessary and adding enough additional olive oil (about 2 tablespoons) to reach preferred thickness. Season to taste with pepper and set aside.

    Step 2

    Divide the pound of pizza dough in half, and roll each half into a 10- to 12-inch circle. Put dough circles on the rack of a grill over medium heat, cover, and grill for 2 minutes. Turn the dough over, remove from grill, and evenly spread pesto over each half. Top with chicken and cheese. Return to the grill for 3 to 4 minutes or until crust is crisp. Remove from grill and top with peaches and basil. 

    Per serving: 486 kcal, 27 g fat, 65 mg chol., 598 mg sodium, 33 g carb., 3 g fiber, 6 g sugar, 28 g pro.

    Date Published: February 6, 2018
    Date Updated: February 7, 2018
  • Chicken Pesto Sandwiches

    Prep: 30 minutes

    Cook: 4 to 5 hours (low) or 2 hours (high), plus 30 minutes

    Makes: 6 to 8 sandwiches

    Ingredients

    • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning, crushed
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
    • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
    • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
    • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
    • 1 medium zucchini or yellow summer squash, halved lengthwise and sliced 1/4 inch thick
    • 1 large red, yellow, and/or green sweet pepper, cut into strips
    • 1/3 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
    • 2 tablespoons pesto
    • 1 12-inch loaf ciabatta bread, sliced horizontally
    • Fresh basil leaves

    Step 1

    In a small bowl, mix Italian seasoning, salt, black pepper. Sprinkle mixture evenly over all sides of chicken; rub it in with your fingers. Place chicken in a 3-1/2 or 4-quart slow cooker. 

    Step 2

    Add onion, mushrooms, and garlic. In a bowl combine tomatoes and vinegar; pour over chicken mixture in cooker. 

    Step 3

    Cover and cook on low heat for 4 to 5 hours or on high heat for 2 to 2.5 hours. Stir in zucchini and sweet pepper and turn to high heat. Cover and cook for 30 more minutes.

    Step 4

    In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise and pesto. Spread the pest mixture over sides of cut bread.

    Step 5

    Move the chicken to a cutting board. Using a slotted spoon, spoon vegetable mixture onto bread bottom. Discard cooking juices and thinly slice chicken. Arrange slices and vegetables over bread bottoms, then add basil and the bread tops. 

    Per serving: 447 kcal., 16 g fat, 50 mg chol., 830 mg sodium, 48 mg carb., 5 g fiber, 6 g sugar, 27 g pro.

    Date Published: February 6, 2018
    Date Updated: February 7, 2018
  • Pesto Biscuits

    Prep: 20 minutes

    Bake: 8 minutes at 450°F

    Makes: 10 servings

    Ingredients

    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 3 tablespoons buttermilk powder or nonfat dry milk powder
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/3 cup butter-flavored shortening or regular shortening
    • 2 tablespoons homemade or purchased pesto
    • 2/3 cup water

    Step 1

    Stir flour, buttermilk powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large mixing bowl. With a pastry cutter, cut in shortening and pesto until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center; add water and stir until dough clings together. 

    Step 2

    Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead gently for 10 to 12 strokes. Roll or pat dough to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut with a 2.5-inch biscuit cutter, dipping cutter in flour between cuts. Place biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet and bake at 450°F for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden-brown. 

    Per serving: 175 kcal., 8 g fat, 2 mg chol., 180 mg sodium, 21 g carb., 1 g fiber, 4 g pro.

    Date Published: February 6, 2018
    Date Updated: February 7, 2018
  • Pesto Mashed Potatoes

    Prep: 25 minutes

    Bake: 1 hour 30 minutes

    Makes: 8 servings

    Ingredients

    • 4 russet potatoes
    • 1/2 cup basil or dried pesto
    • 1/2 cup shredded Pecorino-Romano cheese 
    • 1/4 cup whole milk
    • Salt
    • Ground black pepper
    • 1/4 cup pine nuts

    Step 1

    Preheat oven to 400°F. Scrub potatoes well and pat dry. Prick potatoes with a fork and bake for 1 to 1 1/4 hours or until tender. Remove from oven; let stand for 10 minutes. Cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out pulp from the center of each potato, leaving the shells, and place pulp in a medium bowl. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. 

    Step 2

    Mash potato pulp with a masher or a mixer. Add pesto, 1/4 cup of cheese, and milk; beat until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon the mashed potato mixture into the potato shells and sprinkle with remaining cheese. 

    Step 3

    Place filled potato shells in a 15x10x1-inch baking pan and bake for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with pine nuts. Bake 10 more minutes or until nuts are toasted and serve once slightly cooled. 

    Per serving: 271 kcal., 12 g fat, 13 mg chol., 377 mg sodium, 33 g carb., 3 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 8 g pro. 

    Date Published: February 6, 2018
    Date Updated: February 7, 2018
  • Pesto and Chicken Penne

    Prep: 20 minutes

    Makes: 4 servings

    Ingredients

    • 8 ounces dried penne, or other pasta if preferred
    • 2 cups broccoli florets
    • 1 7-ounce container purchased basil pesto (3/4 cups)
    • 2 1/2 cups coarsely chopped deli-roasted chicken
    • 1 7-ounce jar roasted red sweet peppers, drained and cut into strips
    • 1/4 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
    • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

    Step 1

    Cook pasta according to package directions, adding broccoli to the last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain, keeping 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Return drained pasta and broccoli to saucepan. 

    Step 2

    In a small bowl, combine pesto and the 1/2 cup pasta water. Add chicken, roasted peppers, and the pesto mixture to the pan. Stir gently to mix and cook over medium heat until heated through. Stir in the 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. 

    Step 3

    Serve and, if desired, top with additional Parmesan cheese and sprinkle with black pepper. 

    Per serving: 672 kcal, 35 g fat, 93 mg chol., 857 mg sodium, 53 g carb., 3 g fiber, 37 g pro.

    Date Published: February 6, 2018
    Date Updated: February 7, 2018

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