Best 5 Pesto Recipes

While some Italian sauces, like Bolognese, marinara and puttanesca, are best enjoyed after hours of slow and low cooking on the stove, pesto can be made in mere minutes, and, in fact, requires no cooking at all. Most traditional recipes call for just a handful of fresh basil, pine nuts, cheese and olive oil, but the variations on classic pesto are endless and can made by swapping in other herbs and nuts. After blending together your favorite mix of ingredients in a food processor, spoon the vibrant mixture over pasta, spread it onto pizza or drizzle it atop grilled meats to turn everyday dishes into dressed-up meals. For a deliciously easy dip, try serving pesto instead of ranch dressing alongside a platter of vegetables, or smear it onto sandwiches in place of mayonnaise or mustard. Check out Food Network’s top-five pesto recipes below from Bobby, Ina, Giada and more chefs to find five-star takes on this summertime staple.

5. Grilled Shrimp and Cilantro Pesto Pizza — Bobby opts for a duo of fragrant cilantro and parsley to form the base of his pesto, spread onto homemade pizza dough and topped with creamy mozzarella and tender shrimp before the entire pie is grilled.

4. Pesto Pork with PolentaFood Network Magazine lets pesto do triple duty in its all-in-one meal: as the rub for the lean pork tenderloin, the boost of flavor in the side of spinach and the finishing sauce alongside the roasted meat.

3. Pasta, Pesto and Peas — After making a traditional pesto, Ina blends the mixture with spinach, a splash of lemon juice and mayonnaise, then mixes the puree with two shapes of pasta, peas and crunchy pine nuts to create a picnic-ready pasta salad.

2. Penne with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto — Chewy sun-dried tomatoes add a textured bite to Giada’s simple pesto, laced with Parmesan cheese and tossed with pasta for a family-friendly 25-minute meal. Click the play button on the video below to watch her make it.

1. Basil Pesto — A tried-and-true sauce that takes only five quick minutes to prepare, Food Network Kitchens’ go-to pesto can be enjoyed on the spot or frozen and saved for a quick weeknight meal.

Get the recipe

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Penne 03:16

Sun-dried tomato pesto with basil makes an easy, tasty sauce for penne.
Keep Reading

Next Up

Best 5 Spaghetti Squash Recipes

Put seasonal produce to work in Food Network's top-five spaghetti squash recipes.

Best 5 Cheesecake Recipes

Filled with classic and new flavors, Food Network's top five cheesecake recipes are simple to prepare and range from cakes to cookies.

Best 5 Beef Stew Recipes

Food Network's top five beef stew recipes feature traditional and creative takes on this fall favorite that the whole family will enjoy, so grab a spoon and dig in.

Best 5 New Year's Recipes

Check out Food Network's top-five recipes for New Year's entertaining, a collection of party-ready dishes from your favorite Food Network chefs.

Best 5 Chili Recipes

Check out Food Network's top-five chili recipes to find warming recipes from The Pioneer Woman, Bobby Flay, Ina Garten and more Food Network chefs.

Best 5 Kebab Recipes

Check out Food Network's top-five easy kebab recipes to find five-star dinner inspiration from Food Network stars Ted Allen, Melissa, the Neelys and Tyler.

Best 5 Thanksgiving Recipes

Food Network compiled a menu of the 5 best-ever Thanksgiving recipes, featuring traditional supper staples, so set the table and serve up this classic holiday feast.

Best 5 Biscuit Recipes

Check out Food Network's top-five biscuits recipes to find fluffy, comforting treats from your favorite chefs, like Alton, Giada, Trisha and the Pioneer Woman.

Best 5 Quick Christmas Recipes

Check out Food Network's top-five quick recipes for Christmas, a collection of celebration-worthy classics ready to eat in less than 35 minutes.

Best 5 Thanksgiving Turkey Recipes

Food Network's top five turkey recipes encompass a unique mixture of classic and creative takes on this holiday favorite that are fit for any Thanksgiving feast.