Pesto, 3 Ways

Basil pesto is great on almost anything but why stop at this green herb? Make pesto out of cilantro, sage or parsley to serve with fish, chicken, pork or beef.

Robin Miller cilantro almond pesto over chicken with a side of carrots.

Basil pesto is excellent on practically anything – chicken, fish, beef, pork, vegetables. And it’s so easy to find prepared, if you don't have time to make it from scratch you can still enjoy it. But what about other pesto varieties? Wouldn’t a dollop of Sage-Walnut Pesto on pork chops be nice in the fall? Or Cilantro-Almond Pesto with steak or chicken? How about refreshing Parsley-Lemon Pesto with fish or shellfish?

Check out my three recipes for pesto. The base for all three is the same (1 cup leaves, 1/2 cup nuts, 1/2 cup broth, 1 tablespoon oil, garlic, salt and pepper). The broth keeps the pesto nice and light. Once the basic ingredients are blended, I adjusted to create unique and sublime concoctions. I added ginger to the cilantro and almonds, Parmesan to the sage and walnuts, and lemon to the parsley and pine nuts. Take note, you’ll want to make big batches – these pestos last for at least one week in the refrigerator and they’re not just great for main dishes, they make excellent sandwich spreads and dips for crackers and vegetables.

Cilantro-Almond Pesto (above)

I serve this pesto over roasted chicken but it’s also amazing with steak and seafood. For a little heat, add 1 teaspoon wasabi paste.

1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Place the almonds in a small dry skillet and set the pan over medium heat. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until the nuts are golden brown and toasted, shaking the pan frequently. Transfer the nuts to a blender and add the cilantro, broth, ginger, garlic and oil. Puree until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Makes 1 cup
Nutrition Info Per Serving (2 tablespoons)
Calories: 58
Total Fat: 5 grams
Saturated Fat: Total Carbohydrate: 2 grams
Sugars: 0 grams
Protein: 2 grams
Sodium: 6 milligrams
Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
Fiber: 1 gram
Sage-Walnut Pesto

This pesto is excellent with roasted pork tenderloin, pork chops and roasted chicken.

1/2 cup walnut pieces
1 cup packed fresh sage leaves
1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Place the walnuts in a small dry skillet and set the pan over medium heat. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until the nuts are golden brown and toasted, shaking the pan frequently. Transfer the nuts to a blender and add the sage, broth, cheese, garlic and oil. Puree until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Makes 1 cup
Nutrition Info Per Serving (2 tablespoons)
Calories: 70
Total Fat: 6.5 grams
Saturated Fat: Total Carbohydrate: 2 grams
Sugars: 0 grams
Protein: 2 grams
Sodium: 24 milligrams
Cholesterol: 1 milligram
Fiber: <1 gram
Parsley-Lemon Pesto

I like to spoon this pesto over roasted fish, shrimp, scallops and chicken.

1/2 cup pine nuts
1 cup packed fresh parsley leaves
1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lemon, juice and zest
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Place the pine nuts in a small dry skillet and set the pan over medium heat. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until the nuts are golden brown and toasted, shaking the pan frequently. Transfer the nuts to a blender and add the parsley, broth, cheese, garlic, oil, 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of the finely grated lemon zest. Puree until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Makes 1 cup
Nutrition Info Per Serving (2 tablespoons)
Calories: 84
Total Fat: 8 grams
Saturated Fat: Total Carbohydrate: 2 grams
Sugars: 0 grams
Protein: 2 grams
Sodium: 28 milligrams
Cholesterol: 1 milligram
Fiber: 1 gram
Keep Reading

Next Up

Hummus Three Ways

Food Network Magazine's new hummus recipes take the flavors of your favorite guilty pleasure foods and turn them into healthy, high-protein dips.

Ginger, 3 Ways

Use ginger's signature spiciness to enhance everything from classic holiday crinkle cookies to tangy carrot switchel.

Broiled Steak, 3 Ways

Here are a few ways to use broiled steak as the foundation for easy yet impressive meals.

Healthier Sliders, Three Ways

With these slimmed-down gems, you can enjoy two sliders for the nutrient price of one restaurant slider, without sacrificing flavor.

Grilled Corn, Three Ways

It’s corn season! Try these fun new toppings.

Butternut Squash, 3 Ways

These three recipes use roasted, pureed butternut squash in ways usually reserved for cheese — and you’ll never even miss it.

Three Ways to Use: Creamed Corn

Creamed corn is a staple around the holidays. Three Food Network chefs transformed this old-fashioned classic into corn puffs, tamales and ice cream.

Three Ways to Use: Hummus

Food Network Magazine puts Food Network Kitchens to the test making three new recipes using hummus.

Three Ways to Use: Potato Chips

Each month, Food Network Magazine puts chefs from Food Network Kitchens to the test: Create three recipes that put a new spin on a pantry staple. This time it's potato chips.

On TV

The Pioneer Woman

9:30am | 8:30c

The Pioneer Woman

1:30pm | 12:30c

Chopped

2pm | 1c

Chopped

3pm | 2c

Chopped

4pm | 3c

Chopped

5pm | 4c

Chopped

6pm | 5c

Chopped

7pm | 6c

Chopped

9pm | 8c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Chopped

10pm | 9c

Chopped

11pm | 10c

Chopped

12am | 11c

Chopped

1am | 12c

Chopped

2am | 1c

Food Network Apps

In the Kitchen

Get over 70,000 FN recipes on all your mobile devices.

Facebook Messenger

Ask our bot for recipes, meal ideas and daily food trivia.

Amazon Echo

Just say "Alexa, enable Food Network skill" to get started.