Things to Make with Pesto

It's not just a pasta topping: Put pesto to new use in soups, salads and more from Food Network Magazine.
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Photo By: Con Poulos ©2010. Con Poulos Photography

Photo By: Con Poulos ©2010. Con Poulos Photography

Photo By: Con Poulos ©2010. Con Poulos Photography

Photo By: Con Poulos ©2010. Con Poulos Photography

Photo By: Con Poulos ©2010. Con Poulos Photography

Photo By: Con Poulos ©2010. Con Poulos Photography

Photo By: Con Poulos ©2010. Con Poulos Photography

Photo By: Con Poulos ©2010. Con Poulos Photography

Photo By: Con Poulos ©2010, Con Poulos Photography

How to make pesto:

Blend 8 cups packed basil leaves, 1 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts, 2 to 4 garlic cloves and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a food processor until almost smooth. Stir in 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese.

Italian BLT (No. 5)

Spread pesto mixed with mayonnaise on toasted bread; fill with crisp pancetta, sliced tomato and arugula.

Pesto Butter (No. 7)

Mash 3/4 cup pesto into 4 tablespoons softened butter.

Pesto Cream Tortellini (No. 10)

Simmer 1 cup heavy cream with 1/4 cup pesto in a skillet until slightly thickened. Stir in 1/4 cup grated parmesan. Toss with 12 ounces cooked tortellini and 2 cups steamed broccoli.

Pesto Orzo with Peas (No. 21)

Cook 4 ounces diced pancetta in a skillet with olive oil until crisp; remove with a slotted spoon. Add 1 bag frozen peas and 1 cup water to the skillet; simmer until tender, 10 minutes. Stir in 3 tablespoons pesto and heat through. Stir in 1 1/2 cups cooked orzo and 2 tablespoons grated parmesan.

Pesto Caesar Salad (No. 32)

Whisk 2 tablespoons pesto with 1/2 cup Caesar dressing. Toss with romaine and croutons; top with shaved parmesan.

Pesto Steak (No. 36)

Mix 1/4 cup pesto, 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar and 1 tablespoon hot water. Grill or broil 1 1/4 pounds skirt steak; brush with the pesto.

Pesto Shrimp (No. 43)

Marinate 1 pound shrimp in 2 tablespoons each pesto and olive oil; add 1 lemon (cut into wedges) and 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes. Grill about 3 minutes per side. Season with salt.

Pesto Bean Soup (No. 47)

Saute 5 sliced garlic cloves and a pinch of red pepper flakes in a skillet with olive oil. Add 2 cans drained cannellini beans and 1 cup water; simmer until thick, 8 minutes. Stir in 3 tablespoons pesto and 2 tablespoons grated parmesan. Add 3 cups chicken broth and 1 cup chopped celery; cook 15 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup each chopped olives and roasted peppers.

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