Mix-and-Match Pesto

Create your perfect version: The possibilities are endless!
Related To:
Mix and Match Pesto Recipes

1. Pick a nut or seed

Toast 1/3 cup in a dry skillet until lightly browned; let cool. Pulse in a food processor until finely ground.

  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Hazelnuts
  • Pecans
  • Pepitas (hulled green pumpkin seeds)
  • Pine nuts
  • Pistachios
  • Sesame seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Walnuts

2. Choose your base

Add 3 cups total (choose up to 3).

  • Arugula
  • Basil
  • Cilantro
  • Collard greens, chopped
  • Kale, chopped
  • Mint
  • Parsley
  • Romaine, chopped
  • Spinach, chopped
  • Watercress

3. Choose your seasoning

Add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon total of the following ingredients (choose up to 3); add 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and pulse until finely chopped.

  • Fresh thyme
  • Fresh oregano, chopped
  • Fresh tarragon, chopped
  • Fresh rosemary, chopped
  • Garlic, chopped
  • Lemon zest, grated
  • Orange zest, grated
  • Red pepper flakes

4. Pick a cheese

Grate 1/2 cup, add to the food processor and pulse to combine.

  • Aged cheddar
  • Aged or smoked gouda
  • Asiago
  • Grana padano
  • Gruyere
  • Manchego
  • Parmesan
  • Pecorino

5. Finish the pesto

Slowly pour in 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, pulsing to incorporate. Transfer the pesto to a bowl and stir in 1/4 to 1/2 cup of any of the following (optional). You'll have about 1 cup pesto; use about 1/2 cup for 1 pound pasta.

  • Fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • Mascarpone
  • Olives, pitted and chopped
  • Ricotta
  • Roasted red peppers, chopped
  • Sun-dried tomatoes, chopped

Design your own dinner, or try one of our ideas:

Arugula-Basil Pesto with Pine Nuts, Parmesan and Ricotta

Kale Pesto with Walnut and Parmesan

Romaine Pesto with Sesame Seeds, Asiago and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Pesto Pasta Recipe Ideas

See All Photos

Make the most of fresh herbs with these quick pesto ideas from Food Network Magazine.

Kale Pesto with Walnut and Parmesan

Use three cups of kale, plus toasted walnuts for this easy weeknight pasta.

Arugula-Basil Pesto with Pine Nuts, Parmesan and Ricotta

Add a peppery kick to traditional pesto with arugula; pine nuts bring texture to the pasta of your choice.

Photo By: Kana Okada ©Kana Okada 2013

Romaine Pesto with Sesame Seeds, Asiago and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Sun-dried tomatoes add a pop of color to this simple romaine-Asiago pesto.

Photo By: Kana Okada ©Kana Okada 2013

Next Up

50 Pesto Recipes

Try a fresh take on the classic!

50 Things to Make With Pesto

Turn pesto into soup, salad and more.

How to Make Pesto

Forget store-bought pesto. Make your own with this simple how-to from Food Network.

Why Ramps Are the Secret Ingredient for Next-Level Pesto

Everyone's about to start freaking out about ramps — here's the most impactful, crowd-pleasing way to use them.

Don't Break Up with Basil, But Blend Up These Non-Basil Pestos, Too

Pesto isn't just exclusive to basil anymore (or pricey pine nuts either); the summer staple can be made with really any green, and you can get even more creative by using sun-dried tomatoes and more unconventional picks.

Mix & Match: Biscuits

Bake something new for your breadbasket.

Mix-and-Match Latkes

Fry up a new potato pancake! 

Mix-and-Match Quiche

Design the perfect brunch: This customizable recipe leads to thousands of possibilities.

Mix-and-Match Cornbread

Bring something new to your next barbecue: This recipe from Food Network Magazine leads to thousands of combinations!

Mix-and-Match Stuffing

Try a new stuffing or three—the options from Food Network Magazine are endless.

Latest Stories

Related Pages