Healthy Recipes With Pesto
Not sure how to use up a jar of pesto? I’ve rounded up a collection of dietitian-designed healthy recipes using pesto! Here you’ll find everything from pesto pastas, seafood with pesto, along with vegetarian dinner ideas. Plus, I’ve included 4 unique pesto sauce recipes if you want to make pesto from scratch.
In this post you’ll find a collection of recipes for homemade pesto sauce along with a handful of healthy recipes using pesto! For any of these recipe ideas, you can use either the homemade pesto recipes OR use a store-bought jar of pesto to keep things even more simple.
Pesto pairs SO well with many dishes. Famously, pesto is great with pasta, but it’s also fabulous paired with different varieties of seafood, meat, eggs, vegetables, and grains.
Pesto Nutrition Benefits
While pesto sauce itself can be made from a variety of ingredients, most commonly pesto will be a good source of:
- heart healthy fats, thanks to ingredients like olive oil, nuts, and seeds that are usually found in pesto
- greens, like basil (most commonly), but pesto can also be made with greens like spinach, kale, or arugula
TIP: Pesto can also be a source of omega-3s, if you make it with walnuts or hemp seeds in place of traditional pine nuts!
Pesto Pasta Recipes
Pasta is the most common way to use pesto! Check out these yummy pesto pasta recipes below for some new ideas 🙂
1) Pesto Linguine Pasta With Shrimp
2) Baked Penne Pesto Pasta
3) Pesto Orzo With Artichokes & Shrimp
4) Tuna Pesto Pasta Salad
Seafood With Pesto
Seafood and pesto is a wonderful pairing. Below you’ll find some ways to use pesto with salmon, white fish, scallops, and shrimp. Feel free to use the homemade pesto recipes listed in the recipe cards OR simply swap with a store-bought jar of pesto.
5) Baked Salmon With Pesto
6) Seared Scallops With Corn & Pesto
7) Baked Pesto Cod
8) Spaghetti Squash With Pesto & Shrimp
Vegetarian Pesto Recipes
Prefer a vegetarian meal? I love pesto paired with potatoes, pizza, and grain bowls! Again, you can use a jar of store-bought pesto in place of any of the homemade pesto recipes included below.
9) Smashed Potatoes With Pesto
10) Pesto Quinoa Bowl
11) Pesto Potato Hash Skillet
12) Pesto Hummus
13) Roasted Broccoli Pesto Pizza
Unique Pesto Sauce Recipes
Don’t want to use a store-bought pesto sauce? Check out these different variations of homemade pesto sauce below. They can be used with pasta or any of the other recipes ideas you find in this roundup!
14) Creamy Ricotta Pesto
15) Sun-Dried Tomato Red Pesto
16) Creamy Zucchini Pesto
17) Vegan Hemp Seed Pesto
18) Pesto Salad Dressing (Vinaigrette)
More Recipe Roundups:
- Recipes With Tahini
- Recipes With Miso Paste
- Recipes With Greek Yogurt
- Recipes With Peanut Butter
- Recipes With Chia Seeds
Did you give any of these Recipes With Pesto a try? Let me know by leaving a comment and recipe rating below!
If you do make these recipes, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram or Pinterest – seeing your creations always makes my day. You can also subscribe to my email list to never miss a new recipe or nutrition education post!
Get the Recipe: Healthy Recipes With Pesto: Shrimp & Pesto Linguine Pasta
- If using frozen shrimp, begin by thawing shrimp by placing them in a colander and running cold water over them.
- While shrimp thaws, make pesto by placing all pesto ingredients into a food processor. Pulse until the pesto sauce forms. If desired, you can thin the pesto out a bit by adding a tiny bit of water or extra olive oil. Adjust seasonings to taste and set aside.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil (for pasta). While water boils, remove tails, shells, and veins from shrimp. Rinse and pat dry with a paper towel.
- Add shrimp to a large bowl with 1 Tbsp olive oil and garlic powder. Toss until shrimp are well-coated.
- Once water boils, add linguine and cook according to package instructions (about 7-9 minutes).
- While pasta cooks, heat a large pan over medium-high. Cook shrimp for 1-2 minutes each side, until opaque. Remove from heat.
- Drain pasta and return to pot. Add pesto and arugula, and stir everything together until well-coated with pesto.
- Serve pasta in bowls and top with shrimp. Option to top with cracked pepper, a sprinkle of fresh basil, and nutritional yeast or parmesan (if not dairy-free)!
- Feel free to use a different pasta shape in place of linguine. This recipe would truly work well with every pasta shape – long or small!
- If you’d like to add in more veggies, feel free to throw in ones like cherry tomatoes, sautéed zucchini (or zoodles), broccoli, etc. You can even switch up the arugula with a different leafy green, like baby spinach or kale.
- This recipe can be easily be made gluten-free by choosing a gluten-free pasta.
- The original recipe is dairy-free, but you can always choose to top with freshly-grated parmesan and/or swap the nutritional yeast in the pesto with parmesan.
- If you wish to make this recipe completely vegan, simply omit the shrimp and serve alongside a plant-based protein.
- On that note, you can try serving this pasta with another animal protein source, like seared scallops, baked salmon, or grilled chicken in place of shrimp.
- For a nut-free version, simply swap the walnuts with a seed like hemp seeds or pumpkin seeds.
- Finally, feel free to use store-bought pesto if you feel like it!
As a dietitian, I create recipes with whole food ingredients that provide the nutrients needed for optimal health. My nutrition philosophy does not focus on numbers; however, I understand that this information can be helpful.
Do note that the nutrition info provided is an estimate and I cannot guarantee correctness of the displayed values. These numbers will differ depending on brands used, recipe modifications, and amount eaten. If you require specific nutrition information due to medical reasons, please consult with your dietitian or physician.