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It's So Easy Going Green: 10 Great Pesto Recipes for Breakfast, Lunch, and More

Photo by Zoryanchik / iStock
Photo by Zoryanchik / iStock

Just a couple handfuls of garlic, pine nuts, and herbs blended together produces that tasty concoction called pesto. Beloved by adults and kids everywhere—even by picky eaters who actively avoid green foods—this humble condiment brings a uniquely delicious flavor to any food it graces. (Looking for a homemade version? Our basil-almond pesto is the tops.) 

You and your family probably already know the magic that pesto can work in pasta or paninis, but this delightful emerald-colored sauce is so tasty that there’s no reason it should stay confined to classic Italian dinnertime staples. Check out these 10 great recipes to incorporate pesto into all the other meals and snacks in your day!


1. Ham and egg muffins. An egg, cheese, and a cherry tomato all nestle inside a delicately thin slice of ham. After the baking process, a dollop of pesto completes the hearty combination of flavors in these breakfast muffins

2. Denver omelette slow-cooker casserole. Adding pesto to the mix gives this classic breakfast recipe a zesty twist that will leave your family craving more. Even better, this casserole is as easy to make as it is on your taste buds—just pop everything in the slow cooker at night and wake up to a hot breakfast at the ready! 

Photo by iuliia_n / iStock
Photo by iuliia_n / iStock


3. Pesto-spinach muffins. Opt for savory over sweet at your next brunch with family and friends. These green-tinged muffins may get some wary looks at first (especially from little ones), but that first bite will win them over. 


4. Avocado pesto quesadillas. Starring a winning combo of cheese, pesto, and avocado, this recipe is a refreshing, summer-y take on the classic Mexican quesadilla. 

5. Peppery pesto chicken wings. Skip the hot/BBQ/vinegar sauce—Rachael Ray’s pesto-Parmesan glaze turns baked chicken wings into something really special, while a dash of crushed red pepper lends a spicy kick. 

6. Sweet-potato chickpea salad with pesto. This delightfully light vegetarian dish will appeal to all ages—the sweetness of the potatoes, the slight nuttiness of the chickpeas, the tanginess of feta cheese, and pesto’s signature flavor mesh amazingly well. 

Photo by IslandLeigh / iStock
Photo by Island Leigh / iStock

Afternoon Snack

7. Pesto popcorn. You’ve undoubtedly had cheese, cinnamon-sugar, and chocolate popcorn. All winners, to be sure, but popcorn flavored with pesto and Parmesan will steal your heart and never let it go.

8. Basil-pesto almonds. Heart-healthy almonds get a flavor enhancer when they’re coated in a basil-pesto mixture. Even picky little ones will gobble these up by the handful!

Party Appetizers

9. Pesto crab cakes. Classic versions of this seafood dish always make a splash at parties—but up the flavor factor with pesto, and you’ll have friends begging for the recipe before night’s end. Even better, only a handful of ingredients is needed, so your wallet will thank you.

10. Pesto and feta mushroom caps. Feta, tomato, pesto, and mushroom blend together for a phenomenal flavor that will have guests going back for seconds—and thirds—and fourths! These little veggie delights will be the hit of the night.

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