Incredible Pesto Recipes

Pesto improves meats, vegetables, and breads with its fresh basil bite. Start these easy-being-green recipes with either homemade or purchased pesto (your choice), then add it to chicken sandwiches, vegetable risotto, twice-baked potatoes, and classic Italian pasta dinners. Read on to enjoy fast, savory meals that feature pesto front and center.

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  • 1 of 21

    Homemade Pesto

    Start from scratch for your pesto dinner. You're 7 ingredients away.

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    Italian Pesto Pasta Salad

    Upgrade pesto from mere condiment to side-dish star. Cannellini beans and elbow macaroni play nice with pesto, while baby arugula packs some punch.

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    Espresso-Rubbed Steak with Green Chile Pesto

    Pep up your pesto with the addition of Anaheim chile peppers (poblano peppers will do in a pinch). The sauce is incredible on sweet espresso-rubbed flank steaks. Sound hard? Consider: This recipe takes just 30 minutes.

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    Avocado Pesto-Stuffed Tomatoes

    Kick off a meal with a pesto-and-tomato appetizer that plays off the rich colors of both. Grab your piping bag to do the legwork of filling the ripe cherry tomatoes.

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    Pesto Chicken Sandwiches

    Pesto is the star condiment on these layered chicken sandwiches. Pile chicken, mushrooms, onion, tomatoes, and garlic in your slow cooker, then topple onto a pesto-smeared loaf of ciabatta bread.

  • 6 of 21

    Vegetable-Pesto Risotto Casserole

    Enjoy a lush vegetarian dinner that's full of colorful vegetables: Think zucchini, roma tomatoes, eggplant, and yellow squash. You'll never go back to plain rice once you've enjoyed this grain with stirred-in pesto.

  • 7 of 21

    Cheesy Pesto-Meatball Manicotti

    Stuff manicotti shells with a mixture of ground beef, pesto, Parmesan, onion, sweet pepper, and egg for an oven-baked casserole that's a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.

  • 8 of 21

    Garden Veggie Linguine with Cilantro Pesto

    Your food processor makes quick work of this homemade pesto dish that features two oranges to tang up traditional pesto ingredients. Toss the sweet sauce with cooked linguine, carrots, and zucchini.

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    Pesto Potatoes

    This pesto -- which tops mashed Yukon gold potatoes -- features mixed greens, parsley, garlic, and toasted almonds. It's still low in calories but feels heartier, thanks to the greens like kale or mustard greens.

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    Pesto-Stuffed Pork Chops

    Give pork's sweetness some bite with a stuffing of feta cheese, pesto, and toasted pine nuts. You need just 20 minutes of prep time for a break from chicken dinners.

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    Open-Face Pesto-Chicken Burgers

    A ground chicken burger sets the tone for this twist on the standard burger. Italy inspired the ingredients: basil pesto, garlic, ciabatta bread, olive oil, mozzarella, and tomatoes.

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    Fusilli with Garlic Pesto

    All the pesto-making is done in the blender for this fresh dinner recipe (rest easy, food processor). The basil flavor is key to this recipe: You even add it to the pasta water for cooking.

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    Pesto-Provolone Terrine

    To make this sophisticated pesto spread, you'll need just three ingredients. In a loaf pan, start with sliced provolone cheese, then beat cream cheese and pesto together and start layering. Chill overnight and slice to serve with baguettes or crackers.

  • 14 of 21

    Pesto Biscuits

    Buttermilk biscuits lean toward savory with the addition of pesto in the batter.

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    Pesto Chicken with Zucchini

    Pesto is the rub on bone-in chicken breasts in this two-dish dinner that also features pesto-tossed zucchini and yellow summer squash.

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    Chicken Linguine with Pesto Sauce

    If you're hoping to refrain from an all-out pesto sauce, try this recipe, which tempers pesto's licorice-like bite with creamy Alfredo sauce.

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    Pesto Veggie Gyro

    Get more green in your meals: A homemade pesto vinaigrette, zucchini, and shredded romaine lettuce match up with grilled chicken in a flatbread sandwich with loads of flavor.

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    Ravioli with Spinach Pesto

    Four-cheese ravioli and sliced yellow summer squash add buttery sweetness to your homemade pesto in this 20-minute toss.

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    Twice-Baked Pesto Mashed Potatoes

    Potatoes and pesto are a perfect culinary match. Russet potato shells bake up beautifully with a stuffing of pesto, shredded cheese, and whole milk.

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    Turkey Tenderloins with Cilantro Pesto

    Blend your own pesto (see ingredients in the link, below) for this low-calorie turkey dinner. Then tuck it inside turkey breast tenderloins before tossing on the grill. Lime wedges offer the perfect finish.

  • Next Slideshow All-Time Favorite Italian Recipes

    All-Time Favorite Italian Recipes

    Calling all spaghetti-lovers and pizza purists! You're going to fall for all of our delicious Italian recipes. These traditional dishes are our favorite Italian recipes -- ones you'll want to share, hand down, and save in your recipe box. Sure, we have classics like spaghetti bolognese and baked ziti, but be sure to start with bruschetta and end with tiramisu for the complete Italian experience!
    Begin Slideshow »
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