This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy.
Fresh and lively, Cilantro Pesto is full of zippy flavor and totally adaptable! Toss with pasta, spread on bread, or serve with soups, grilled salmon, beans and eggs. Healthy and easy to make!
We can throw stones, complain about them, stumble on them, climb over them, or build with them. ~William Arthur Ward
This Cilantro Pesto recipe has all the basic ingredients. Fresh cilantro creates a perky twist on the classic pesto. Feel totally free to play around with the recipe and swap out to utilize what you have on hand and adapt to your preferences. Pesto is extremely versatile. Have fun creating your own unique rendition!
Vegan? No problem. Skip the cheese. Add nutritional yeast if you like, though it really doesn’t need it.
Ingredients in Cilantro Pesto
Ways to Adapt
- Cilantro- swap some out for a bit of mint, basil, or even carrot tops
- Parmesan Cheese- leave out for vegan and add 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast if desired. ( It is still delicious without.)
- Almond + Pumpkin Seeds– use all almonds, or walnuts, Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, cashews, or hemp seeds for nut-free
- Garlic- add more if you like it punchy with garlic or use scallions for a milder flavor
- Lemon- or try lime
Can Cilantro Pesto be made Vegan?
Yes, it is really quite fresh and lovely without the added cheese. The texture will be a bit looser (like a gremolata) but still incredibly flavorful!
How to make Cilantro Pesto
Step two- Pulse for about a minute until all ingredients begin to break down and combine. You want the texture to be a little grainy.
How to serve Cilantro Pesto
- Add to Pasta for a quick and easy meal
- Try with grains like Farro, Rice, or Quinoa
- Toss with Zucchini Noodles and Spaghetti Squash
- Enhance Grilled veggies, Roasted Broccoli or Asparagus, Roasted Red Kuri Squash
- Use as a sauce on protein dishes like Grilled or Roasted Salmon, Crispy Tofu, Roasted Chicken
Ways to elevate
- Add a pinch of truffle salt, smoked salt or smoked pepper (adjust the amount in the recipe accordingly)
- Spice it up-chipotle powder, or fresh jalapeño
- Add lemon zest
- Toast your choice of nuts
More recipes you may enjoy
- Spring Pea Pesto
- Nut-Free Pesto
- Arugula Pesto with Almonds
- Superfood Walnut Pesto Noodles!
- Cilantro Mint Chutney
Hope you enjoy!Print
Fresh and lively Cilantro Pesto is full of zippy flavor and totally adaptable! Toss with pasta, spread on bread, serve with soups, beans and eggs. Healthy and easy to make!
- 3 cups fresh cilantro leaves + tender stems
- 1/3 cup nuts (almonds + pumpkin seeds)
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese (optional, feel free to leave this out, see notes)
- 1–2 garlic cloves
- 2–3 tablespoons lemon or lime juice, to taste
- 1/3 cup olive oil (add more for a looser texture)
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Serving Size: 2.5 tablespoons
- Calories: 149
- Sugar: 0.5 g
- Sodium: 160.4 mg
- Fat: 14.9 g
- Saturated Fat: 2.6 g
- Carbohydrates: 2.2 g
- Fiber: 1 g
- Protein: 3.3 g
- Cholesterol: 3.6 mg
Keywords: cilantro Pesto, how to make cilantro pesto