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!

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.  Vegan-adaptable, 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

  • Cilantro
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Almond + Pumpkin Seeds
  • Garlic
  • Olive Oil
  • Lemon Juice

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!

Add nutritional yeast if you want that rich flavor.  Adding hemp seeds can give some texture and rich depth while keeping it deliciously vegan.

How to make Cilantro Pesto

Adding ingredients to the food processor

Step one- In a food processor, add cilantro, parmesan cheese (if using), nuts, garlic, olive oil and lemon juice.

pulse and process until desired texture

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.

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.  Vegan-adaptable, healthy and easy to make!

How to serve Cilantro Pesto

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

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.  Vegan-adaptable, healthy and easy to make!

More recipes you may enjoy

Hope you enjoy!

~Tonia

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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!

Cilantro Pesto

  • Author: Tonia | Feasting at Home
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1 1/4 cups 1x
  • Category: sauce
  • Method: blended
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

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!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 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)
  • 12 garlic cloves
  • 23 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

Instructions

Place all ingredients in a food processor.

Pulse for about a minute until all ingredients begin to break down and combine.  You want the texture to be a little grainy.

Serve tossed with pasta, spread on bread, swirl in soup or on roasted vegetables and salmon.


Notes

Store in the fridge for up to 5 days, or freeze with a thin layer of olive oil or lemon juice covering the top.

Vegan Option: Swap out hemp seeds for parmesan, or add few teaspoons of nutritional yeast. Or both!

Nutrition

  • 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

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Comments

  1. When I host dinners at home, I always make sure to prepare different sides that the guest can just mix and match with the food. It’s always hard to find a vegan option that is as versatile as this one. This really looks great, Sylvia. I can’t wait to try it out at my next party. Thank you for sharing this!