20 ways with pesto

Spread it, smear it, drizzle it, pour it or use it as a dip, pesto is so much more than a pasta sauce and there are so many ways to make the most of it. There are also so many varieties – like classic basil, rocket, watercress, wild garlic, sun-dried tomato or avocado – to choose from.

Whether you prefer the bought-stuff or homemade, use your favourite pesto in one of these delicious recipe ideas…

20 ways with pesto

For inspiration, here are 20 ways to use pesto in your cooking.

Macaroni cheese with spinach and pesto prangrattato
Pesto pasta gets a sexy macaroni cheese makeover…


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 Cheesy sage and garlic bread

Sure, garlic bread is great but this cheesy pesto bread is better.


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Halloumi and pesto roasted aubergine

Soft roasted aubergine topped with melted halloumi, pine nuts and pesto and served alongside a glass of red.


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Courgetti with avocado pesto
Get your greens fix with this lower-carb take on classic pesto pasta.


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Pesto-crusted cod with garlic roast potatoes

Spread pesto on top of fish before baking or grilling it for an instant flavour boost. Serve with garlicky potatoes for a posh spin on fish and chips.


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Pesto eggs

Meet our take on the TikTok pesto eggs trend. Egg-in-the-hole sourdough toast with crispy bacon, avo and a generous drizzle of pesto.

Pesto eggs
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Spring minestrone soup with pesto

Swirl pesto through vegetable soups just before serving to take your soup game up a level.

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Summer chicken traybake

Top this ridiculously easy dinner of crispy chicken thighs, potatoes, courgettes and vine tomatoes with dollops of fresh pesto before serving.

Summer chicken traybake
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Butternut squash stuffed with pesto rice

Halve a squash then fill it with a mix of wild rice, mushrooms and kale pesto for a meat-free dinner that is peak autumn.

Pesto rice

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Deliciously Ella’s warming pesto butter beans

Pesto meets pulses for a budget vegan dinner that doesn’t skimp on flavour.

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Mozzarella and pesto toasties

A smear of pesto, oozy mozzarella and Parma ham = the ultimate cheese toastie.

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Heirloom cherry tomato, burrata and pesto pizza

Add splodges of pesto to a homemade pizza for a colour and flavour boost.

Heirloom tomatoes pizzas
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Butterflied leg of lamb with mint pesto

Serve a minty pesto alongside roast lamb for a modern twist on mint sauce. It’s delicious with the leftovers, too.


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Crispy potatoes with wild garlic pesto mayo

Folding pesto through mayo to serve with potatoes or chips is a Very Good Thing. Homemade wild garlic pesto is a particularly delicious twist on aioli, but any pesto will work.


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Leek risotto with kale pesto

Finishing off a creamy risotto with a swirl of pesto is a good trick to make the dish look fancy-restaurant-worthy.

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Pesto, prosciutto and artichoke tart

Spread a thin layer of pesto over the base of savoury tarts, like this filo and artichoke number, for a delicious alternative to tomato-based pastries.

Pesto tart
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King prawn and pesto pasta

Pesto pasta doesn’t need to be basic. Stir homemade almond pesto through tagliatelle and top with King prawns for a dinner to impress.

Prawn pasta

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Feta pesto with crudites

Use pesto as the base of an easy dip, then serve with toasted pittas and crunchy raw vegetables for an effortless starter or light lunch.

Feta pesto
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Theo Randall’s focaccia with pesto and vine tomatoes

Top golden focaccia with ripe tomatoes and blobs of fresh pesto and enjoy with a crisp white wine. Close your eyes and pretend you’re in Italy.

Pesto focaccia
Find the recipe here

Baked salmon gnocchi

Jazz up a midweek one-pot with a dash of pesto, like this easy baked salmon fillets and gnocchi combo. It’s full of protein and sure to satisfy.

Find the recipe here

Just can’t get enough? Find more pesto recipes here.

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