Carrot Top Pesto
Carrot Top Pesto is a fresh, flavorful homemade pesto sauce made with 4 ingredients! It’s vegan, dairy free, and naturally gluten-free.
Pesto sauce is a staple in my house, and I prep a batch often to have on hand for a quick dinner. I’ve learned how to make it with almost anything that I have on hand, and I shared all of my tips with you in my post How to Make Pesto Sauce.
Of course I love it with basil and spinach, but this Carrot Top Pesto is my new favorite!
That is a bold statement but it’s 100% true. My family is on board too, which is a huge win. 🙂
This carrot top pesto recipe reinforces the fact that you can prepare a great pesto sauce out of almost anything.
I finally decided to prepare this recipe after buying a few bunches of some gorgeous organic carrots. It’s a great way to use the entire vegetable and reap the nutritional benefits of those carrot tops!
What do carrot tops taste like?
Carrot tops are very herbaceous. They’ve got the freshness of parsley, with the mild flavor of carrots. The first time I tried them the flavor blew my mind — they’re incredibly delicious.
Some describe carrot tops as bitter greens, but I didn’t find the flavor to be bitter at all.
Are carrot tops good for you?
Yes! Carrot tops have more health benefits than the carrots themselves. They contain around 6 times more Vitamin C than the carrots themselves, and are a good source of calcium and potassium.
How to use carrot tops
You can use carrot tops in pesto as I’ve done here, or other herb-based sauces like chimichurri sauce or Italian salsa verde.
Carrot leaves are also great addition to homemade vegetable stock, smoothies and salad!
How to make this recipe
This carrot top pesto recipe comes together in mere minutes, with only 4 ingredients! I omitted the parmesan cheese and made this recipe vegan, and it didn’t sacrifice flavor in the slightest.
- Add all ingredients except for the oil in the bowl of a food processor, and process until coarsely chopped. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, replace the lid, and stream the olive oil in through the feed tube with the processor running.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl again, if needed and process until the sauce reaches the desired consistency. Adjust the seasoning as necessary, and your sauce is ready!
- Prepare your carrot top pesto recipe vegan according to the recipe, adding nutritional yeast for some umami flavor. You may also use parmesan cheese if you’re not following a vegan or dairy free diet.
- I highly recommend toasting the walnuts for flavor. You may also substitute the walnuts with your favorite nut.
- See my post How to Make Pesto Sauce for all the ways that you can customize your pesto!
- If you’d like your pesto to retain its bright green color longer, consider blanching the carrot greens in boiling water for 30 seconds, then submerge in ice water to stop the cooking process. Blot dry and proceed as directed.
More pesto recipes you’ll love:
- 50 Ultimate Pesto Recipes
- Grilled Pesto Chicken Kebabs
- Mushroom Ravioli with Pesto
- One Pot Chicken Pesto Pasta
- Roasted Mushroom Vegetable Bowls with Avocado Pesto by Making Thyme for Health
Did you try this recipe? If so, be sure to leave a review below and tag me @flavorthemoments on Facebook and Instagram
Carrot Top Pesto
- 4 cups carrot tops washed well and blotted dry*
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/3 cup toasted walnut pieces
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 tablespoons olive oil or algae oil
- Place the carrot tops, lemon juice, walnuts and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until coarsely chopped, then scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- With the processor running, add the oil through the feed tube, scraping the sides of the bowl again as necessary, until the sauce has reached the desired consistency. Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary.
- *2 bunches of carrots yield a good 4 cups of carrot tops.
- Blanch the carrot tops to retain their beautiful green color longer, or customize the sauce to your liking following my tips in my post How to Make Pesto Sauce.
- Pesto is freezer-friendly. Freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months, then defrost in the fridge.
- I love using Thrive Algae Oil in this pesto recipe. It has a neutral flavor that allows the fresh flavor of the carrot tops to shine through!
Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.
10 Comments on “Carrot Top Pesto”
So interesting, I’ve never thought of using carrot tops for pesto! Love the idea of using them in this pesto instead of tossing them in the garbage.
I’ve heard that yes delicious but I had no idea that they were this good. Hope you get to try them, even if it’s just tossing them into your salad like herbs!
I can’t believe I’ve just been discarding carrot tops my whole life – I had no idea they were so full of nutrients! Love this idea Marcie – if I can reduce the amount of waste we have and do something delicious while at it, then count me in!
Who knew they were so good and so nutritious right? I was late to the carrot top party for sure. 🙂
It is nice when we can make use of all that a plant affords us. Your pesto is a very good example and a delicious one at that. 🙂
It certainly is, and thank you Karen!
Yes! I love using carrot tops – makes me feel great about using the whole food, ya know? Anyway, this sounds SO GOOD. I love pesto of any kind! lol
It makes me feel good to use every part of the carrot for sure. Thanks Ashley! 🙂
I had no idea that carrot tops had more nutritional value than carrots. I need to find some lovely carrot tops so I can make this pesto! I also need to try toasting my walnuts before adding. Such a great idea!
The greens always have the most nutrition right? Toasted nuts always have so much more flavor — I love them toasted so much more than raw. 🙂