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 in jar with spoon in center

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. 🙂

pesto sauce with spoon in center, front view

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!

carrot bunches with 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!

carrot tops

How to make carrot top pesto

This 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!

carrot top pesto food processor process collage

Recipe notes

  • 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.
pesto sauce with spoon angled, front view

More pesto recipes you’ll love:

pesto sauce in jar with spoon in center

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.
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Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions 

  • 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.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • *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

Serving: 2tablespoons, Calories: 217kcal, Carbohydrates: 15g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 15g, Sodium: 173mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 9g

Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.

Tried this recipe?Mention @flavorthemoments or tag #flavorthemoments!

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