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Pesto sauce in jar with greens, lemon and parmesan

How to Make Pesto Sauce (with any greens!)

How to Make Pesto Sauce is a guide that will teach you how to make homemade pesto sauce with almost any ingredients that you have on hand!

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  • 4 cups greens*
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup toasted nuts or seeds**
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan omit for vegan or replace with nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil*


  • Place the greens, garlic, lemon juice, nuts, parmesan (if using), salt and pepper into the bowl of a food processor or blender and process until roughly chopped. Scrape down the sides, then with the processor running, add the oil through the feed tube and process until it reaches the desired consistency. Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary.
  • Heat gently and toss with pasta, serve with chicken or grain bowls, or spread on pizza crust or sandwiches!


  • *Use whatever greens you have on hand, such as basil, cilantro, parsley, mint, carrot tops, spinach, arugula, kale, swiss chard, power greens, or a combination!
  • ** Use whatever type of nuts or seeds that you have on hand, including pine nuts, walnuts, pistachios, pecans, almonds, pepitas and sunflower seeds! Use pre-toasted nuts to save time, or bake on a rimmed baking sheet in a 350 degree oven for 5-10 minutes until golden and fragrant.
  • ***add up to 2 tablespoons more olive oil to reach desired consistency.
  • If you're wondering how to keep pesto green (really vibrant green!), blanch your herbs or greens in boiling water for 15 seconds, then plunge in ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain immediately, blot gently to dry, and use them in your sauce. I personally don't take the time to do this as I haven't had a problem with my pesto sauce turning brown, but it's an option if you're worried about discoloration.
  • Store fresh pesto in the fridge in an air tight container for 5 days maximum, or freeze for up to 3 months.
  • If you're following a vegan, paleo or Whole30 diet, omit the parmesan completely, or even replace it with nutritional yeast.


Serving: 2tablespoons, Calories: 141kcal, Carbohydrates: 5g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g, Cholesterol: 3mg, Sodium: 252mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 1g

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

Did you try this recipe?Be sure to tag @flavorthemoments with the hashtag #flavorthemoments on Instagram so I can see what you made!