Next year, you’ll plan ahead and finally build that tiny herb garden in your apartment that will last all winter. For now, take solace in the fact that the world has finally come out of hibernation and everyone’s defrosted. ‘Tis the season to find herbs like basil and lavender at your local farmers’ market once again — yay! Of course, it’s smart to have a plan as well as several backup herb recipes before you commit to buying a whole bunch. As you know, if herbs aren’t stored properly, they can spoil before you can say “I should have made pesto with that.” Here are 13 versatile pesto recipes to make the most of your bounty.
1. Spanakopita Chicken Meatballs and Spinach-Dill Pesto: Though these chicken meatballs get their fun green hue from spinach, a little extra green certainly doesn’t hurt. Top these emerald gems with a zesty spinach and dill pesto for added moisture and a punch of flavor. (via The Gourmet RD)
2. Pesto, Artichoke and Havarti Grilled Cheese: Give your grilled cheese a makeover with spinach and basil pesto. It’s just the kick to complement gooey Havarti cheese and tender artichoke hearts. (via Two Peas and Their Pod)
3. Kale Pesto and Cauliflower Picnic Pies: These adorable little veggie pies are the perfect treat to tote with you to the park or the beach. They’re filled with hearty potatoes, cauliflower and herbaceous kale pesto. You don’t need utensils to enjoy — just bite in. (via The Veg Space)
4. Asparagus, Burrata and Pesto Pizza: The secret to ensuring white pizzas aren’t lacking in flavor is garlic. Pesto has no shortage of that, which makes it a winning addition to this asparagus and burrata pizza. Don’t forget the red pepper flakes, because what’s a pizza without red pepper flakes? (via Life Is but a Dish)
5. Spring Salad With a Mache Mint Pesto: Liven up any salad with this creative take on pesto. It’s extra creamy thanks to the addition of Greek yogurt (or créme fraîche if you’re feeling indulgent). This pesto has a dip-like consistency, so if you’re not in the mood for a salad, try dipping carrots or chips for an equally satisfying snack. (via XO Amys)
6. Lasagna Verde: Who knew you could get your greens by eating lasagna? This vegan lasagna recipe is loaded with basil and spinach pesto. Plus, it’s dairy free, which makes it a lighter dish. Go ahead — have another serving. (via Healthy Happy Life.com)
7. Two Tone Pesto Twists: If you’re intimidated by the idea of making your own dough, or if you just want all the goodness of freshly baked pesto bread without the wait, pick up some pre-made dough from your local pizza joint or grocery store. These twists will add a delightful touch to any meal, whether you’re dipping them in soup or sopping up all those delicious pan sauces from your dinner. (via Lauren Caris Cooks)
8. Chicken Pesto Artichoke Naan Pizza: A well-rounded meal can be yours in 20 minutes or less with this flatbread recipe. There’s not much cooking required — unless you consider toasting to be cooking. Use store-bought rotisserie chicken to go along with this recipe’s no-cook philosophy. (via Cookin’ Canuck)
9. Cheesy Turkey Pesto Rolls: These rolls are made with Pillsbury crescents, which means they’re a cinch to throw together. Lose the turkey for a vegetarian appetizer or meal that’s just as delicious. (via Bakerita)
10. Creamy Pesto Chicken Lasagna Rolls: When you’re craving a rich cream sauce and pasta, try this recipe for creamy pesto lasagna rolls. To make this slightly healthier, you can opt to use Greek yogurt instead of ricotta cheese. But if we’re being real, when we want to indulge, we want to go all the way. Pass the ricotta, please! (via Creme de la Crumb)
11. Pesto Pasta With Shrimp and Asparagus: We love easy weeknight dinners — especially when they taste amazing. Case in point: This simple pesto, shrimp and asparagus pasta. Fresh pesto is the key to deliciousness here, so don’t skimp on it! (via Cooking Classy)
12. Pistachio Mint Pesto: Try this tasty variation on pesto, which gets its extra richness from the addition of pistachios. Pro Tip: Look for bags of pre-shelled pistachios to take the work out of it and this will be your new favorite recipe. (via Sweet Peas and Saffron)
13. Mushroom Gnocchi With Arugula and Walnut Pesto: Who said pesto has to be green? This earthy walnut spread is brown to match the mushrooms in this gnocchi dish. For a nice pop of color, toss in some freshly torn basil leaves right before serving. (via Pinch of Yum)
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