Let’s be real ladies: We try our hardest to bring our A-game to the kitchen, but between work, hitting the gym and the occasional happy hour drink, we all know a fully home-cooked meal isn’t going to happen every night. That’s why we’re BFFs with pesto. It makes simple foods taste great — spread it on a sandwich, use it as a marinade to season meats or pour it straight over pasta for a more delicious meal than before. If you’ve grown tired of that classic pine nut and basil combo, don’t fret. Here are 20 recipes that will make you question everything you ever thought pesto could be!
1. Corn Pesto: Summer barbecues mean corn on the cob, and usually that’s a great thing. But if you’re not looking to spend the day picking a kernel out of your tooth, try out this spread instead. (via Lottie and Doof)
4. Roasted Red Pepper Carrot Pesto: Oh carrots, we love you but we have to admit, you can get a bit boring. What’s that you say? We can spice you up and turn you into a pesto? Back on the grocery list you go! (via Jeanette’s Healthy Living)
5. Tomato-Almond Pesto: Behold: a no-cook pasta sauce that’s as delicious as the one your grandma makes (yes way!). Blends fresh juicy tomatoes with almonds and herbs to make this bold pesto. (via Smitten Kitchen)
9. Kale, Hemp and Flaxseed Oil Pesto: High in protein and full of amino acids, don’t let the extra healthy ingredients scare you away from this yummy sauce. Mixed with garlic, lemon and a dash of S&P to amp up the flavor, it’s a real win-win type situation. (via Cookie and Kate)
10. Fava Bean and Arugula Pesto: We’re guessing fava beans probably aren’t part of your daily diet… yet. Combined with spicy arugula, it is a welcome twist to the standard combo. (via Confessions of a Foodie)
12. Marcona Almond Pesto: If you’re not fully on board the eccentric pesto train, opt for this recipe. Traditional pine nuts are substituted for marcona almonds, which add a luscious, buttery taste. (via Busy in Brooklyn)
14. Chard Pesto: If you’ve never used this bitter green before, chances are you’re not alone. What better way to add a new veggie into your diet than to mix leafy chard with oil and garlic and pour it over pasta? (via Happy Yolks)
16. Roasted Red Fresno Pepper Pesto: A little bit naughty, a little bit nice. Here’s an option for those of you who want to live life on the wild side — but you know, in like a Sandy at the end of Grease kind of way. (via Cooking on the Weekends)
Have you tried any alternative pesto recipes we should know about? If so, let us know in the comments!