Pesto pasta has got to be up there with one of my families all time favourite dinners. In fact the kids often ask for 'the green pasta'. I love pesto for a few reasons. One, it's s delicious healthy dinner option. Two, it is super easy and quick to whip up. And three, you can easily make a large batch and freeze half for another meal later down the track. I also love how versatile it can be. Not only with how you can eat it but what ingredients you use to make it. Whether you stick with the age old classic of basil and pine nuts or you mix things up a bit with a different herb (like I have done) or different nuts. Read below for my five delicious ways to use pesto.
5 Delicious Ways to Use Pesto
One: Use as a pasta sauce
I love using either buckwheat pasta or mung bean fettuccine with pesto. Both types of pasta are gluten free and mung bean fettuccine has a high amount of protein so it makes the meal a bit more balanced. If we're using buckwheat pasta I like to mix some fried chicken breast through, however if you are vegetarian you could always mix through some tofu cubes. When eating any pasta dish, I always recommend to serve with a side of greens so that you are still getting a decent amount of vegetables and the meal is more balanced.
Two: As a dip
Pesto makes a perfect dip to throw on a cheese platter. Or even to send in the school lunchbox with some veggie sticks for a healthy morning tea.
Three: As a pizza spread
Use pesto to spread over a pizza base as an alternative to tomato sauce. This is a great alternative to those who are sensitive or allergic to tomatoes.
Four: To spread on sandwiches, wraps and burgers
There's nothing like adding a flavour bomb to a sandwich, wrap or burger and this pesto delivers the goods.
Five: As a salad dressing
Thin out this pesto a little with a little extra olive oil and some lemon juice and you have a delicious salad dressing.
Making Dairy Free Pesto
Just FYI, this recipe isn't dairy free as it contains parmesan HOWEVER, it is super easy to make pesto dairy free. Just leave out the parmesan. Yup, I told you it was easy! To get that cheesey flavour you can add some nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast is available from bulk food stores and health food shops. It is high in B vitamins and protein, perfect for vegetarians and vegans to add a little extra nutrition to their dish. For this particular recipe, you may want to hold back on the olive oil just a little so that you get the right consistency. I would recommend blending all of the ingredients together with just one tablespoon of olive oil and then drizzling the oil in as your blending until you reach a consistency that you're happy with.
Finally, I used coriander in this recipe because I had a stack load of it in the fridge AND I am obsessed with coriander. Also, Basil is out of season at the moment and hard to get a hold of. If you prefer basil or kale or baby spinach for that matter, you can absolutely sub them in and leave out the coriander. I've included some different variations for this recipe so that you can experiment.
- 1 bunch coriander fresh
- 60 grams parmesan cheese roughly chopped
- 1 cup pine nuts
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic
- Roughly chop coriander, including stems and remove skin from garlic.
- Place all ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend on high until well combined and creamy, yet still a little course.
- If not using straight away, divide mixture between two seperate jars and store in fridge for 3-4 days or freezer for 3 months.