Pepita Pesto

Use this versatile pesto on pizza, tacos or as a healthy dip for crudités. When mixing with pasta, set some pasta water aside to loosen the pesto.
Makes 1 cup
Recipe courtesy of Michele Jacobson • Photography by Darby Kendall

Super easy

Pepita Pesto


For 1 Batch(es)


  • 1/4 cup(s) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup(s) unsalted pepitas
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 2 handfuls fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup(s) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Pepita Pesto Directions

  1. Add the first 5 ingredients to a food processor and process to a thick paste.
  2. Add the basil leaves and cheese to the mix and blend completely—scraping down sides.
  3. Adjust the seasoning, to taste. 

Recipe notes

Variations: For Mexican pesto, substitute 2 cups cilantro and ½ teaspoon of lime for the basil and lemon. For vegan pesto, substitute nutritional yeast for the cheese.

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