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Pesto with Avocado Oil Plus Ways to Make Pesto with Pantry & Freezer Items

March 19, 2020



Pesto with Avocado Oil

Pesto is like the little black dress of Italian cuisine—it’s classic, pairs well with just about everything (pasta, protein, seafood, fish, vegetables), and can be accessorized any way you’d like depending on the occasion (and what you have on hand in the kitchen). We’ll start with a basic pesto recipe that uses traditional ingredients, and then give you four pesto recipe variations—two twists on the classic, and two dairy-free vegan recipes. Our pesto variation recipes include suggestions for frozen produce and pantry items you might have on hand so you can whip up a tasty sauce with whatever you have at home.

Pesto with Avocado Oil

Time: 5 minutes

Servings: 20

Ingredients

  • 3 cups fresh basil, packed
  • 2 cups parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 1/2 cups pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/4 cups Primal Kitchen Extra Virgin Avocado Oil*
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, ground

*You can also use Primal Kitchen Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Instructions

Pesto with Avocado Oil

  • Add all ingredients except for the oil into a high-speed blender (we used a NutriBullet) or food processor. Cover the blender or food processor with the lid. Pulse for three seconds five times (for a total of 15 seconds) to combine.
  • Then, with the motor running, drizzle in oil in the top of the blender (remove the stopper first) or processor. Blend the ingredients on low for 20–30 seconds until the ingredients are blended evenly.
  • You may need to remove the lid and scrape down the sides of the blender or food processor, and to mix the ingredients together if they clump and won’t blend easily. Replace the lid and pulse a few more times until well combined.
  • The consistency should be a spoonable sauce.
  • Remove from blender or food processor and use immediately, or pour into a mason jar or container with an air-tight lid.
  • Store any unused pesto in the refrigerator for 4 to 7 days.
  • You can also freeze pesto in ice cube trays or in resealable freezer bags for up to 2 months (thaw before using).

Pesto with Avocado Oil Nutrition Info (per serving; 20 servings total):

Calories: 234

Carbs: 3.1 grams

Fat: 24 grams

Protein: 4 grams

Pesto Recipe Variations

Did you know that you can make pesto using virtually any greens or veggies, nuts or seeds, or oil? You can even make a version that uses half of the amount of oil listed in the recipe above (1 1/4 cups) and use broth or stock for the remaining amount of liquid if you want a lighter pesto, or you’re running low on oil.

Cheese-free versions are possible, too—simply omit the parmesan and add a bit more salt to the pesto, substitute nutritional yeast for the cheese, or make the vegan parmesan cheese recipe below and use it in place of the regular parmesan.

Spinach and Artichoke Pesto

Ingredients

  • 3 cups frozen spinach, cooked and drained
  • 1/2 cup jarred artichoke hearts, cut in half
  • 2 cups parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 cup almonds, lightly toasted
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/4 cups Primal Kitchen Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, ground

Instructions

  • Place all ingredients except for the oil in a high-speed blender or food processor and pulse for 15 seconds to combine. Then, with the motor running, drizzle in oil in the top of the blender (remove the stopper first) or processor.
  • Blend the ingredients on low for 20–30 seconds until the ingredients are blended evenly.

Spinach and Artichoke Pesto Nutrition Info (per serving; 20 total servings):

Calories: 212

Carbs: 5 grams

Fat: 20 grams

Protein: 6 grams

Broccoli Pesto

Ingredients

  • 3 cups frozen riced broccoli or broccoli florets, cooked
  • 2 cups parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 cup walnuts, lightly toasted
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/4 cups Primal Kitchen Extra Virgin Avocado Oil*
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, ground

*You can also use Primal Kitchen Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Instructions

  • Place all ingredients except for the oil in a high-speed blender or food processor and pulse for 15 seconds to combine. Then, with the motor running, drizzle in oil in the top of the blender (remove the stopper first) or processor.

Pesto Recipe Variations

  • Blend the ingredients on low for 20–30 seconds until the ingredients are blended evenly.

Broccoli Pesto Nutrition Info (per serving; 20 total servings):

Calories: 221

Carbs: 4 grams

Fat: 21 grams

Protein: 5 grams

No-Dairy Vegan Pesto Recipes

Vegan Basil Pesto

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided into 1/2 teaspoons
  • 1/2 cup hemp seeds
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 3 cups fresh basil, packed
  • 1 1/2 cups pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/4 cups Primal Kitchen Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, ground

Instructions

Make the Vegan Parmesan Cheese:

  • Combine the hemp hearts, nutritional yeast, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a high-speed blender, food processor, or spice grinder (you’ll need to make the cheese in batches if you use a spice grinder). Pulse about 20 times, scraping down the sides if needed, or until the hemp seeds become slightly powdery, and are well combined with the yeast.

Vegan Parmesan Cheese

Make the Vegan Basil Pesto:

Pesto Recipe Variations

  • Place all ingredients except for the oil in a high-speed blender or food processor and pulse for 15 seconds to combine. Then, with the motor running, drizzle in oil in the top of the blender (remove the stopper first) or processor.
  • Blend the ingredients on low for 20–30 seconds until the ingredients are blended evenly.

Vegan Basil Pesto Nutrition Info (per serving; 20 servings total):

Calories: 215

Carbs: 2 grams

Fat: 23 grams

Protein: 3 grams

Vegan Roasted Red Pepper Pesto

Ingredients

  • 3 cups jarred roasted red bell peppers, sliced
  • 1/2 cup basil leaves 
  • 1 cup almonds, lightly toasted
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons white miso
  • 1 1/4 cups Primal Kitchen Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon, if available

Instructions

  • Place all ingredients except for the oil in a high-speed blender or food processor and pulse for 15 seconds to combine. Then, with the motor running, drizzle in oil in the top of the blender (remove the stopper first) or processor.
  • Blend the ingredients on low for 20–30 seconds until the ingredients are blended evenly.

Vegan Roasted Red Pepper Pesto Nutrition Info (per serving; 20 servings total):

Calories: 175

Carbs: 4 grams

Fat: 17 grams

Protein: 2 grams

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