We love pesto for its infinite versatility. From the traditional Ligurian pesto, to Mexican-inspired pepita and cilantro pesto, to a bright-tasting lemon and pistachio variety, these 11 types of pesto are delicious spread on crackers, tossed with pasta, or drizzled over grilled vegetables or meats.
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Garlic Scape Pesto
Garlic’s young shoots perfume this mild pesto, perfect for tossing with fresh egg pasta. If you can’t find scapes, substitute green garlic or a combination of garlic and chives.
See the recipe for Garlic Scape Pesto»
German’s famed herb sauce is tangy with buttermilk and enriched with sour cream that features herbs like sorrel and watercress; it’s wonderful with boiled vegetables.
Toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds) give this vibrant Mexican-inspired pesto a warm, toasty flavor.
This spicy, southern Italian-style pesto recipe was given to us by Rocco Arena, owner of San Rocco restaurant in New York City. A touch of ricotta in this pesto tempers the flavor of the red peppers, and makes it an excellent bruschetta topping.
See the recipe for Pesto Calabrese»
Pesto di Noce (Walnut Pesto)
Italians have long used walnuts for pesto; they lend a rich earthiness to the sauce. This pesto is perfect as a pasta sauce and a bruschetta topping.
See the recipe for Pesto di Noce»
Pesto di Pistacchio (Pistachio Pesto)
The rich flavor of pistachio is balanced with lemon zest in this bright-tasting sauce. Pistachio pesto is rather sweet, making it great with roasted vegetables.
See the recipe for Pesto di Pistacchio»
Capers and anchovies lend briny depth to this parsley sauce, which is fantastic tossed with grilled or boiled vegetables, and with rich fish like mackerel.
Pesto di Rucola (Arugula Pesto)
This peppery pesto is fantastic drizzled over steamed artichokes, grilled fish, or ripe tomatoes.
See the recipe for Pesto di Rucola »
In this classic version of pesto, the basil leaves are blanched in boiling water, then quickly shocked in ice water, to give the sauce a brilliant green hue and to reduce any bitterness.
See the recipe for Pesto Genovese »
Pesto Rosso (Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto)
This pesto, thickened with almonds, gets its intense red hue from the sun dried tomatoes and Aleppo pepper, which brings sweetness and heat to its flavor. This pesto is best served with pasta.
See the recipe for Pesto Rosso»
Italy’s other ubiquitous green sauce is flavored with parsley and thickened with bread crumbs. Seasoned with vinegar and anchovies, it’s bold enough to stand up to grilled meats.
See the recipe for Salsa Verde »