How to use pesto

July 5, 2024
by HelloFresh Tips & tricks

    Late spring is the perfect time to use the season’s sprouting herbs for a delicious batch of homemade pesto. Pesto sauce is beloved for its flavour and versatility in a range of dishes. A simple jar of pesto can offer countless possibilities and uses. Discover all things pesto, including how to make your own sauce and other easy-to-make homemade pesto recipes. 

    How can pesto be used?

    One of the reasons pesto is so popular is because it has a range of uses for cooking. Aside from being a stand-alone sauce, pesto is commonly paired with many meat and fish dishes, as well as being a popular sauce for pasta.

    Pesto is often used to add a rich herby and salty taste to dishes, to liven up a creamy pasta sauce or add extra flavour to a fish crust. Many HelloFresh recipes pair pesto with crème fraîche or roasted tomatoes, as the creaminess or acidicness complements the salty sauce.

    How to make pesto sauce

    Pesto sauce is a relatively easy recipe to make and requires only a few ingredients. Once you have the ingredients, you can simply throw them into a food processor or blender and blitz them together. Check the seasoning while blending with a taste test to see if you need to add any more salt and pepper.

    Pesto ingredients

    As with most recipes, the fresher the ingredients, the better. This will give your pesto the most authentic flavour.

    • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
    • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese 
    • 1/3 cup chopped pine nuts
    • 3 cloves minced garlic
    • Salt and pepper

    How long does pesto last?

    Because of the fresh ingredients, homemade pesto only lasts around 5 days. It should be kept refrigerated and in an airtight jar to keep it fresh. To maximize the shelf life of your sauce, add a drizzle of olive oil. And remember to savour every last bite while it’s still fresh!


    All cooking appliances vary. These are guidelines only. Ensure the food is piping hot before serving. Do not reheat.

    What to serve with pesto

    There is an abundance of delightful options to choose from when it comes to pairing dishes with pesto. Some of the most popular meals include: 

    Pesto on pizza

    Use pesto as a tasty pizza topping. The flavours of garlic and basil can be used as a base to complement a variety of pizza styles.

    Pesto with potatoes

    Add a few spoonfuls of pesto to coat golden roasted potatoes or mix it through mashed potato for a zesty kick. It’s also a great way to use up any leftover homemade sauce.

    Pesto in sandwiches 

    For a tasty lunch idea, spread a layer of pesto on your sandwich, panini or ciabatta bread. Include a few slices of juicy tomato and fresh mozzarella for an authentic Italian taste.

    Pesto dinner platters

    Use pesto as a dip for your next dinner party. Offer your fresh pesto for guests to dip with breadsticks, and serve with a selection of gourmet cheeses and meats.

    Pesto pasta 

    Pesto makes a delicious and simple pasta sauce, that complements pasta ingredients like vegetables, chicken and cheese perfectly. For a classic pesto pasta, simply cook the pasta of your choice, stir in a few tablespoons of pesto and then sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

    Recipes with pesto

    There are countless recipes available with tasty ideas for using your fresh pesto.

    With fast, fresh and convenient deliveries every week, try these recipes and more for a perfect family meal. Choose the best HelloFresh plan for your household and start enjoying simply delicious meals.


    All food products vary. The instructions printed on the food packaging always supersedes those printed in this article and must always be followed.
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