Easy Pea Pesto

This Easy Pea Pesto is simple and delicious — not to mention fast, budget-friendly, kid-friendly, and a breeze to freeze! Make a batch (or two!) and freeze for a quick and healthy meal in the future.

  • Prep Time:
    10 minutes
  • Total Time:
    10 minutes
  • Makes:
    2 cups pesto 1x
  • Prep Time:
    10 minutes
  • Total Time:
    10 minutes
  • Makes:
    2 cups pesto 1x
  • Ingredients

    • 2 cups frozen peas, thawed
    • ½ cup loosely packed mint or basil leaves (see notes)
    • ¾ cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving if desired
    • ½ cup toasted pine nuts
    • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
    • 23 cloves garlic
    • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, or to taste
    • Fresh lemon juice, to taste


    1. Pulse the dry ingredients. In a food processor, combine peas, mint, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, salt, and garlic and pulse until all ingredients are very finely chopped.

    2. Add the oil. With the food processor on high speed, drizzle in the olive oil until pesto is smooth and creamy, adding more oil to reach desired consistency if needed. Remove the lid; season with additional salt and a squeeze or two of fresh lemon to taste. 

      To serve over pasta: Cook 16-ounces pasta to desired tenderness in generously salted water, reserving 1 cup pasta water. Combine the cooked pasta and about 1 cup of pesto to the pot. Stir to coat the pasta, adding reserved pasta water ¼ cup at a time to thin as needed. For extra veggies, add another 1 cup of defrosted peas to the pot. Serve immediately with shaved or grated Parmesan, torn mint and/or basil, flaky sea salt and freshly ground pepper.  




    This recipe makes about 2 cups of pesto which is enough for 2 (16-ounce) packages of uncooked pasta. It’s great stirred into pasta and short grain rice, or spooned over chicken, shrimp, or fish.

    Freeze in ~1 cup portions and defrost as needed for a fast weeknight dinner. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight or on the counter for a few hours before using.


    • Fresh herbs: This recipe works well with fresh mint and/or basil, but cilantro and parsley can also be substituted. Use whatever fresh leafy herbs you like and have on hand.
    • For vegan pesto: Substitute equal amounts of nutritional yeast for Parmesan cheese.


    Involving little ones can decrease picky eating and increase appetite and willingness to try new foods. Here are a few ways they can help: 

    • Toddlers: Measure the peas, Parmesan, pine nuts and salt; peel the garlic, pick mint or basil leaves off the stems, help operating and adding oil to food processor (closely supervised, of course!)
    • Little & Big Kids: All of the above plus help grating the cheese


    • Serving Size: 1/4 cup pesto
    • Calories: 240
    • Sugar: 2 g
    • Sodium: 275 mg
    • Fat: 21 g
    • Saturated Fat: 4 g
    • Unsaturated Fat: 17 g
    • Trans Fat: 0 g
    • Carbohydrates: 7 g
    • Fiber: 2 g
    • Protein: 6 g
    • Cholesterol: 8 mg

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