Beet Tops Pesto

Looking for an easy beet greens recipe? This pesto is the thing to make! So, instead of tossing those beet greens learn how a few simple ingredients turn them into a delicious beet tops pesto that’s perfect with pasta.

beet tops pesto in a white bowl with a spoon

Every time I buy beets, I am amazed by how many greens are attached to them as I stuff them in my crisper drawer. Sadly, before this week, I always tossed the beet greens away, never once thinking that maybe those greens could be used for something. That all ends here.

After my spinach and parsley pesto experiment, I’ve been turning random green stuff into pesto, and this beet tops pesto is my new fave. Some beet greens, some nuts, some cheese, some garlic, some olive oil, and poof! you got yourself a tasty sauce for some pasta.


  • Beet top greens – remove the stems and just use the greens.
  • Walnuts – or you can use other nuts like almonds or pine nuts.
  • Grated parmesan cheese
  • Garlic cloves
  • Lemon juice
  • Lemon zest
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
Photo collage of fresh beets and greens

How to Make It

Toss the greens, walnuts, grated Parmesan cheese, garlic cloves, and lemon juice and zest in a food processor. Pulse them until everything is chopped up.

With the food processor running, slowly pour in the olive oil until the sauce is smooth. Season to taste with salt.

It will keep in the fridge for a few days in an airtight container or you can freeze it. Store it in small containers with a layer of olive oil on top, cover, and freeze them for a couple of months.

Different Ways to Use Beet Tops Pesto

  • Toss it with pasta for pasta salads, side dishes, or main courses.
  • Spread it on sandwiches.
  • Mix it with cream cheese and enjoy it with your morning bagel.
  • Spread it on toast along with avocado and tomato slices.
  • Stir it into store-bought tomato sauce for an extra nutrition boost.
  • Spread it on pizza dough and top it with your favorite toppings for pizza night.

Happy pesto-making!

beet tops pesto with pasta in a white bowl

More Pesto Recipes

📣 Do you love this recipe? I would love to know! Leave a comment below the recipe, along with your recipe star rating.


Beet Tops Pesto

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

4.9 from 11 reviews

Don’t toss those beet greens! Use them to make a flavorful pesto that’s perfect with pasta.

  • Author: April Anderson
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 1 1/2 cups 1x
  • Category: Sauces
  • Method: Blend
  • Cuisine: American


  • 56 cups beet top greens (just the green leaves from approximately 2 bunches of beets)
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Juice and zest of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • Salt, to taste


  1. Toss the greens, walnuts, grated Parmesan cheese, garlic cloves, and lemon juice and zest in a blender or food processor. Blend them all together until everything is chopped up.
  2. With the blender or food processor running, slowly pour in the olive oil until the sauce is smooth. Season to taste with salt (start with a couple pinches).


Toss the pesto with pasta, slather some on sandwiches, top some toast with it, or stir it into store-bought tomato sauce for a nutrition kick.


  • Serving Size: 1/4 cup
  • Calories: 257
  • Sugar: 0.7g
  • Sodium: 617.1g
  • Fat: 26.2g
  • Saturated Fat: 4.3g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 20.9g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 3.9g
  • Fiber: 1.9g
  • Protein: 4.6g
  • Cholesterol: 4.8mg

Do you love this recipe? Don’t forget to leave a comment and your recipe star rating!

The nutrition is an estimate only. It was calculated using Nutrifox, an online nutrition calculator.


  1. that is so clever, i love it. bet it would be really good on a sandwich too..mozzarella, tomato , pesto panini?

  2. WOWSERS!!! Last week I sautéed my beet greens. They were “ok”. Your Pesto is PHENOMENAL!!!

  3. What a fantastic way to use up beet tops, normally I just toss them, but no more! Can’t wait to enjoy this recipe!

    1. First time making pesto. Had these beautiful beet greens and didn’t want to toss them. My daughter suggested pesto and I am grateful for your delicious recipe!

  4. I used 1+ cup of pine nuts, as my husband doesn’t like walnuts. I used lemon juice from a whole large lemon, and 7 lg garlic cloves – we LOVE garlic!! It was delicious!! We love beet greens, and this was another way to use them in a delicious way! Thank you for the inspiration to branch out!!

    1. Almonds would work, too, but if you don’t have any nuts on hand you could just skip them – it will still be good just won’t have the nutty flavor and the texture will be thinner/smoother.

        1. Like anything frozen, it will lose some of its quality over time. I think it’s best within a few months. Hope that helps!

  5. I normally use my beet leaves in my smoothies. It was hard to give them up for pesto but, worth the wonderful results! Can this be heated before use or best tossed with warm noodles? I am new to making pesto.

  6. Flavor is yummy, but mine was watery in texture. I must have received really juicy beet greens! I added more walnuts to improve the texture.

  7. This recipe sounds delish! I started snipping both beet greens and swiss chard yesterday and would love to make this for Christmas gifts. Can this be canned to last longer?

    1. I haven’t tried canning this recipe so can’t say how that would work – sorry about that!

  8. We’ve been growing our own beetroot and had been pickling that ready to be picked. Was about to put the leaves in the compost bin before I came across your recipe. It was super tasty, we enjoyed it so much I bottled some up for my brother to try. We ended up using pine nuts instead of walnuts as that’s what was available and used a little more than the recipe recommended. So thank you, it was nice being able to put the the whole plant to use!

  9. I thinned my beets out in the garden and used these beet leaves, It is a little more liquidy than basil pesto, but still good

  10. Great way to use the whole beet – thanks for sharing this! I used less oil (little over 1/4 cup) and toasted pecans because I was out of walnuts. Added it to angel hair pasta and topped with some sliced Greek olives, crumbled feta and sliced cherry tomatoes- so good!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.