Carrot Top Pesto

This homemade pesto is made with fresh carrot greens for a twist on classic pesto. So, when you buy those beautiful farmers’ market carrots, don’t toss the greens – use them to make this delicious carrot top pesto. You only need a handful of ingredients and ten minutes to make it!

a bowl of carrot top pesto.

From the department of “well, yes, you can make pesto with that,” I present to you carrot top pesto. It is also known as the absolute best way to use up all of the parts of the carrots that you might buy that still have their greens attached.

This is especially nice to make when carrots are in season, which happens twice a year – late spring and fall. Lucky us! So, look for those carrots with the gorgeous greens at the store or your local farmer’s market or in your CSA box because you will want to give this carrot greens pesto a try.

Recipe Highlights

Maybe you’re wondering what carrot greens taste like? If you’ve ever tried my beet tops pesto and parsley pesto, the flavor falls somewhere in the middle. The greens are earthy like beet greens but with a light and fresh flavor like parsley.

You can cook them like other greens, but for pesto, you can just blitz them raw in the blender just like you would for basil pesto. Add a few more ingredients, and you get a delicious fresh sauce for pasta or use it as a spread for sandwiches, or you can thin it and use it as a sauce for chicken, steak, or pork or use it as a salad dressing.

And the best news? This pesto recipes takes all of ten minutes to make and it keeps in the fridge for up to a week.

ingredients for the recipe.

Ingredients

  • Leafy carrot tops
  • Slivered almonds
  • Garlic
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Grated parmesan cheese
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper

Two Recipe Steps

Place the greens, almonds, garlic clove, salt, and pepper in a food processor. Pulse until everything is well mixed and combined.

Transfer the mixture to a bowl or large jar and add the olive oil and grated cheese and stir to combine. Cover the container and the pesto will keep in the fridge for up to a week.

olive oil being poured into the pesto.

Tips, Tricks, and Variations

So, if you bought carrots with greens to make this pesto and now have a pile of fresh carrots to use up might I suggest my easy honey-glazed carrots? It’s a super easy side dish – you could even mix them with a dollop of this pesto when you serve them.

You can freeze this pesto! Spoon it into an ice cube tray, freeze the cubes, and then pop them out and keep the cubes in a freezer bag. They will last for several months.

Here are a few recipe variations if you’re feeling like switching things up:

  • Nuts: Almonds are great in this pesto but so are a lot of other nuts. If you’re feeling like a high-roller, opt for pine nuts or try walnuts, pistachios, cashews, or even pecans.
  • Cheese: Parm is king, but Asiago or Romano cheese are also delicious in this sauce.
  • Fresh herbs: Feel free to toss in some fresh herbs like parsley, basil leaves, or even thyme to add an extra flavor. A couple of tablespoons would work well.
  • Add a zing: For an extra pop of brightness, add a few squeezes of fresh lemon juice. You can also add a teaspoon or so of zest when you blitz the greens.

If you want even more ideas, be sure to check out my favorite pesto recipes post with a lot more tips and recipe ideas for using homemade pesto.

Three cheers for less food waste and using all parts of the veggie – I hope you give this carrot top pesto recipe a try!

overhead shot of a bowl of pesto.

More Easy Pasta Sauces

Print

Carrot Top Pesto

pesto.

This easy pesto is made with fresh carrot greens for a twist on classic pesto. it’s quick, easy, and full of fresh flavors.

  • Author: April Anderson
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 16 servings 1x
  • Category: Sauces
  • Method: Blend
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 cups packed leafy carrot tops
  • ⅓ cup slivered almonds
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Combine the carrot tops, almonds, and garlic cloves in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Stir in olive oil, Parmesan, salt, and pepper.
  2. Refrigerate the pesto in an air-tight container for up to one week.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
  • Calories: 119
  • Sugar: 0.2g
  • Sodium: 115.9mg
  • Fat: 12.7g
  • Saturated Fat: 2g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 10.2g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 1g
  • Fiber: 0.5g
  • Protein: 1.7g
  • Cholesterol: 1.8mg

Keywords: carrot greens pesto, carrot tops pesto, carrot greens recipe

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