13 Pesto Dishes You’ll Go Crazy For

Pesto is marvelous stuff. No other condiment or sauce can provide that fresh basil flavor the way a jar of pesto can. Fresh basil preserved in oil with pine nuts and parmesan cheese with a hit of garlic is a recipe for perfection, no matter what you decide to add it to. So, if you happen to have a jar of pesto sitting at home in a cupboard, you pretty much have dinner taken care of. From pesto chicken breasts to delicious pasta salads, these thirteen pesto recipes are dishes you’ll want to make again and again.

1. Pesto Avocado Toast

Two finished slices of Pesto Avocado Toast laying on a cutting board.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

Avocado pesto toast is a dream breakfast. It’s one of those classic recipes that gets your morning off to a dreamy start, no matter how much you’re rushing to get out of the door. The bonus with avocado toast is that it’s really easy to take with you on your way to work or school. You can make it in minutes with a few simple ingredients, enjoy it on your morning commute, or sit by a window and enjoy the spring weather in pajamas.

2. Orzo Salad With Pesto

An overhead view of a white bowl filled with orzo pasta with pesto sacue.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

This orzo pasta salad with pesto is perfect for a potluck or get-together. You can serve it as a main course or as a side dish. It’s a light but hearty pasta salad the makes a wonderful main course or side dish for other things. It goes will with chicken, beef, or pork, or enjoy it meatless with something like a green side salad and some homemade garlic bread.

3. Pesto Pita Pizza

A pita sits on a small round cutting board covered in pesto sauce, fresh tomato slices and melted cheese.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

This pesto pita pizza recipe is fast, easy, and delicious with pesto sauce and tomatoes. Pizza and pesto lovers will love this wonderfully and simply made dish. All you need is some ready-made pita bread and the toppings you’d like to add. this can be made in an oven, an air fryer, or a toaster oven. Either way, it’s a quick and easy meal nobody will turn down.

4. Grilled Cheese Roll-Ups

Grilled Cheese Roll Ups with a side of marinara for dipping on a white plate.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

These grilled cheese roll-ups make a delicious snack or easy meal for busy weeknights. Using pesto adds a delicious spin to a traditional grilled cheese sandwich. You’ll never make your grilled cheese any other way again. These can be fried in a skillet with oil or given a light spritz of oil and cooked in an air fryer. This is one that both kids and adults will enjoy for a fast and simple meal.

5. Pesto Broccoli Casserole

A white plate holding a serving of Pesto Pasta Bake.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

Make this Pesto Broccoli Casserole for dinner tonight and impress your whole family. It’s a comfort food meal you’ll love that you can quickly assemble and bake. The ingredients are simple, so the meal prep is quick. While it bakes, you can prepare a green side salad or even some soup to go with it.

6. Shrimp Zucchini Pasta With Avocado Pesto Alfredo

Shrimp Zucchini Pasta With Avocado Pesto Alfredo in a white bowl.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

This shrimp zucchini pasta with avocado pesto alfredo is delicious and easy to make. If you haven’t tried zucchini noodles yet, now is the time to start. It’s a light and filling meal packed with great nutrients, and you won’t feel like you are being left with a brick in your tummy when you’re done. It’s light but definitely quite filling.

7. Spinach Salad With Pesto Dressing

Spinach salad with pesto dressing and halved cherry tomatoes on a white plate.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

Savor the flavor of pesto while getting a good dose of veggies in this Spinach Salad with Pesto Dressing. It’s a beautiful salad filled with Italian basily flavors, and the tomatoes provide freshness and tang. It’s really a main meal based on the flavors alone. But it can also be served as a side salad if you prefer. It will pair well with pasta and meats such as chicken, pork, or beef.

8. Pesto Quiche With Sun-Dried Tomatoes

A closeup of a bit of pesto quiche on a fork, laying on a plate.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

One bite of this Pesto Quiche With Sun Dried Tomatoes, and you’ll understand how awesome quiche can really be. This recipe is a healthier egg white recipe that you’ll feel good about eating. You can make this with or without crust, and if you don’t mind the extra calories, you can melt some cheddar over the top. It goes really well with breakfast potatoes of any kind.

9. Pesto Turkey Sandwich

A pesto turkey sandwich cut in half, laying on a cutting board.
Photo Credit: MariaKovaleva/Shutterstock.

This delicious pesto turkey sandwich is a fabulous way to enjoy fresh turkey breast, and yes, you can substitute chicken for it. It’s a hearty sandwich that was originally created to use up Thanksgiving leftovers but turned into a family favorite. Enjoy it for lunch or dinner with a side salad, a bowl of soup, baked French fries, or sweet potato fries.

10. Baked Pesto Chicken

Two pesto chicken breasts in a cast iron skillet.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

This baked pesto chicken is not only super fast and easy to make, but it’s also incredibly delicious. Pesto and chicken are a combination that more people should try. You won’t believe how quick and simple it is to make. You can enjoy these as a main course, or you can slice them up and use them in sandwiches or chop them and toss the pieces into a salad. Any way you serve them, they’ll give you tons of delicious pesto flavor.

11. Artichoke Pesto Pasta

An overhead view of a white bowl filled with artichoke pesto pasta.
Photo Credit: Delish Knowledge.

If you love a good, homemade pasta sauce, you have to try this. First, you make the artichoke pesto with just a few simple ingredients in a food processor, and then you mix it into cooked pasta. This artichoke pesto pasta is an easy dish that won’t take any longer than the time it takes to cook your pasta. It’s delicious for lunch or dinner and can be a side dish or a stand-alone main course.

12. Creamy Pesto Pasta With Chicken And Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Two white plates with servings of creamy pesto pasta with chicken and sun dried tomatoes.
Photo Credit: Pass Me Some Tasty.

If you love Italian flavors, this creamy pesto pasta with chicken and sun-dried tomatoes makes a wonderful and complete meal, although you can certainly serve a green side salad to go with it. It’s a wonderfully hearty dish, and the next day’s leftovers make a really great tasting lunch.

13. Italian Chicken Pesto Sandwich

Three Italian chicken pesto sandwiches lined up on a platter.
Photo Credit: XOXO Bella.

If it’s a hearty sandwich that’s needed, this Italian chicken pesto sandwich will get the job done every time. It’s incredibly filling and satisfying and can be enjoyed for lunch or dinner. Serve with a side of fries, a green salad, or a bowl of soup to round out the meal. This one is sure to become a family favorite.

More From The Gracious Pantry

A dutch oven with a cooked whole chicken topped with rosemary twigs.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

Need more ideas for dinner tonight? The Gracious Pantry has you covered with tons of ideas for both chicken and ground turkey recipes that are perfect for the last meal of the day.

This originally appeared on The Gracious Pantry.

Author: Tiffany McCauley

Title: Food and Travel Journalist

Expertise: Food, cooking, travel


Tiffany McCauley is a nationally syndicated journalist and an award-winning cookbook author and food blogger. She has been featured on MSN, Huffington Post, Country Living Magazine, HealthLine, Redbook, and many more. Her food specialty is healthy comfort food recipes.

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