Cover Pesto pasta (Photo: Westend61/Getty Images)

Pesto-lovers rejoice! We’ve rounded up our favourite ways to use the nutty, aromatic sauce

Whether you plan to grind your own pesto or use up that jar of half-opened pesto sitting in your pantry, these recipes celebrate the luscious, versatile sauce made from basil, pine nuts, and parmesan. Ranging from your run-of-the-mill pesto pasta to a more ambitious pesto focaccia, we’ve rounded up recipes you can whip up in less than an hour alongside more time-consuming ones. Fret not, with pesto on your side, not much can go wrong.

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Pesto Pasta

Pesto and pasta are a match made in heaven. While the dish only requires pesto and cooked pasta, adding garlic, onions and extra parmesan does enhance flavour. For a more substantial meal, opt to top your pasta with protein such as burrata, chicken or salmon. Ensure to only add your pesto sauce after pulling your pan off the heat to prevent the basil from cooking, which reduces its distinct aroma.

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Pesto Focaccia

The only thing better than homemade focaccia is homemade pesto focaccia. Bakers can infuse the fluffy bread with pesto by incorporating it into the dough or topping the focaccia with the sauce prior to baking. Choose to adorn your pesto focaccia with sun-dried tomatoes or caramelised onions for extra texture and flavour. 

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Pesto Pizza

Eschew tomato sauce for a layer of fresh green pesto. With an Instagram handle referencing the charred pattern found on wood-fired pizza reminiscent of the spotted predator, Feng shares her homemade sourdough pizza topped with rocket pesto, crispy garlic, ham and finished with a spherical ball of burrata. 

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Pesto Salmon

Brush your salmon with pesto, slide it into a pre-heated oven and, voila!, a nutritious meal for an easy weeknight dinner. To spruce up this dish, crown the flaky fish with additional breadcrumbs or crushed pistachios to form a golden crust. Bake it skin-side down for optimal crispiness. 

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Pesto Chicken Sandwich

Nothing beats the first bite of a pesto chicken sandwich. The crunch from well-toasted sourdough and crisp rocket, the freshness and juiciness from tomatoes, and the tender grilled chicken breast make the perfect mouthful. If you're looking to make your own pesto from scratch, swap pine nuts for walnuts or almonds for a more budget-friendly recipe. 

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Pesto Lasagna

Who knew that replacing the classic tomato-based sauce with pesto in a lasagna could result in such a visually appealing dish? Layered with tender mushrooms and parmesan, this one-tray-wonder is sure to be a hit at your next house party. Change can't be too bad when it looks—and tastes—this good. 


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