Easy Zucchini Pesto Recipe

A different way to pesto, and a different way to zucchini, too.
June 11, 2019, 12:00pm
Photo by Farideh Sadeghin

Makes about 1 ¾ cups
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes


¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 zucchini, seeds and fibers removed, cut into ½-inch pieces (about 10 ounces|275 grams)

1 garlic clove, minced

1 cup|30 grams packed basil

⅓ cup|30 grams toasted walnuts

1 lemon, zested and juiced

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

½ cup|55 grams parmesan cheese


1. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high. Add the zucchini and sautée 6 minutes, or until golden-brown. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute longer.

2. Transfer the zucchini, along with the basil, walnuts, lemon juice and zest, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes, to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Remove from food processor and fold in the Parmesan cheese. Season to taste. Pesto will keep, refrigerated, for up to 5 days.