So many times when I buy a bunch of cilantro, I only need a few tablespoons. Then I have this huge bunch leftover, which doesn’t sit well with this mama. I hate to waste food, so whenever I buy cilantro I find myself scrambling to find ways to use it up.
That’s how this recipe was born. I had a big bunch of cilantro that I’d only used a small snippet of and was on the brink of going bad. I poked around and realized I also had some leftover plain pasta and knew pesto was the answer to what I was going to do with my cilantro. I had everything I needed on hand.
With leftover pasta in the fridge that just needed to be warmed up, this made a super quick lunch. A quick whiz of the food processor and it was ready.
You should make this pesto not just because it tastes delicious. Although taste alone may be enough because it is really, really good. But I think you should take a good look at the health benefits of cilantro. You would never guess what potent nutritional qualities those little leaves hold. Check it out:
- Cilantro is a natural cleansing agent and removes heavy metal and toxins from the body.
- Its oils aid and stimulate digestion.
- It has anti-inflammatory properties that are shown to help relieve arthritis symptoms.
- Cilantro can help relieve stomach gas (good for those of us who consume a lot of vegetables!).
- It can help ward off urinary tract infections.
- Cilantro is immune-boosting.
- It eases hormonal mood swings and helps reduce menstrual cramps (Holla, Ladies!)
Quite an impressive list, no? You’ll never let that bunch of cilantro go bad in your fridge again!Print
A delicious and versatile pesto recipe
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 0 minutes
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Condiment
- Cuisine: Italian
- 1 cup (packed) organic cilantro leaves, large stems removed
- 1/3 cup pistachios (if you don’t have pistachios on hand you can use almonds, walnuts, etc.)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic (use 1/2 a clove if you find raw garlic too strong)
- 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- In a food processor or blender, process the cilantro, pistachios, oil, and garlic until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the cheese.
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 185
- Sugar: 0.25g
- Sodium: 147mg
- Fat: 18.5g
- Carbohydrates: 2g
- Protein: 4.5g
Keywords: pasta sauce
We mixed this pesto with pasta for a quick, healthy lunch. I had no idea if Meghan would go for it or not, as she is hit or miss when it comes to pasta, and she seems to be going through yet another picky stage. I tried to have her help me prepare it, but she was too busy playing and just not interested.
I knew presentation would be key. Familiarity is so important to toddlers, especially when it comes to their food, so I decided to try to make this seem like something she knew. Because she now loves her green grilled cheese sandwich and is usually a fan of macaroni and cheese, I decided to tell her she was eating “green macaroni and cheese”.
Giving it that name definitely helped. If I would have said, “Here’s your pasta with cilantro pesto” she probably wouldn’t have even tried it. She did try it and ate some of it. She didn’t finish her entire bowl, but for a first attempt at a food, I was happy.
There are plenty of different ways you can use this pesto. Pesto naturally goes well with pasta. It would also be delicious as a sandwich spread, on top of vegetables, or spread on fish before cooking. Enjoy!