Carrot Greens Pesto

A twist on classic basil pesto, this Carrot Greens Pesto recipe is not only delicious but helps reduce waste! Carrot tops are edible and a great way to make healthy and nutritious meals.

healthy homemade carrot greens pesto sauce in a bowl
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Are Carrot Greens Edible?

Yes! Carrot greens are definitely edible. They smell and taste a little like a carrot. They have a mild bitterness and “green” taste similar to parsley.

Are Carrot Tops Healthy?

Yes, not only are they edible, they are healthy too! They are rich in nutrients, containing around six times more vitamin C than the carrot itself, as well as calcium and potassium to name a few.

fresh carrot greens on a cutting board

Ingredients Needed to Make Carrot Greens Pesto

  • a garlic clove
  • walnuts (could also use pine nuts or almonds)
  • fresh carrot leaves (tops)
  • fresh basil leaves
  • shredded parmesan cheese
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
ingredients for carrot top pesto

How to Make Pesto with Carrot Tops

  1. First, place the garlic and nuts into a food processor and pulse until you get a paste.
  2. Add the carrot greens, basil, and parmesan cheese and process until everything is nicely combined.
  3. Drizzle in the olive oil while processing until you get your desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Where to Find Carrots with the tops on

Some organic grocery stores will have carrots with the tops still attached as well as some farmer’s markets. The other option is to grow carrots yourself! Below is a photo of the multi-colored carrots from my garden this year. While the carrots are in some crazy shapes and sizes, they are delicious and produced a ton of greens!

organic carrots on a plate

How to serve Carrot Greens Pesto

  • Put it on the carrots! Roast up your carrots in the oven and add the pesto as a sauce. This is a healthy and delicious side dish.
  • Add it to pasta for a burst of fresh flavor.
  • Use it to kick up the flavor in your favorite soup.
  • Put it on your favorite sandwich.
  • Brush it on chicken before baking like this dish below: Baked Chicken Breast with Roasted Carrots and Brussel Sprouts covered in Carrot Greens Pesto!
  • Use it as a dip with your favorite fresh veggies, cheese, and crackers.
baking dish with baked chicken and roasted veggies covered in pesto top pesto sauce
Baked Chicken and Roasted Veggies with Carrot Greens Pesto

How long will Homemade Pesto Last?

Homemade pesto will last in the fridge, covered for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months. Just make sure you use a container with a sealable lid when freezing or a plastic bag made for the freezer. If you make this pesto ahead of time and plan to serve later in the day, cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pesto to prevent a crust or discoloration from forming.

carrot greens pesto in a bowl

Why Carrot Top Pesto is so great

  • One of the things I love about Carrot Greens Pesto is that is means there is almost no food waste! I love it when I can use all or almost all of an ingredient.
  • As I mentioned, carrot tops offer some great nutritional value and an interesting but mild “green” flavor
  • Carrot pesto is very easy to make
  • Pesto made from carrot greens is Gluten Free!
  • If you want a Vegan option, change out the parmesan cheese with a vegan-friendly cheese substitute.
  • Pesto made from carrot greens will complement a variety of dishes including pasta, salads, meat, and more!
  • The color of the homemade pesto is amazing!!
  • You can use different ingredients to your liking for this pesto recipe like subbing a different nut, a different complimentary herb such as arugula or add a little spice with red pepper flakes.
carrot top pesto in a bowl with a spoon and fresh carrots and carrot tops
carrot top pesto
Print

Carrot Greens Pesto

Course Condiment, Dip, Homemade Ingredient, Sauce, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword carrot greens pesto, carrot top greens, carrot top pesto, carrot top recipe, homemade pesto, no waste recipe, pesto
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Author EmilyFabulous

Equipment

  • food processor

Ingredients

  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3 tbsp walnuts (could also use pine nuts or almonds)
  • ½ cup fresh carrot top greens
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves, gently packed
  • ¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Add the garlic and nuts to the food processor and pulse until you get a paste.
    nuts and garlic in food processor for pesto
  • Next, add the carrot greens, basil, and parmesan and continue to process until everything is nicely combined into another paste.
    carrot top pesto before oil is added
  • Drizzle in the olive oil while processing until you get the desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.
    carrot greens pesto in a food processor

Notes

  • I find that because this recipe has raw garlic if the pesto has a chance to chill in the fridge the spicy garlic flavor tones down a bit. You could also cook the garlic in the olive oil for a minute or two on the stove before adding if you want a milder, sweeter garlic flavor. 
  • If you like a thinner, sauce-like consistency you may want to add more olive oil or less if you like a thicker pesto.
  • If storing this pesto in the fridge before serving, place plastic wrap directly on the surface to avoid a crust or discolorization.
carrot greens pesto in a bowl with plastic wrap on top

More Fresh and Delicious Recipes to Try

homemade carrot greens pesto with fresh carrot green tops
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