Carrot Leaf Pesto
A twist on classic basil pesto, this Carrot Leaf Pesto recipe is not only delicious but helps reduce waste! Carrot tops are edible and a great way to make healthy and nutritious meals.
This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you click a link and make a purchase, I may receive an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Please see the full disclosure for further information and thank you for your support!
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.
Ingredients Needed to Make Carrot Leaf 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
How to Make Pesto with Carrot Leaves
- First, place the garlic and nuts into a food processor and pulse until you get a paste.
- Add the carrot greens, basil, and parmesan cheese and process until everything is nicely combined.
- Drizzle in the olive oil while processing until you get your desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- 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!
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.
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.
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.
More Fresh and Delicious Recipes to Try
- Healthy Shrimp Ceviche
- Gluten-Free Chicken Broccoli Quinoa Bake
- Baked Chile Rellenos
- Simple Whole Roasted Chicken
- Easy French Onion Soup
Carrot Leaf Pesto
- 1 clove garlic
- 3 tablespoon 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
- Add the garlic and nuts to the food processor and pulse until you get a paste.
- Next, add the carrot greens, basil, and parmesan and continue to process until everything is nicely combined into another paste.
- Drizzle in the olive oil while processing until you get the desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- 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.
Any nutrition calculations are only estimates using online calculators. Please verify using your own data.
Did you make this Carrot Leaf Pesto Recipe?
If you make this recipe, snap a pic and tag me on Instagram or Facebook. I’d love to see what you are making in your kitchen. You can also sign up for my mailing list and follow me on Pinterest so you never miss a recipe.