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Beet Green Pesto

This beet green pesto is the perfect way to use up all those pesky beet tops. Full of vitamins and minerals, it’s delicious on pasta, toasted bread, and even as a delicious topping for grilled meats.

Beet Green Pesto in a bowl.

This post may not be for everyone.  I apologize.

However, this beet green pesto is really good, so you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover….or a recipe by its title. Beets are delicious, and their greens are even more delicious!

I was not in the mood for sautéed greens, so I used these bad boys in pesto. 

Pesto is the best because you can throw almost any green vegetable or herb, cheese, and nut in a food processor, add some oil, and boom, you have pesto.  I used blanched beet greens, a little basil, garlic, toasted hazelnuts, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and olive oil for this pesto.

The pesto was earthy and paired lovely with pasta, which is how I served it.

I thought the pesto pasta was delicious, but I won’t lie. Art didn’t enjoy the dish. He said, “There is nothing wrong with the pesto; I just don’t think this pesto is my thing.”  

I’m pretty certain it’s because no matter how hard you try, beets have a bit of earthiness that some people love and others don’t. Me? I LOVE it! My husband? Nope.

You can’t win them all, am I right?

Beet greens in a strainer.

Looking for even more pesto recipes? Try my Garlic Scape PestoGrilled Lamb Chops with Pistachio Mint PestoTurkey Cranberry Pesto PaniniPesto Chicken Caprese PastaPesto Tuna Baguette Sandwich or my Grilled Chicken Pesto Panini

Beet Green Pesto by Nutmeg Nanny

Beet Green Pesto

This beet green pesto is the perfect way to use up all those pesky beet tops. Full of vitamins and minerals this pesto is perfect on pasta, toasted bread and even when used as a delicious topping for grilled meats. You’ll love how easy this pesto comes together!
5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 minute
Total Time 16 minutes
Servings 4 servings


  • 6 Beet greens from 6 beets
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 3/4 cup olive oil more or less depending on taste and texture
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh cracked pepper


  • Bring a pot of water to a boil on the stovetop.
  • To blanch greens you simply cut away any woody stems and just use the green portion of the stems. Wash thoroughly and set aside. Get a large pot and put it on the stove until boiling. Set another large bowl full of ice water next to the stove. Add greens to boiling water, leave in for 10 seconds, remove and immediately put into ice water. Then drain. Blanching helps soften the beet greens without losing the color.
  • Drain and squeeze any access water out of the greens.
  • Add the greens, basil garlic and hazelnuts to a blender or food processor.
  • Process for just a few seconds to start breaking down the nuts and greens. Add Parmigiano-Reggiano and stream in olive oil till desired consistency is reached. Season with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper.


Serving: 1(1/4 cup) serving
Course Sauces & Dressings
Cuisine American
Keyword beet green pesto, beet pesto
Did you try this recipe?Leave a comment and 5 star review!

About Brandy!

I am a food lover and recipe developer bringing you delicious recipes that taste great and are easy to make! My food is inspired by travels around the world and my love of flavorful food. A list of things that make me happy: cats, Coke Zero, houseplants, and travel. Read more...

Recipe Rating


Thursday 25th of August 2011

Hmmm, interesting! I would have never thought...


Saturday 13th of August 2011

This looks fantastic! I am going to try it tonight with almonds (since that's what I have in the pantry). Thank you!


Sunday 7th of August 2011

I have to remember to keep pestos in mind when I am trying to use up a bunch of greens. Thanks for this great twist on pesto and for getting the idea in the front of my brain! :)

megan @ whatmegansmaking

Tuesday 2nd of August 2011

what a great idea! I just gave my CSA beets away tonight before reading this - but I will keep them for myself next week :)

5 Star Foodie

Saturday 30th of July 2011

That's a great idea, and the hazelnut addition is awesome!


as seen on promo graphic


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