How to Make Parsley Pesto

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The best thing about herbs is being able to grow them year round, even in Maine. Parsley Pesto is one of the easiest ways to harvest and use fresh parsley in your recipes and it is always available at the local grocer. The perfect topping for homemade pasta, dipping fresh veggies, on potatoes, gnocchi, pizza, or bread! This homemade pesto comes together with minimal ingredients and in just a few minutes.

Doesn’t pesto have basil?

Yes, traditionally pesto is made with basil. However, you can make it with any combination of herbs or single herbs. Cilantro is another popular herb that is used to make pesto. Though one could argue that a cilantro pesto is pretty much chimichurri sauce. They are similar, but different.

Ingredients for Parsley Pesto

  • Parsley
  • Lemon Juice
  • Olive Oil
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Garlic
  • Onion Powder
  • Salt & Pepper

How To Make Parsley Pesto

Place the parsley in a large food processor fitted with a chopping attachment. Add the freshly grated cheese, spices, and peeled garlic. Pulse a few times to give a rough chop.

Set the speed to low and drizzle in the olive oil until you’ve reached the desired consistency. Stop and scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula a few times to make sure it’s all incorporated.

Remove the chopping attachment and add the juice of a half of a lemon. Mix and taste. Add more if you would like.

Substitutions & Add-ons

You can add walnuts or pine nuts to this parsley with fantastic results. Or you can leave it nut-free. To make this dairy-free, use about a Tablespoon of Nutritional Yeast instead of Parmesan cheese. It gives a cheesy, nutty flavor.

Does the type of parsley matter?

No it does not. You can use flat leaf or curly parsley. Also, don’t worry about removing the leaves. Simply trim the ends of the bundle and toss in, stems and all!

How to Store Parsley Pesto

Because it is oil based and has acid in it, it will last a decent amount of time on the counter or refrigerator if sealed properly (I use a mason jar). Just be sure that every time you use it, you add a thin layer of fresh oil to the top in the jar. This will help keep it from oxidizing and going rancid.

It can also be spooned into an ice cube tray and frozen, then popped out and store in a large ziploc bag in the freezer for 6 months! Add this delightful, fresh summer taste to any winter chicken recipe or fall soup as you cook for a bit of vibrancy.

Recipes to use with Parsley Pesto

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Parsley Pesto

Course Basics
Cuisine American, Italian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 1
Parsley Pesto is a quick and easy topping or sauce. It comes together in just minutes and this recipe has options for nut-free and dairy-free versions.



  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoonn onion powder
  • 1/8-1/4 cup olive oil depending on desired consistency
  • juice from 1/2 a lemon

Optional Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon Nutritional yeast instead of nuts or dairy
  • 2 Tablespoons pine nuts or walnuts


  • Add the parsley, cheese, garlic, and spices to the food processor and roughly chop using the pulse function.
  • Slowly drizzle in the oil while food processor is on high speed. Stop and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Once pureed to desired consistency, add the lemon juice using more if desired. Mix well and transfer to a mason jar with a tight fitting lid.


Serving: 4ounces | Calories: 381kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 21g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 1635mg | Potassium: 410mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 5021IU | Vitamin C: 79mg | Calcium: 321mg | Iron: 4mg

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