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Upgrade pasta with this simple and healthy zucchini pesto. It is light and creamy and can be ready in 15 minutes!

A close up shot of pesto in a white bowl.
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Zucchini Pesto

I love adding unexpected vegetables to pesto like this beet pesto, broccoli pesto, and sun-dried tomato pesto. And since we eat a lot of zucchini, it was only a matter of time before it made its way into a pesto.

Whether you have an abundance of zucchini or are looking for a lighter and unique variation, this bright green sauce is sure to become one of your go-tos!

And if you’re looking for an extra creamy pesto, try this easy ricotta pesto!

Ingredients

a two image collage showing all the ingredients.
  • Zucchini – Grated works best! Use the large holes of a box grater. While you’re at it, grate extra to easily add to any of these quick toddler breakfast and lunch ideas.
  • Almonds – While I love the marriage of zucchini and almonds, you can swap with walnuts, pine nuts, sunflower seeds, or pumpkin seeds.
  • Parmesan – I’ve also tried this with cheddar cheese and it turned out delicious!
  • Basil – You don’t really need to be exact with the measurements here. I like to add a handful. Feel free to add more or less.

Nuts and Seeds for Babies

Step-by-Step Instructions

a four image showing cooking process step by step.
  1. Add almonds, basil, and garlic to a food processor/blender.
  2. Pulse until finely chopped.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients.
  4. Blend!

Tips for Success

squeezed grated zucchini with excess liquid in a bowl.
  • Be sure to squeeze out as much excess moisture as you can from the zucchini and carrots by using a dish towel or cheesecloth. Otherwise, you will end up with very watery pesto.
  • As with any pesto or dips, use good quality extra virgin olive oil. It truly can make all the difference in the world! I recommend cold pressed, organic.
  • Once blended, add more cheese or lemon juice to your liking.

Serving Suggestions

Oh there are SO many ways to enjoy this refreshing pesto! Here are some suggestions:

How to serve pesto to Babies

Click on any of the links above for specific tips and pictures. If serving with pasta, opt for bigger-sized shapes, like fusili or rigatoni.

Here are more tips on serving pasta to babies.

Start with small portions to make it less overwhelming for your baby. This will also help reduce food waste. You can always offer more if they seem interested. 

tired mom with baby food

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How to serve to toddlers

A two image collage showing pesto mixed with pasta on left and deconstructed on right.

It is common for toddlers to reject mixed foods, especially if they weren’t introduced to them often as a baby. In this case, don’t stop offering! They will need a lot of pressure-free exposure.

For example, serve just a tiny portion of pesto pasta next to plain pasta. Even if your child doesn’t eat it, just seeing it counts as exposure. And the more they become familiar, the more likely they are to accept and try in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the best dairy-free alternative?

You can add nutritional yeast for that cheesy flavor.

What’s the best way to store leftover pesto?

Transfer to an air-tight container and store in the refrigerator for up to one week. Note that the color will darken from oxidation so to prevent this, I recommend drizzling a thin layer of olive oil on top.

Can I freeze zucchini pesto?

Yes! I like to store in single serving portions using this freezer tray so I can thaw just the amount I need. Simply place the tray in the freezer, pop out the molds, and transfer to a freezer-safe bag or container. Will keep for up to 3 months.
pesto filling three holes in grey freezer tray.

Did you make this recipe? Leave a rating below and let me know how you liked the recipe! Your feedback means so much to me!

5 from 8 votes

Zucchini Pesto with Almonds

Upgrade pasta with this simple and healthy zucchini pesto. It is light and creamy and can be ready in 15 minutes!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 8 (makes about 2 cups)
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Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week!

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup loosely packed basil
  • 1/4 cup (40g) almonds (40g)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 cups (200g) grated zucchini (measured after squeezing),, about 2 small zucchini
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2-3 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2-3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Instructions 

  • Grate zucchini using the side holes of a box grater. Squeeze all excess water using a kitchen towel or cheesecloth.
  • Place basil, almonds, and garlic in a food processor/blender and pulse until finely chopped. Add zucchini, cheese, lemon juice and zest and blend until combined.
  • With the processor/blender running, drizzle in olive oil umtil pesto reaches desired consistency.

Notes

To store:
  • Transfer  to an air-tight container and store in the refrigerator for up to one week. Drizzle a thin layer of olive oil on top.
  • To freeze, transfer to a ice cube or freezer tray. Will keep for up to 3 months. 
 

Nutrition

Calories: 82kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 7g
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

The post was first published in 2013.

About Min

Thank you so much for stopping by! I am Min, a Registered Dietitian, a Christ follower, a wife, and a mom to our two miracle babies! Currently, I’m having a ton of fun feeding their tummies and sharing our baby led weaning journey! Follow me on Instagram if interested in seeing daily menu as well as tips and tricks.

20 Comments

  1. Just made this as the first time I ever made pesto… absolutely wonderful! Made it in my Vitamix and it worked like a charm! Thanks for the great recipe. Definitely will be making again! 🙂

    1. Hi Leigha! Aww I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe! And thank you so much for taking the time to let me know ;).

  2. I love finding new uses for zucchini and I love trying different varieties of pesto. I can’t wait to try this pesto!

  3. Ok, kinda jealous. My basil plant this year is just pathetic, I’m so sad. Last it was awesome but not some much this year. I have never made a zucchini pesto before but it sounds awesome, pinning and definitely trying. {i am starting to get a long list of things to try from you} Thanks for sharing at Show Stopper Saturdays!

  4. I love this combination… and your pictures make everything look so yummy. Thanks for sharing on Foodie Friends Friday.