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This bright, zesty mint pesto is loaded up with delicious fresh flavors. It’s easy to make in the food processor, and great to use up lots of mint leaves.
It’s also freezable in small convenient portions, perfect to toss it, scoop it, drizzle it, stir it into salads, soups, roasted veggies, potatoes and more!
I think that this easy pesto with mint deserves a place in every pesto repertoire! And if you think that mint is overpowering or too punchy for a pesto recipe, it’s not.
Surprisingly, the intense flavor of mint blends perfectly with the other ingredients making a pesto that’s quite delicate, fresh and balanced.
Although many pesto recipes call for pine nuts or almonds, I make my own mint pesto with cashews. These lovely nuts add body and flavor, they lend to a deliciously smooth texture and make the mint mellow.
And, as with any pesto recipe, this one is quite forgiving, quick to make in the food processor or blender, and it can be used in countless dishes.
It also happens to be healthy, vegan, and gluten-free too!
List of the ingredients
- Fresh mint leaves
- Cashews or almonds
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Salt & pepper
And a food processor…
How to make mint pesto
(Note: this is a quick description with step-by-step photos, the full recipe is at the bottom of the page)
- Remove the mint leaves from the stems.
- Wash and drain the mint leaves. I use a convenient salad spinner!
- Place all the ingredients in a food processor and whizz until smooth.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning to your taste.
- Transfer the pesto to a glass bowl or a glass jar.
Mint pesto ingredients
Fresh mint leaves: to measure these, lightly pack them down into a measuring cup or use a kitchen scale if you wish. However, the recipe is very forgiving.
Cashews: they add body and flavor making the pesto thick and spreadable. However, feel free to change up the nuts: almonds or pine nuts work just fine.
Extra virgin olive oil: it’s absolutely the best with its rich, fruity flavor. Don’t be tempted to replace extra virgin olive oil with water, it won’t be the same.
Lemon: both zest and the juice work so well with mint!
Garlic: it’s a must, but don’t overdo it. A small garlic clove adds flavor without being overpowering. I used half of the large garlic clove you see in the picture.
Salt & pepper: be sure to taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.
How to store mint pesto
Fridge: it keeps well for 3 days in a glass jar or in a glass bowl, possibly covered with a layer of clingfilm pressed to the surface.
Freezer: it’s also freezable, small convenient portions can be frozen in an ice cube tray as I do here with my parsley pesto.
More recipes with mint?
Here are a few delicious recipes to use up your fresh mint!
- Salad with mint
- Mint syrup
- Pea soup with mint
- Crostini with ricotta, pea and mint
- Fava bean salad with feta and mint
And if you love pesto recipes…
Here are a few of my easy pesto and sauce recipes made with a handful of ingredients and a food processor!
If you make this mint pesto, or if you have any questions, let me know! Leave a comment or rate it. I would love to hear from you!
- 3 cups (35-40 grams) mint leaves, lightly packed and stems removed
- ¼ cup (35 grams) cashews or almonds
- 1 garlic clove, sliced
- 4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/3 lemon, zest
- 1/4 tsp salt, plus more to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Remove the mint leaves from the stems, wash them and drain them possibly using a salad spinner.
- Add the extra virgin olive oil to the food processor first, then add the rest of the ingredients.
- Season with salt and freshly ground pepper and blitz to a smooth paste, adding a tablespoon or two of cold water to help it along if necessary.
- Taste it and season again according to your liking.
- If you don't use it straight away, place the pesto into a glass bowl or a glass jar, and cover with a thin layer of olive oil or clingfilm pressed to the surface to prevent oxidation. It's also freezable in small portions (an ice cube tray would be great).