Oregano Pesto Sauce

Oregano Pesto Sauce, a super simple pesto sauce using fresh oregano instead of basil. Ready in 10 minutes and freezes well!

oregano pesto sauce on a white plate with a gold fork

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Have leftover fresh oregano that you’re not sure what to do with? Put it in a pesto! Great as a topping for vegetables, pasta, or pizza, this fresh pesto is a tasty way to save oregano from being thrown out.

👉 Ready to learn how to make pesto with oregano? Let’s do it!


🌿 Ingredients you’ll need

  • Oregano: Fresh oregano leaves are the base of this recipe. Not only do they add a crisp herby taste to pesto, they also provide important vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, vitamin K, potassium, and folate.
  • Nuts or seeds: Pine nuts are used in traditional pesto, but you can make it with other varieties of nuts, like cashews or walnuts. You can even make it nut-free with pumpkin seeds or hemp seeds!
  • Cheese (or alternative): Parmesan or pecorino cheeses are traditional, but you can also use a vegan cheese-alternative like nutritional yeast.
  • Olive oil: Adds flavor to pesto and helps maintain its texture so that it doesn’t become too thick.
  • Garlic, salt, and pepper. These are common pesto seasonings that you can adjust to your liking.
  • Optional Ingredients: Balance out the pesto with acid and brighten the flavor with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
  • Recommended tools: A food processor or blender, knife set, cutting board, and salad spinner
bowls of pumpkin seeds, cheese, olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, and fresh oregano for pesto
Ingredients: fresh oregano, nuts or seeds, cheese, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper

🥣 How to make (step-by-step photos)

1️⃣ Step One: Wash and prep oregano leaves

Start with washing the oregano by running it under water or submerging in a bowl of water. Remove any dirt from the leaves, then take it out of the bowl and lay flat on a plate or kitchen towel to dry. You can also use a salad spinner to dry the leaves.

Then remove the oregano leaves from the stems. The best way to do this is to hold the hard stem and run your fingers down both sides to easily remove the tender leaves.

fresh oregano in a gold measuring cup on a white table
Prep oregano

2️⃣ Step Two: Blend the oregano, nuts or seeds, garlic, and oil

Toss the oregano in a food processor. Add nuts or seeds and garlic cloves, and pulse until finely chopped.

As the ingredients are being blended, slowly drizzle in olive oil and continue to pulse until the chopped ingredients are well coated in oil but not completely smooth (you will want the pesto to be a little chunky).

Slowly drizzle in olive oil while pulsing the ingredients. Pulse until the chopped ingredients are well coated in oil, but still chunky.

oregano, nuts, cheese, oil, and spices in a food processor before blending
Add ingredients to a blender

3️⃣ Step Three: Mix in cheese, spices, and lemon juice

Finish off the pesto by slowly adding cheese or nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper. Give it a taste and add more seasoning until the pesto is flavored to your liking!

blended oregano pesto inside a food processor on a white table
Blend until well combined

💡 Ideas for serving

There are so many fun ways to enjoy pesto! Here are some ideas for how to serve mint pesto:

  • Use as a sauce or spread. Pasta, pizza, bowls, sandwiches – you can’t go wrong with using oregano pesto as your base spread or sauce.
  • Use as veggie dip. Pesto and veggies pair perfectly! You can mix oregano pesto into hummus or use it on its own as a dip on a veggie platter.
  • Add to salad dressings. Pesto can easily be mixed into salad dressing. Simply combine it with more olive oil and lemon juice and drizzle on salad.
  • Use it as a topping for potatoes. Oregano and potatoes are a match made in heaven, so drizzle oregano pesto on top of roasted potatoes.
green pesto with oregano leaves on a white plate on a white table

🧊 How to store

Here are some storage tips for oregano pesto:

  1. Refrigerator storage: Keep in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
  2. Freezer storage: Store in a sealed freezer-safe container for up to 2 months.

Pro tip: To prevent browning, it is a good idea to drizzle a thin layer of olive oil on the surface of pesto before putting it in the refrigerator or freezer. You can add pesto to ice cube trays, freeze, and transfer to a freezer-safe storage bag. Having small amounts on hand are perfect for when you need a quick flavor enhancer!

a close up photo of oregano pesto sauce in a white bowl

♻️ Sustainable kitchen tips

Making oregano pesto is a great way to reduce food waste! Here are some ways to make it even better for the planet:

Make it during oregano season. The growing season for oregano is spring through fall in most regions.

Freeze for later! Make a big batch of oregano pesto when it’s in season, then freeze to enjoy for months to come.

a bowl of oregano pesto on a white table with a gold spoon

👉 More herb pesto sauce recipes

Can’t get enough pesto? Look no further! Try Dill Pesto Sauce, Mint Pesto Sauce, Lemon Pesto Sauce, and Cilantro Pesto Sauce.

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oregano pesto sauce on a white plate with a gold fork

Oregano Pesto Sauce

Kristina Todini, RDN
Oregano Pesto Sauce, a super simple pesto sauce using fresh oregano instead of basil. Ready in 10 minutes and freezes well!
5 stars (2 ratings)
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Sauces, Dressings + Dips
Cuisine Gluten Free, Italian-Inspired, Vegan
Servings 8 servings
Calories 175 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 food processor

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups fresh oregano
  • cup pine nuts or pumpkin seeds if nut-free
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • cup parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast if vegan
  • teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
  • Optional: squeeze of fresh lemon juice

Instructions
 

  • Wash and prep oregano: Start by washing fresh oregano leaves under running water or submerging them in a bowl of water and shaking them to remove any dirt. Use a salad spinner to dry leaves or lay them flat on a plate or kitchen towel to dry.
    2 cups fresh oregano
  • Blend the oregano, nuts, garlic, and oil: Toss the cleaned and dried oregano in a food processor. Next, add nuts or seeds and garlic cloves. Pulse until finely chopped, slowly drizzling in olive oil until the chopped ingredients are well coated in oil but still chunky.
    ⅓ cup pine nuts, 2 cloves garlic, ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Add seasonings to finish: Finish by adding in the cheese (or nutritional yeast), salt, and pepper. Give the pesto a taste and add more seasonings until it's flavored to your liking.
    ⅓ cup parmesan cheese, ⅛ teaspoon salt, ⅛ teaspoon fresh cracked pepper, Optional: squeeze of fresh lemon juice

Notes

Nuts or seeds? Traditional pesto sauce uses pine nuts, but any nuts or seeds are perfect for pesto. We used pumpkin seeds in the photos of this recipe.
Prep ahead: Make this simple pesto up to 2-3 days before serving, or freeze until ready to use
Leftovers and storage: Leftover pesto should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days, and in the freezer for up to 2 months (possibly longer).
Nutrition notes: This recipe made as written (with parmesan cheese and pine nuts). Using other nuts, seeds, cheese, or nutritional yeast will change the nutrition information of this recipe.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 175kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 2gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 104mgPotassium: 41mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 0.2gVitamin A: 34IUVitamin C: 0.3mgCalcium: 52mgIron: 0.4mg
Keyword oregano pesto
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