Oregano Pesto Sauce, a super simple pesto sauce using fresh oregano instead of basil. Ready in 10 minutes and freezes well!
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
🥣 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.
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.
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!
💡 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.
🧊 How to store
Here are some storage tips for oregano pesto:
- Refrigerator storage: Keep in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
- 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!
♻️ 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.
👉 More herb pesto sauce recipes
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Oregano Pesto Sauce
- 1 food processor
- 2 cups fresh oregano
- ⅓ cup pine nuts or pumpkin seeds if nut-free
- 2 cloves garlic
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ⅓ cup parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast if vegan
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
- Optional: squeeze of fresh lemon juice
- 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