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turnip greens pesto in a white bowl on a white marble countertop

Turnip Greens Pesto Sauce

Kristina Todini, RDN
Turnip Greens Pesto, a simple root-to-stem recipe using turnip leaves instead of basil to make pesto sauce. Quick, delicious, and a great way to use plant parts that are commonly thrown away.
5 stars (5 ratings)
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Sauces, Dressings + Dips
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings
Calories 187 kcal


  • 2 cups turnip greens chopped
  • cup pine nuts or other nuts or seeds
  • 2 whole garlic cloves
  • ½ cup olive oil extra virgin
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast
  • tsp salt
  • tsp pepper freshly cracked
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


  • Wash turnip tops. First, wash the turnip greens by removing from the stem. Submerge them in a bowl of water, then allow them to dry by laying them flat or using a salad spinner.
  • Blend ingredients. Once the greens are dry, add them to a blender along with pine nuts or seeds and garlic cloves. Pulse until finely chopped while slowly pouring in olive oil. Continue to pulse until the ingredients are well combined, but not completely smooth.
  • Add nutritional yeast and seasonings. Next, sprinkle in the nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper. Pulse the ingredients together a few more times until combined. Give the pesto a taste and add more seasonings until you reach your desired taste. Add lemon juice, if desired.
  • How to serve. Mix some pesto into your favorite pasta, use it as a topping for pizza or sandwiches, or serve as a dip for raw veggies.


  • Nuts and seeds? Traditional pesto sauce uses pine nuts, but any nut or seeds will be delicious in this pesto. You can make it with walnuts, cashews, pumpkin seeds, or even hemp seeds.
  • Tools needed: food processor or blender, knife set, cutting board, salad spinner
  • Prep ahead: Make homemade 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).


Serving: 1servingCalories: 187kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 3gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 142mgPotassium: 84mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 1644IUVitamin C: 9mgCalcium: 102mgIron: 1mg
Keyword pesto sauce, turnip greens, vegan pesto sauce
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