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Easy and Delicious Carrot Top Pesto

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5 from 5 reviews

This healthy carrot top pesto recipe is versatile, naturally vegan, and super budget-friendly. Plus, it helps to reduce food waste by making a delicious use of the carrot tops! Feel free to use any nuts that you have on hand for convenience and variety!


  • 3 Tbsp nuts, roughly chopped (I used pecans)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 cups carrot tops (from 45 carrots, roughly chopped)
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh herbs (I used basil)
  • 1/23/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Measure nuts and garlic into a food processor. Pulse until a rough paste forms. How much of a paste you form will depend on the type of nut you use. (The natural oils from the nut will be released to form the paste).
  2. Add carrot tops and basil, and pulse until everything is in teeny tiny pieces and creates an even thicker, rougher paste.
  3. If your food processor is small (like mine), you might have to stop and move some of the herbs around a bit in order to get them to chop. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect though. You’ll be blending/processing again soon.
  4. Add 1/2 cup olive oil and pulse/blend until the mixture is mostly smooth. If the pesto is too thick, add additional olive oil if desired, 1 Tbsp at a time. I like mine to be spreadable, so I ended up adding another 1/4 cup for 3/4 cup total.
  5. Makes about 1 cup. Store in a glass jar in the fridge. If you’re using quality olive oil, the pesto will likely solidify in the fridge. Bring to room temperature for 10 minutes before using.


Besides using food you would ordinarily throw away, the best part of this recipe is that it’s SO versatile. You can use any type of nuts and any type of herbs you want or happen to have at the time.

If you’re going to make substitutions, keep these three things in mind:

  • Use less of items that have strong flavors, like peanuts or cilantro.
  • Use more of items that have subtle flavors, like macadamia nuts or parsley.
  • Taste as you go, and adjust. Always!