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Zucchini pesto sauce. An easy garden fresh recipe for summer zucchini.

Updated on July 14, 2010

Surprising zucchini pesto!

Zucchini herb pesto

Zucchini pesto

When it rains it pours, and whoever first said this was obviously talking about zucchini!

All the usual zucchini preparations (grilled, stuffed, sautéed etc.) are great, but sometimes you're stuck with a glut of zucchini, and can't fathom more of the same…again!

Try an easy zucchini pesto sauce. This sauce will keep for about a week in the fridge, and is a great dip for veggies or pita chips, for a vibrant sauce for simply grilled meats, or of course as a very easy—and healthy—pasta sauce.

The instructions as follows are more guidelines than absolutes, and you can easily vary this to suit your preferences. Walnuts or pine nuts may be used instead of the sunflower seeds, and asagio, romano or pecorino could be substituted for the parmesan. You may not have fresh basil on hand, but the recipe could easily be made (differently) with only the tops of green onions or even fresh mint. Whatever you've got…this recipe can handle it!

Zucchini pesto (a general guide)

  • 2 medium zucchinis, roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • About ½ cup of fresh basil or other herb
  • A scant ¼ cup of sunflower seeds (without shells!)
  • A heaping ¼ cup of freshly grated parmesan
  • A heaping (although oil doesn't heap too well) ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt to taste

This is a very quick and easy preparation, and can be made in about 5 minutes start to finish. Just pop your zucchini, sunflower seeds, garlic, herbs and cheese into the blender, and process until chunky. Start adding the oil in a slow steady drizzle, and keep pureeing until the mixture is smooth. Add salt to taste, and you are ready to eat!!!

Try simply grilled chicken breasts with grilled tomatoes and zucchini pesto, BBQ white fish with lemon juice, slathered with this pesto over new potatoes. And of course, fresh pasta tossed in pesto.

Use your imagination and inspiration, both when thinking about how to use it, as well as when thinking about how to make it. The pesto recipe can be well modified to your tastes and your fresh and seasonal ingredients, a few herbs, some cheese, some nuts and a good fruity olive oil, and you're already halfway there!

A zucchini pesto tastes like summer, and since you can get it ready in only minutes, makes for the perfect after work al fresco dinner.


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    • profile image


      7 years ago

      About how many cups would you call the 2 medium zucchinis? I have some that are quite large and don't know if I should use them whole. Thank you for this recipe. Have lots of excess basil to use. :)

    • John D Lee profile imageAUTHOR

      John D Lee 

      8 years ago

      Just 1/4 cup - the oil was listed twice, thanks for pointing that out!

    • profile image

      DONNA R. 

      8 years ago



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