Sweet, tangy pesto perfection. This honey lime cilantro pesto is a great add on to burrito bowls, grilled fish, chicken and more.
I love pesto. The traditional combo of basil, pine nuts, parmesan cheese, garlic and olive oil could not be more perfect. So I definitely did not want to mess with perfection. 🙂
There did come a day, though, that my trusted grocery store ran out of fresh basil on a day that I was planning to make a big batch of pesto for that weeks recipes. Oh nooooo!!!! (Takes a deep breath.)
So rather than scrap the pesto plans, I improvised and grabbed a bunch of cilantro instead. And I realize that not everyone is a cilantro fan...you can thank your genetics for that. But if you ARE a cilantro devotee, you must try this recipe. I find myself sprinkling fresh cilantro leaves over so may dishes lately, and having a good pesto to use as a condiment is such a nice twist on that routine.
The ingredients in this cilantro lime pesto are simple, fresh and easy. They include:
- fresh cilantro
- olive oil
- garlic powder
Walnut pesto - for a change
I thought chopped walnuts might be a nice balance to the cilantro and might add an interesting twist on the traditional pine nuts (added bonus: they are easier to find and less expensive too.) And since I’m preparing meals for the whole family, I figured I couldn’t go wrong by also adding a little sweetness to this pesto. Enter raw honey.
Pro tip: You can use any kind of honey; I just prefer raw honey because it's less processed and doesn't contain any added sugar or other ingredients that regular honey might.
I also added freshly squeezed lime juice since IMHO, cilantro and lime is one of those perfect culinary combos and should be taken advantage of in cooking whenever possible.
And lastly, some garlic powder added to the mix gives it that extra zing. You can absolutely add raw garlic if you prefer; I chose garlic powder since I wanted to make this a bit more kid-friendly with less of a heavy garlic bite.
How to make pesto with cilantro
To make this tangy, sweet pesto, the perfect tool for the job is a food processor. Because you’re not dealing with a lot of liquid in the recipe, it's a little trickier to use a blender--but that works too in a pinch or if you don't own a food processor.
Pro tip: If you do use a blender, just make sure to start and stop often in order to scrape down the sides and push the cilantro leaves back down toward the blade.
Simply add everything to the food processor and process using short pulses, scraping down the sides once or twice. Once everything is well incorporated, you're done!
To store, a pint sized mason jar or glass working jar with a lid is ideal to keep this pesto fresh. You can use immediately or store for several days in the refrigerator.
Recipes that use this pesto
You might also like:
Honey Lime Cilantro Pesto
- 1 bunch cilantro about 2 cups chopped
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts
- 2 teaspoon honey or more to taste
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 lime
- Prep: Wash the cilantro and remove the stems.
- Process: Add all of the ingredients to a food processor fitted with a standard "S" blade and squeeze in the lime. Process in short pulses until everything starts incorporating. Scrape down the sides and pulse a couple more times (see notes).
- Enjoy: Use immediately, or store in a sealed glass container in the refrigerator for up to a few days.