Carrot top pesto

This carrot top pesto is the perfect no-waste recipe to use up those nutritious carrot tops you have left over, and is so delicious and easy to make. Using only 6 ingredients (plus salt) and ready in 5 minutes you’ll love this healthy pesto recipe. Vegan option. 

Basil pesto is undoubtedly one of the  most delicious things ever but its not often you have spare basil hanging around (and if you do, I’m jealous because it probably means you successfully grow it. Go you!).

The best carrot top pesto

Carrot top pestoBut carrot tops? They’re the often over-looked edible and nutritious green leaves that we throw into the compost or feed to our pet bunnies, right?

This is the BEST carrot top pesto recipe, using only 6 ingredients (plus salt); carrot tops, parmesan cheese, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil and black pepper.

If you want to try another amazing pesto my parsley hemp pesto is equally awesome and packed full of omega 3 fatty acids.

Best ever pesto ingredientsWhat you will need

  • A food processor. I use a high-speed food processor for this recipe but any food processor will work, you will just need to increase the blending times.
  • A microblade or fine grater, to very finely grate your parmesan cheese.
  • Carrot tops from a bunch of baby carrots or fresh from your garden. HOT TIP: You can pick carrot tops from the carrots still growing in your garden- just pick a stalk or two from each carrot.
  • Pine nuts. I have tried this recipe with cashews, walnuts and hemp seeds too. They all work, but pine nuts pair beautifully with the carrot tops.
  • Fresh garlic
  • Extra virgin olive oil– find an olive oil that you love the taste of for the BEST carrot top pesto ever.
  • Salt and pepper

The best carrot top pestoCarrot top pesto serving suggestions

Honestly you can totally just eat this with a spoon, but if you’re after more creative ideas then;

  • As a dip, of course. I love eating this delicious pesto with Mary’s Gone Crackers (the black ones are my fav) as a snack, the best! So simple, so good. I have a cheeky code (JADE10) for the part&Parcel store here if you want Mary’s gone crackers at discount.
  • On toast with eggs, goats cheese and sauerkraut
  • Mixed through roast veggies for a simple and flavour packed lunch
  • Mixed into your favourite paste or noodles for an almost-instant dinner
  • Spread onto a pizza base
  • Added to a toastie with cheese, tomato, red onion, roquette and roasted pumpkin

Frequently asked questions

Can this be made vegan?

Yes! Simply substitute parmesan for vegan parmesan (I like this one) or 1/4 cup nutritional yeast and 1/4 cup extra pine nuts.

What can I use instead of carrots tops?

Of course you can follow this recipe if you don’t have carrot tops. Instead you can use parsley, roquette, basil or coriander. Just remember to remove the stalks and only use the leaves.

Does this freeze well?

You can freeze the pesto, however you need to defrost it slowly in the fridge and the texture will be better without freezing. If you want to preserve the pesto for longer create an olive oil seal.

How to create an olive oil seal.

Pack the pesto into a glass jar. Ensure you have a compact, even layer of pesto and clear away pesto sitting on the sides of the jar and around the rim, so you have a clear glass jar above the line of pesto. Now create a layer around 1cm thick of olive oil. This oil seal will prevent oxygen and microbes entering into the pesto, increase the fridge shelf life to a few weeks.

If you’re after more healthy snack recipes you might like to try;

I hope you and your family enjoy this delicious carrot top pesto as much we do. Your reviews and comments help other people find this recipe too, so please leave one if you have time. Plus, I just love reading your feedback

Carrot top pesto

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The best carrot top pesto

Carrot top pesto

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  • Author: Jade Woodd
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: Nil
  • Total Time: 0 hours
  • Yield: 12 serves 1x
  • Category: Dip
  • Method: Blended
  • Cuisine: Italian-inspired
  • Diet: Vegetarian


This carrot top pesto is the perfect no-waste recipe to use up those nutritious carrot tops you have left over, and is so delicious and easy to make. Using only 6 ingredients (plus salt) and ready in 5 minutes you’ll love this healthy pesto recipe. Vegan option. 



2 cups firmly packed carrot tops

1/2 cup pine nuts

1 clove garlic

100g parmesan cheese (dairy or vegan), finely grated

1/31/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/41/2 tsp fine salt

1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper


  1. If you have not done so already, wash your carrot tops and remove the leaves from the stem. Discard stems, or place in the freezer to use in a homemade stock.
  2. This step is optional but recommended. Heat a heavy based saucepan over medium heat. Once hot reduce heat to low and add pine nuts (do not add oil). Dry roast for 2-3 minutes, tossing regularly, until fragrant and the pine nuts release some oils and become oily or shiny to look at. Turn off heat and immediately transfer to a bowl (to prevent burning) Set aside to cool for 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add carrot tops and pine nuts to a food processor. Pulse until the herbs are well chopped- you want them to look finely chopped but not at all pureed.
  4. Add garlic and parmesan and pulse about 8 times until well incorporated.
  5. With the food processor running stream in lemon juice and olive oil. I use the full 1/2 cup olive oil for a more liquid pesto, however you can use less if you prefer a thicker dip-like consistency. As soon as the liquid has been added turn off the food processor.
  6. Remove the lid and blade from the food processor. Add 1/4 tsp salt and black pepper and stir to combine. Taste, adding extra salt if you prefer. Transfer to a container and store in the fridge.

Pesto is delicious served as a dip or mixed through pasta for a quick and easy dinner. Refer to the blog post above for more serving suggestions.


Pesto can be stored in the fridge for up to 5-7 days. It is freezer friendly (up to 6 months) however it is best enjoyed without freezing.

You can increase the life of pesto in the fridge by using an olive oil seal. To do so, pack pesto into a very clean glass jar. Make sure the top of the pesto is a very even layer and no pesto is on the sides of the jar above this line. Add a layer of olive oil (about 1-2 cm thick) on top of the pesto and store in the fridge. As long as the pesto is sitting completely below the olive oil line is will be spared from spoiling. You can store pesto this way for 2-3 weeks.



  • Pine nuts made be substituted for hemp seeds, roasted cashews, walnuts.
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