“Secret Ingredient” Frugal Pesto

“secret Ingredient” Frugal Pesto Recipe

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Lynn Clay


This recipe is from An Oregon Cottage. Found while looking for a recipes for Culinary Quest 2014. It has a secret ingredient that makes it cheaper to make.


★★★★★ 1 vote

1 1/4 Cups
20 Min
No-Cook or Other


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  • 5-6 clove
    garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 c
    sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 c
    grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 1/2 c
    lightly packed basil leaves, washed and dried
  • 1 Tbsp
    lemon juice (optional, but seems to keep pesto a brighter green after opening)
  • 3/4 c
    olive oil (plus more if freezing)
  • 1 tsp
    salt (or to taste)

How to Make “Secret Ingredient” Frugal Pesto


  1. Pulse garlic in a food processor until minced. Add seeds and cheese, pulse a few times to chop, and then add the basil and continue to process until all is finely chopped. Add lemon juice, if using.
  2. With the machine running, add the oil in a fine stream. Process until pesto is smooth. Add salt to taste (less will be needed if using salted sunflower seeds).
  3. To store in the freezer, pour about 1/2 cup into containers, add a shallow layer of olive oil to the tops, label with date and freeze. Keeps for about a year, if it lasts that long.

Printable Recipe Card

About “Secret Ingredient” Frugal Pesto

Course/Dish: Other Sauces
Main Ingredient: Spice/Herb/Seasoning
Regional Style: Italian

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