Cilantro Pesto

Pesto is a quick and easy way to add flavor to your foods. It is similar to chimichurri or salsa. Originally pesto is an Italian condiment made from fresh basil leaves, cheese, and pine nuts. This pesto is made with fresh cilantro and pumpkin seeds or pepitas. I find that cilantro deteriorates very quickly in the refrigerator, so this is one way to use it to make it last a bit longer. If you like, you could also substitute some parsley for some or all of the cilantro.

cilantro pesto

Cilantro Pesto with Pumpkin Seeds


    • 2 cups chopped fresh cilantro
    • 2 green onions, chopped
    • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1 or 2 jarred jalapenos, depending on you heat tolerance
    • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped pumpkin seeds
    • 1 tablespoon water
    • 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • salt
    • freshly ground black pepper


Blend all the ingredients, in a food processor or blender. You do not want to process until smooth; it should still have a little coarse texture.

Use it as a sauce for chicken or fish, or drizzle into a fish taco. Also good with scrambled eggs or stirred into cooked pasta or rice.