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Mint Pesto in a glass jar with some fresh mint and a serving spoon in the background
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Leafy Green Pesto Recipe (How To Eat Clean On A Budget)

A quick and easy pesto that is just bursting with flavor. Super versatile and a great way to use up those carrot greens or other leafy greens rather than throwing them in the bin or compost. Mix and match the herbs and nuts that you use depending on the meal you are making and what you have hanging out in the fridge. A great budget-friendly recipe that can be used in soups and casseroles for an extra hit of veggie goodness.
Prep Time10 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Basic
Cuisine: Anytime
Keyword: carrot top pesto, green pesto, how to eat clean on a budget, what to do with carrot greens
Servings: 10 serves
Calories: 36kcal


  • High speed blender


  • 3 tablespoon almonds (see notes)
  • 2 cups carrot tops or other leafy greens washed and dried and chopped roughly
  • small handful coriander/cilantro leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 3 tablespoon parmesan cheese grated (see notes if vegetarian)
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Add almonds to the blender and blend until only slightly chunky.
  • Put the carrot tops or other leafy greens and herbs into a food processor and blend until smooth (see notes).
  • Add the garlic and lemon juice (you can also add the zest if you want), and blend again for a few seconds until combined.
  • Add in the parmesan and then slowly drizzle in the olive oil while the mixture is still blending. Contiue adding the oil until you reach the desired consistency (I like my pesto to be relativey smooth with no bits, others like it quite chunky).
  • Add salt and pepper to taste and give the mixture a quick pulse to make sure it is all mixed together
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Can also be frozen (see notes).


Greens: any leafy greens can be used such as carrot tops, leaves from beets or radishes, rocket, kale, or spinach.
Corriander/Cilantro goes really well with the carrot greens in my opinion, and seeing as I tend to pair it with dishes such as pumpkin soup, it works really well.
If you prefer something a little more subtle, then use up some parsley instead.
Parmesan is something I regularly have on hand. However, if you are vegetarian or vegan you can always sub this cheese out for some nutritional yeast or vegetarian parmesan-like products that can be found in the cheese section instead.
Don’t overcrowd the food processor. You may have to add some carrot tops, blitz until reduced in size, and then add some more.
If you do overcrowd they will likely get stuck around the blade and the whole mixture will stop moving.
If this happens, just remove some of the mixture and pop it into a bowl on the side. Blitz and then slowly add some more carrot leaves back in through the food pushing shoot as you continue processing.
Sometimes just giving it a quick pulse can be enough of a jolt to get it moving again.


Calories: 36kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 24mg | Potassium: 36mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 12IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 1mg