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Pea-Mint-Sunflower Seed Pesto

Scott Phillips

Yield: Yields about 2 cups

Slightly thicker and chunkier than traditional basil pesto, this is great tossed with pasta or spread on crostini. If using thawed frozen peas, skip the blanching and shocking step.


  • 2 cups shelled fresh peas or frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1/4 cup lightly packed fresh mint leaves
  • 2 Tbs. roasted salted sunflower seeds
  • 1 Tbs. finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 scant Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional Sample Size Per 1/4 cup
  • Calories (kcal) : 140
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 100
  • Fat (g): 12
  • Saturated Fat (g): 2
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1.5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 7
  • Cholesterol (mg): 5
  • Sodium (mg): 210
  • Carbohydrates (g): 6
  • Fiber (g): 2
  • Protein (g): 4


  • Bring a medium pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the fresh peas and blanch until bright green and just tender, about 3 minutes. Drain, shock in ice water, drain again, and set aside.
  • Pulse the peas, Parmigiano, mint, sunflower seeds, lemon zest and juice, 3/4 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper in a food processor until finely chopped. With the motor running, drizzle in the oil and process until emulsified. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Make Ahead Tips

The pesto will keep for 3 days; refrigerate with plastic wrap pressed directly on the surface.


To serve the pesto with pasta, use 12 oz. of uncooked, dried pasta per 1/2 cup of pesto. Reserve some of the pasta cooking water and use it as needed to loosen the sauce after tossing it with the hot, cooked pasta.


Rate or Review


  • user-6894779 | 10/01/2017

    This was an easy-to-make recipe that was great both as a pesto on pasta and as a spread on a crostini.

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