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Citrus Pea Pesto

A citrus pea pesto recipe made with cannellini beans. It’s fresh tasting without the need for seasonal ingredients and the perfect topping for pasta!

5 days ago the sun was out, birds were chirping, Ulysses was mowing the lawn, I was giving Ginger a bath outside and an early Sunday dinner of a fresh, pea pesto sounded delicious.

Citrus Pea Pesto

As I’m writing this, this is the weather forecast.

Citrus Pea Pesto

Mother Nature can be one sick biatch.

Yes, those are snowflakes. Oh, and look! They reappear on Saturday. How thoughtful of them. Today is my brother’s birthday, (Happy Birthday Adrian!) 27 years ago it was 90 degrees, or so my mother says, I don’t remember much when I was 2. Seriously New York? Get your shit together.

We (that’s me and you all) haven’t experienced a winter together yet but I’m giving fair warning, expect many references to how much I hate this God forsaken state for the next 6 months. It will chill us to the bone, look like a nuclear bomb went off outside, make me spend thousands of dollars in oil and keep me cooped up inside like caged animal. 5 days was not enough transition for me to mentally prepare.

I miss Florida.

Pea Pesto

Let’s go back to Sunday night instead.

How do you satisfy a craving for pesto when your basil plant has all but kicked the bucket? Peas and baby spinach! Oh, and some cannellini beans which kind of makes this a pseudo hummus but I’m still calling it pesto. It’s kind of got the best of both worlds actually. Fresh tasting like pesto, creamy like hummus. Sounds like the perfect topping for pasta, doesn’t it?

Other uses?

Dip some baby carrots in it, slather it on bread for a sandwich, use it as “dressing” for a salad, use it in place of mayo in a tuna salad.

I made enough for about a pound of pasta but then ended up only using about half a pound of an already open box so I got a bit creative with the leftovers.

Pea Pesto with Citrus

My favorite part about this though is that you get the satisfaction of a fresh tasting pesto without the need for seasonal ingredients.

This could end up being my form of therapy for the next six months. It’s a bit cheaper than a psychologist.

Citrus Pea Pesto

A citrus pea pesto recipe made with cannellini beans. It's fresh tasting without the need for seasonal ingredients and the perfect topping for pasta!
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Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 2 servings


  • 1 cup frozen peas thawed
  • 15 ounces canned cannellini beans drained & rinsed
  • 1 cup loosely packed baby spinach
  • 1 clove garlic
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese freshly grated


  • Place all ingredients in a food processor except for olive oil.
  • Pulse until finely chopped.
  • Scrape down the sides and turn on food processor.
  • While food processor is running, slowly pour in olive oil.
  • Process until creamy and smooth.
  • Transfer to a bowl and mix in parmesan cheese.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1SERVING | Calories: 457kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 689mg | Potassium: 278mg | Fiber: 15g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 2059IU | Vitamin C: 34mg | Calcium: 316mg | Iron: 6mg

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

Cuisine American
Course Sauces, Dressings & Spreads
Keyword citrus pea pesto


Gina Matsoukas is the writer, founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients as much as possible. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

Recipe Rating

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Tuesday 3rd of January 2012

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Monday 31st of October 2011

[...] Citrus pea pesto <— easy, quick pesto/hummus sauce/dip/spread perfect for pasta [...]

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Sunday 30th of October 2011

[...] is really growing on me, and this Citrus Pea Pesto recipe from Running to the Kitchen sounds so interesting. I think I’ll try it [...]

Beth @ RUNNING around my kitchen

Saturday 29th of October 2011

This looks so good, can't wait to try it!!! And it's just too early for that kind of weather :(


Saturday 29th of October 2011

This recipe sounds (and looks) mouth-watering and delicious! I can't wait to try it.