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Zucchini Pesto


This fresh zucchini pesto is a great way to use up the end of summer garden surplus without having to bake it into every muffin, bread and cookie you can think of.

Wednesday morning, I hopped on a plane to San Francisco for an opportunity to visit Del Monte’s farms in Modesto, California.

Besides the visit to the factory and farms, it was also a chance to play hooky from “real” work for a long weekend, hang out with friends and eat our way through San Francisco.

Kinda a no-brainer, right?

Zucchini Pesto |

Also on Wednesday morning however, Ulysses was getting all 4 of his wisdom teeth removed after working 2 night shifts back to back.

I’m pretty sure this qualifies me for the worst wife of the year award.

He doesn’t do well in doctor’s offices.

I went with him to get his third round of some Hepatitis vaccination for his job a few months ago and the look of sheer terror across his face as the nurse prepped the needle was simultaneously cute and unnerving that a 33 year old could be that afraid of a shot.

Potentially chasing around criminals at gun point? Nbd.

But a shot that goes in your skin like 1/2 a cm? Omg, the fear.

So to think of what state he was in after getting 4 teeth pulled, anesthesia and the delirium of 2 night shifts…well, I feel bad.

I feel bad for him and I feel bad for Ginger who probably had a better chance of growing some thumbs and letting herself out of the house than getting Ulysses to do it for her.

Pasta with Zucchini Pesto |

Before I left though, I made this pesto with the world’s largest zucchini my mom gifted me from her garden.

It was the length of 3/4 of my arm, the girth of my calf and completely disturbing to look at on the counter.

It probably would’ve easily fed a family of 8 but since that would mean 4 meals in our house of 2, pesto seemed like a better option.

And because I’m not as horrible a wife as this ill-timed trip makes me seem, I figured the puffy faced invalid would be able to slurp it down too and not have to rely on smoothies all 4 days I’m gone.

Zucchini Pesto |

Maybe I don’t deserve that award after all?

More zucchini recipes to try – 
Paleo Almond Zucchini Bread 
Zucchini Noodles with Avocado Cream Sauce 
Thai Chicken Zucchini Noodles.

More pesto recipes to try – 
Citrus Pea Pesto
Arugula walnut pesto 
Split Pea Pesto Gemelli with Crispy Pancetta 
Roasted Pesto Potatoes
 Skillet Zucchini Pesto Pizza

Zucchini Pesto

Zucchini Pesto

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

This fresh zucchini pesto is a great way to use up the end of summer garden surplus without having to bake it into every muffin, bread and cookie you can think of.


  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 leaf of kale (for color more than taste, you can substitute spinach for this or leave it out, your pesto just won't be as green)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (depends how thick you want your pesto)
  • 1 pound dried pasta


  1. Thoroughly squeeze all excess water from the grated zucchini in a dish towel.
  2. Place zucchini in a food processor along with garlic, pine nuts, parmesan, basil, kale/spinach and salt & pepper.
  3. With the food processor running, drizzle in the olive oil until the pesto reaches the consistency you like.
  4. Check for seasoning again and adjust as necessary.
  5. Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions.
  6. Drain pasta and toss with pesto to thoroughly coat.


Please leave a comment & rating below or share a photo on Instagram and tag @runningtothekitchen

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Thursday 22nd of September 2016

This was terrific, thank you for sharing! I adjusted a little bit for my family's tastes, but let's be honest: it's this concept that is great! Delicious pesto packed with veggies? I felt like a superhero watching my toddler scarf this down! :) I hope you don't mind I highlighted this on my fledging blog, too - with several links to your original! Thanks again for a great recipe.

Janet Sarandon

Saturday 24th of August 2013

I could still recall when my husband also had his wisdom teeth removed few years ago. He had a hard time eating so I served him a lot of soup. Anyway, I love your Zucchini recipe. It really looks so delicious. Thanks for sharing!

Janet :-D

Taylor @ FoodFaithFitness

Friday 23rd of August 2013

I too was just gifted the largest zucchini in the world! My freezer is now full of it, blanched and just waiting to be used in this pesto! Looks amazing!!


Friday 23rd of August 2013

Isn't it funny what people are afraid of? Personally I'll take a needle over even looking at a gun (and I don't mean looking up the barrel end)…

This pesto sounds really nice. I don't have any zucchini to use up, but I'm going to save the recipe for when I need pesto.

Katie @ Produce on Parade

Friday 23rd of August 2013

Wow, Gina! This is so elegant and looks delicious! :) Thanks for sharing such a healthy and lovely recipe.