Every year, I wait patiently for the basil to be big enough to make my first batch of pesto. To me, it’s the taste of summer. But, we all know that around this time of the summer, you are suddenly drowning in basil. I like to make lots of pesto and use it for different meals. I thought you might benefit from my creativity, so hopefully, my 22 meal ideas with pesto will spur ideas in your kitchen!

Enjoy this video with all kinds of ideas for pesto that go beyond just pasta!

From a caprese panini to vegetable soup to arancini, there are a million uses for pesto beyond how we always think of it on pasta. I’ve tried pesto as a pizza sauce with shrimp and pine nuts, pesto in a salad dressing, and pesto with eggplant. Any time that you want to give your summer meal a bit of a zing think about that pesto you have in the fridge.

Remember, air is pesto’s worst enemy. Keep it under plastic wrap as soon as you make it to keep it from oxidizing and going brown. Also, be creative with your ingredients. Although basil, salt, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil, and parmesan are traditional, I’ve used pistachios and almonds. A different nut will vary the flavor slightly, but they are delicious as an alternative. I also throw in some parsley if I have it, which is a nice compliment.

During the summer, when you have lots of basil, make a big batch and freeze it in mini muffin tins for the winter. You’ll be so glad you did when December comes around.

Bon appetito!