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Top Five Ways to Use Pesto

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Purchased pesto is one of the best convenience foods on the market. It's made of basil leaves, olive oil, Parmesan cheese, garlic, and pine nuts; that's all. It can be used in so many ways and can dress up a recipe in seconds. You can make your own pesto and freeze it; keep it in the freezer for these last-minute tricks.

If you buy pesto premade from the store, be sure to stir it before you use it in these recipes and ideas. As it sits, the oil can separate out of the mixture. Enjoy these easy and delicious ideas and recipes to use this flavorful condiment.

1. Toss It!

Pesto pasta
Dan Goldberg/Taxi/Getty Images

Pasta is a natural partner for pesto. As you toss hot cooked pasta with this flavorful sauce, the heat brings out the fabulous flavors of the basil, garlic, and cheese.

2. Drizzle It!

Pesto Chicken Packets
Pesto Chicken Packets

If the pesto is too thick to drizzle, just stir in a bit more olive oil. It's the perfect finishing touch for any grilled meat or vegetable too.

3. Stuff It!

Baked Grilled Pesto Cheese Sandwiches
Linda Larsen
Whether on its own or mixed with other ingredients like cream cheese or bread crumbs, pesto makes an excellent stuffing ingredient. I like to mix it with something creamy, such as mayonnaise or sour cream, before using it as a stuffing. That helps insulate the delicate ingredients from the heat and adds wonderful texture.

4. Spread It!

Pesto Brie Bruschetta Snack
Pesto Brie Bruschetta

Pesto is delicious as a sandwich spread and as a layer in any appetizer dip. It's particularly good in open-faced sandwiches. You can also spread it on any thin cut of meat or fish, then coat with bread crumbs and quickly saute.

5. Mix It!

Turkey Pesto Casserole
Turkey Pesto Casserole

Pesto mixed with everything from olive oil to mayonnaise makes a fabulous salad dressing, especially for pasta salads. It can be stirred into rice or mashed potatoes, or mixed into hot vegetables or a casserole made with leftover meat.

Related Video
How to Make Pesto

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