Simple Carrot Top Pesto Recipe

This simple carrot top pesto recipe is a delicious way to use every part of the carrot!  With loads of carrot greens and a handful of fresh basil, this homemade pesto has a fresh flavor and takes only minutes to make. 

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Carrot Top Pesto Recipe

Are carrot tops good for you?

So, you have a bunch of carrots that still have their green, leafy tops on them.  Can you eat carrot tops?  Yes, you definitely can!   The leaves of carrot tops are edible and very nutritious.  They are loaded with vitamin C and are also a good source of potassium and calcium.  And by eating carrot tops, you are reducing food waste which is always a great goal to keep in mind in the kitchen!

rainbow carrots with tops on cutting board

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How do you keep carrot tops fresh?

If you are anything like me, you are pressed for time.  I don’t always have time to make carrot top pesto as soon as I cut the tops off the carrots.  So, how do you keep carrot tops fresh until you are ready to use them?  Slice them off the carrots, rinse under cold water, and then fill a glass with water.  Stick the carrot tops into the glass of water just like you would a bunch of cut flowers.  They won’t stay good for long, however, so use them within a couple of days. 

Like this carrot top pesto recipe?  Try these carrot recipes, too!

Can you freeze carrot tops to make them last longer? You can, just try to make sure that most of the water is shaken off the carrot tops.  Then, place them in a ziploc bag and put them in the freezer.  You can also make this homemade pesto in minutes, and then freeze THAT back in small containers until you want to use it.  

Homemade pesto with carrot tops and basil


What can you make with carrot tops besides pesto?

Treat carrot tops like any other greenery.  Wash it, shake it dry, and use in everything from homemade green smoothies to salads.  You can also use fresh carrot greens in spice rubs for meat, vegetable juice or even herbal teas.  


Pesto ingredients

Carrot Pesto Ingredients

The ingredients for this carrot pesto are very similar to traditional pesto recipes.  I even used a small handful of fresh basil to give it a more traditional taste.  Some carrot top pesto recipes don’t use basil at all.  This is something you can play with, depending on your taste preferences.  Here are the ingredients you will need to make this pesto recipe:

  • Carrot Tops:  About 2 cups.  This was about 1 small bunch of carrots worth. 
  • Walnuts (pecans or pine nuts will also work)
  • Garlic Cloves, the more the merrier!
  • Basil (fresh!)
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Brown Rice Pasta with Carrot Top Pesto

How to make pesto with carrot tops

Starting with your fresh carrot tops, rinse them under cold water.  Shake gently to remove excess water and lay on a clean towel to drain.

Measure out all the other ingredients and place them in a food processor.  Coarsely chop the carrot tops and add those to the food processor as well.  Pulse the ingredients until they start to come together.  

Add more olive oil if needed for a thinner consistency.  You will have to scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally with a spatula.  Just push it back towards the bottom of the bowl. 

Homemade Carrot Top Pesto Recipe with Brown Rice Pasta

Simple Carrot Top Pesto Recipe

This simple carrot top pesto recipe has a fresh flavor and takes minutes to make. It’s a great way to reduce food waste and use every part of the carrot.  Check out Oh My Veggies for more ideas on what to make with carrot greens.  You can check out my recipe for parsley pesto if you are looking for more unique pesto recipes. 

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Simple Carrot Top Pesto Recipe

Homemade Carrot Top Pesto Recipe with Brown Rice Pasta

This simple carrot top pesto recipe has a fresh flavor and takes minutes to make. It's a great way to reduce food waste and use every part of the carrot.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes


  • 2 cups Carrot Tops
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 3 Garlic Cloves
  • 1/4 cup fresh Basil
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  1. Rinse and coarsely chop carrot tops
  2. Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until smooth, scraping sides as necessary.
  3. Add additional olive oil if needed for thinner consistency.
  4. Serve with fresh pasta or freeze for later use.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 112Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 193mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 4g

Nutrition information not always accurate

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