I always keep a spare bottle of my cilantro pesto because it goes with absolutely everything. I serve it with pasta, on sandwiches, as a dip, and so much more.

What We Love About This Cilantro Pesto

  • Beginner-friendly: When I was still new to cooking, I used to make no-heat recipes all the time and this cilantro pesto has been on repeat ever since. 
  • Simple Ingredients: This cilantro pesto recipe contains just a few ingredients, so it’s great if you’re in the mood for something simple and straightforward.
  • Goes with everything: Whether it’s tossed with some pasta, drizzled over grilled vegetables, or spread on sandwiches, you can’t go wrong with this recipe.
Cilantro Pesto

Cilantro Pesto Ingredients

  • Fresh Cilantro: Fresh cilantro is the main ingredient in this pesto because it has such a distinct herbed flavor.
  • Garlic: Garlic infuses the pesto with savory flavor.
  • Pine Nuts: Pine nuts are typically used in many pesto recipes because they complement the other ingredients such cilantro and garlic.
  • Olive Oil: Olive oil helps create a smooth and pasty texture.
  • Lemon Juice: Lemon juice adds acidity and citrus flavor to the dish.
  • Parmesan Cheese: Parmesan cheese adds a savory and umami-rich flavor to the sauce.
  • Seasoning: A bit of salt and pepper go a long way towards enhancing the overall flavor profile of this cilantro pesto.
Cilantro Pesto

How to Make Cilantro Pesto

  1. Blend the ingredients. Combine the cilantro, garlic cloves, pine nuts, olive oil, lemon juice, and Parmesan cheese.
    Cilantro Pesto
  2. Pulse until smooth. Scrape the sides if needed to ensure that everything is well-combined.
    Cilantro Pesto
  3. Season with salt and pepper. Adjust to taste.
  4. Use immediately.

Storing and Freezing Instructions: 

  • To store: Cilantro pesto can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or frozen for up to 3 months.
  • To freeze: Portion the pesto into ice cube trays and freeze until solid. Once frozen, transfer the pesto cubes to an airtight bag and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Cilantro Pesto

Cilantro Lime Pesto Recipe Variations

  • Nut-Free Option: Replace pine nuts with roasted sunflower seeds or pepitas for a nut-free version of cilantro pesto.
  • Add other herbs: Experiment with other fresh herbs such as basil, parsley, or mint.
  • Adjust the consistency: Adjust the consistency of the pesto by adding more olive oil for a smoother texture, or reducing the amount for a thicker sauce.

5-Minute Cilantro Pesto

I always keep a spare bottle of my cilantro pesto because it goes with absolutely everything. I serve it with pasta, on sandwiches and as a dip.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1.5 cups



  • Add all the ingredients to small food processor and pulse a few times or until smooth.
  • Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
  • Use immediately or transfer into a jar and cover with a little olive oil so it doesn’t dry up.


Use a fresh batch of cilantro when making this recipe to ensure a longer shelf life for the cilantro pesto. 
Like this recipe?Leave a comment and review below!

Emma Kelly

Lover of smoosh faced dogs, cooking (of all kinds), spending as much time as I can in the garden (especially with homegrown veg and cut flowers), and diy’ing everything! Make sure to follow me on Pinterest for more easy meals, (mostly) healthy desserts and crave-worthy snacks. Learn more about me here.

This post contains affiliate links (I love sharing my favorite ingredients and cooking equipment with you all!)

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