With traditional pesto ingredients like pine nuts, basil, olive oil, and parmesan this recipe begins as a classic. Add creamy, smooth goat cheese, however, and you've got a creative and delicious twist on the herby sauce. This Goat Cheese Pesto is great served on pasta, with bread, or smothered on a sandwich for a burst of flavor.
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move over parmesan
Traditional pesto uses parmesan, which has a harder and more granular texture as compared to goat cheese. With only parmesan, pesto is more of a paste. Using goat cheese in pesto, instead creates a smoothie, creamier spread with a texture similar to a whipped dip.
Goat Cheese Pesto is silky smooth and the cheese flavors come out a bit stronger, in the best way possible. The goat cheese, however, doesn’t completely mask the fresh basil and buttery pine nut flavors, but rather creates a good rich balance between the ingredients.
Also, I am not a gardener, but if there is one thing anyone can grow, it's basil. I’m usually lazy and opt for the store bought package of basil, but I’m often disappointed by the spotty and unloved leaves. Buying a basil plant is WAY more economical, not to mention you get a fun plant in your house giving off fresh smells and fresh basil whenever you need it! This Goat Cheese Pesto alone, is a reason to purchase a basil plant in my opinion.
Ingredients for Goat Cheese Pesto
Basil - The essential herb for pesto! Gives pesto its green color and classic basil flavor.
Shallot - Has a delicate and milder taste compared to onion.
Garlic Cloves - Pungent garlic is another classic pesto ingredient. In its raw form it adds a sharp bite to the recipe.
Pine Nuts - When blended, pine nuts give off a buttery, earthy aroma and taste. This provides a rich base to our pesto. You could also use cashews, but they’ll have a much milder flavor comparably.
Green Goddess Seasoning (Trader Joe's) - The perfect blend of dried herbs for this Goat Cheese Pesto. Italian seasoning will work too.
Sea Salt - To balance all of the the flavors.
Olive Oil - To keep our pesto smooth and rich.
Goat Cheese with Honey - This can be found at Trader Joe’s (comes as a log). You can use regular goat cheese as well, or if you want to keep a bit of that sweetness add a tablespoon of regular honey as well.
Parmesan Cheese - we still will use a bit of Parmesan in our pesto too, as a classic recipe would call for, just less.
Kitchen equipment & tools needed
How to make Goat Cheese Pesto
- First, finely dice the shallot.
- Then, in an immersion blender cup, add basil, shallot, peeled garlic cloves, pine nuts, seasoning, salt, and olive oil together. Use the immersion blender to blend for 2-3 minutes until a pesto like texture is created. You’ll need to be patient as the blender works through the basil, nuts, and onion.
- Once combined, add the goat cheese and parmesan cheese. I broke it up into crumbles so it would blend quicker. Blend for another 30-60 seconds until smooth throughout
- After the goat cheese and pesto are combined, enjoy! See below for serving options.
How to serve Goat Cheese Pesto
Goat Cheese Pesto can be used in a variety of ways. Below are a few of my favorite ways to enjoy this recipe.
- On pasta (as photographed). Add some cherry tomatoes and extra parmesan too.
- On a crostini for a little pesto bruschetta action or on Pesto Focaccia.
- Served as an appetizer with crackers.
- Served over roasted veggies (pesto on zucchini is my fav!)
- On a grilled protein: pesto shrimp, pesto salmon, pesto chicken.
- With eggs. A sunny side up egg with pesto is a next level breakfast.
How to store homemade pesto
This Goat Cheese Pesto can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. It’s also great to freeze for up to 3 months.
I like to double batch this Goat Cheese Pesto Recipe and freeze half whenever I’m making it (dirty blender once, reap the benefits twice;))
No immersion blender? No problem.
If you don't have an immersion blender, a food processor will also work to make homemade Gost Cheese Pesto. A regular blender may also do, but I suggest doubling the recipe to ensure the ingredients can contact the blender blades.
Check out these other recipes too!
Other sauces to try:
Recipes with Pesto you’ll love:
Goat Cheese Pesto Recipe
- Cutting Board
- Immersion blender
- Rubber Spatula
- Measuring cups and spoons
- 4 oz basil, stems removed
- 1 shallot
- 2 cloves garlic
- ⅓ cup pine nuts
- 1 tbsp Green Goddess Seasoning
- 2 tsp sea salt
- ⅓ cup + 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 oz goat cheese with honey
- ¼ cup grated parmesan
- First, finely dice the shallot.
- Then, in an immersion blender cup, add basil, shallot, peeled garlic cloves, pine nuts, seasoning, salt, and olive oil together. Use the immersion blender to blend for 2-3 minutes until a pesto-like texture is created. Be patient as the blender works through the basil, nuts, and onion.
- Once blended, add the crumble the goat cheese and parmesan cheese into the cup.
- Blend again for 30-60 until cheese is well incorporated.
- Serve with crackers, on pasta, on grilled meats or veggies, with bread. Whatever you choose, it'll be delicious!
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. It’s my passion to create dishes that can be shared with others. Tell me something you loved, something that you think it might need, or just say hi!
Looking for this in MyFitnessPal?
If you're using MyFitnessPal, search 'A Paige Of Positivity' and find GOAT CHEESE PESTO calories and nutrition facts
1 serving: 7 grams Carbs | 27 gram Fat | 5 grams Protein
**Disclaimer: for most accurate macronutrients and caloric breakdown, it is recommended that you input each ingredient into your MyFitnessPal food diary.
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