Home » Condiments » 10-Minute Oregano Pesto Recipe

10-Minute Oregano Pesto Recipe

A delightful twist on the classic, this Oregano Pesto recipe will infuse your dishes with a robust and aromatic flavor that’s sure to impress.

A bowl of pesto dip with oregano leaves.

It’s incredibly versatile, perfect for adding a gourmet touch to pasta, pizzas, and salads, and its simple preparation means you can bring a burst of Mediterranean charm to your table in no time. Whether you’re a home cook pro or just looking for a fresh way to spice up your meals, this oregano pesto is a must-try.

A bowl of oregano pesto with basil leaves on a table.

💚 Why You Will Love This Recipe

  • Quick and Easy: This recipe is a breeze to whip up, taking minimal prep time.
  • Goes with Anything: Oregano pesto is a fantastic addition to pasta, salads, pizza, and more.
  • Nutrient-rich: Packed with the goodness of fresh herbs, nuts, and olive oil, it’s a healthy choice.
  • Dairy-Free and Vegan: By default, this recipe is naturally vegan and dairy-free, perfect for various dietary preferences.
  • Customizable: Feel free to adjust the ingredients to suit your taste or dietary needs.
  • Great for Storing: It freezes well, so you can always have some on hand.
  • Aromatic and Flavorful: The unique taste of oregano offers a delightful twist on the classic pesto.
  • Nut-Free Options: You can easily swap nuts for seeds if you’re on a nut-free diet.
  • Adds a Zing to Your Dishes: Whether it’s a dollop on your pizza or a mix in your pasta, it elevates your meal instantly.
A bowl of oregano pesto with a spoon next to it.

🗒️ Ingredients and Substitutes

Almonds: They provide a crunchy texture and nutty flavor. Almonds can be substituted with sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds for a nut-free version, or other nuts like pine nuts or walnuts.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil: It’s the base of the pesto, offering a smooth texture and rich flavor. Choose a high-quality oil for the best taste.

Fresh Oregano Leaves: The main ingredient! Oregano brings a robust and slightly spicy flavor, differentiating this pesto from the classic basil pesto. This is a great way to use up extra oregano from your garden.

Lemon Juice: Adds a zesty, fresh kick. You can use either fresh or bottled, but fresh juice gives a brighter flavor.

Salt and Ground Black Pepper: These seasonings enhance the overall flavor. Adjust according to your taste preferences.

A bowl of oregano pesto in a white bowl with sprigs of basil.

🥣 How to Make Oregano Pesto

A food processor filled with oregano and nuts.
Oregano pesto made in a food processor.
A bowl of pesto with a oregano leaf on top.
  1. In your food processor or high-speed blender, start by adding the raw whole almonds, extra virgin olive oil, fresh oregano leaves, and lemon juice.
  2. Blend these ingredients until they start to come together. You have the freedom to choose the consistency – leave it coarser for a more rustic feel or blend until smooth for a creamier texture.
  3. After reaching your desired consistency, add a pinch of salt and ground black pepper. Blend again briefly to mix these in evenly.
  4. Give your pesto a taste test. Adjust the seasoning if needed, or add a little more olive oil if it’s too thick.
  5. Your oregano pesto sauce is now ready to serve! If you’re not using it immediately, it can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer for later use.
A bowl of oregano pesto with a spoon next to it.

🍝 Serving Suggestions

As a Pasta Sauce

One of the most classic ways to enjoy oregano pesto is with pasta. Toss it with your favorite pasta type for a quick, flavorful meal. It pairs beautifully with both short and long pasta shapes.

On Pizza and Flatbreads

Spread a layer of oregano pesto on your pizza dough or flatbread before adding your toppings. It adds a herby depth that complements traditional pizza toppings wonderfully. You can even make Gluten-Free Pesto Pizza Rolls with this recipe!

In Salads and Salad Dressings

Oregano pesto can be a vibrant addition to salads. Mix it into your salad dressings for an aromatic and tangy flavor boost. It goes particularly well with Mediterranean-style salads.

With Grilled or Roasted Vegetables

Oregano pesto works wonders when paired with roasted vegetables. Toss your favorite veggies like bell peppers, zucchini, eggplant, or cherry tomatoes in the pesto before roasting them. This not only infuses them with a herby, aromatic flavor but also adds a beautiful glaze.

As a Sandwich Spread

Elevate your sandwiches by spreading a layer of oregano pesto on the sandwich bread. It works great in vegetarian sandwiches, adding an extra layer of flavor.

As a Dip or Drizzle

Serve it as a dip with fresh vegetables, crackers, or bread. You can also drizzle it over cooked vegetables, soups, or stews for an instant flavor upgrade.

A bowl of oregano pesto in a white bowl with a spoon.

🥡 Storage

In the Refrigerator

  • Short-Term Storage: For immediate use, store the pesto in an airtight container in the fridge. It should stay fresh for up to a week.
  • Preventing Oxidation: To help prevent the pesto from oxidizing (turning brown), pour a thin layer of olive oil on top before sealing the container. This acts as a barrier against air.

In the Freezer

  • Long-Term Storage: Oregano pesto freezes exceptionally well. Spoon it into an ice cube tray for easy portioning. Once frozen, transfer the cubes to a freezer bag or container. It will keep for up to 3 months.
  • Thawing: When ready to use, thaw the pesto cubes in the refrigerator or at room temperature. You can also directly add frozen pesto cubes to warm dishes like pasta or soups.

Reheating

Generally, oregano pesto is used cold or at room temperature, as heating can alter its fresh flavor and vibrant color. However, if you do need to warm it up, do so gently over low heat, just enough to take the chill off.

A bowl of green pesto made with oregano, with a spoon next to it.

💭 Top Tips and Optional Additions

Freshness Counts: For the best flavor, use fresh oregano leaves. The fresher the herbs, the more aromatic and flavorful your pesto will be.

Quality of Oil: Opt for a high-quality extra virgin olive oil for a richer, smoother pesto.

Nuts and Seed Substitutions: Feel free to experiment with different nuts or seeds to find your preferred taste and texture. For nut allergies, you can easily swap the almonds for sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds.

Blending Technique: Pulse the ingredients for a coarser texture or blend continuously for a smoother pesto. Both textures have their charm and work well in different types of dishes.

Consistency: If your pesto is too thick, add a bit more olive oil or lemon juice to thin it out to your liking.

Add Heat: For a spicy kick, add a pinch of red chili flakes.

Cheese: If you’re not strictly vegan, adding a handful of Parmesan cheese (rennet-free/vegetarian parmesan if necessary) can add depth and a salty edge to your pesto. Vegans can add dairy-free parmesan (Violife is delicious!) or a little nutritional yeast for that cheesy flavor if desired.

A bowl of oregano pesto with a sprig of basil.

❓ Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use dried oregano instead of fresh?

While fresh oregano is preferred for its vibrant flavor, you can use dried oregano in a pinch. Keep in mind that dried herbs are more potent, so use about one-third of the amount specified for fresh.

Is oregano pesto gluten-free?

Yes, this oregano pesto recipe is naturally gluten-free, making it suitable for those with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease.

Can I make this pesto nut-free?

Absolutely! You can substitute the almonds with sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds for a nut-free version that’s just as delicious.

How long can I store homemade pesto in the freezer?

When stored properly in airtight containers or ice cube trays, homemade oregano pesto can last in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Can I use other types of nuts in this pesto?

Certainly! While almonds are used in this recipe, feel free to experiment with other nuts like walnuts, pine nuts, or cashews for different flavor profiles.

A bowl of pesto on a table next to a sprig of basil.

🌿 More Delicious Pesto Recipes

Beet Pesto Recipe

Cilantro Pesto

Hazelnut Sage Pesto Recipe

Vegan Cashew Pesto

Spring Pea and Basil Vegan Pesto

Cheesy Vegan Walnut Pesto

A bowl of pesto dip with oregano leaves.

Oregano Pesto

A delightful twist on the classic, this Oregano Pesto recipe will infuse your dishes with a robust and aromatic flavor that's sure to impress. Naturally vegan and dairy-free.
5 from 47 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Condiments, Sauces
Cuisine: Italian, Mediterranean
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Kristen Wood

Ingredients

  • ½ cup raw whole almonds
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ⅓ cup fresh oregano leaves packed
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice fresh or bottled
  • salt to taste
  • ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  • In a food processor or high speed blender, combine the almonds, oil, oregano and lemon juice.
  • Blend until you are happy with the consistency of the pesto, leaving it coarser or smoother according to your preferences.
  • Add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste, then blend once more.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Notes

Fresh Oregano: For the best flavor, use fresh oregano leaves. The fresher the herbs, the more aromatic and flavorful your pesto will be.
Quality of Oil: Opt for a high-quality extra virgin olive oil for a richer, smoother pesto.
Nuts and Seeds: Feel free to experiment with different nuts or seeds to find your preferred taste and texture. For nut allergies, you can easily swap the almonds for sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds.
Blending Technique: Pulse the ingredients for a coarser texture or blend continuously for a smoother pesto. Both textures have their own charm and work well in different types of dishes.
Consistency: If your pesto is too thick, add a bit more olive oil or lemon juice to thin it out to your liking.
Add Heat: For a spicy kick, add a pinch of red chili flakes.
Cheese: If you’re not strictly vegan, adding a handful of Parmesan cheese can add depth and a salty edge to your pesto.

Storage

  • Fridge: For immediate use, store the pesto in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It should stay fresh for up to a week.
  • Preventing Oxidation: To help prevent the pesto from oxidizing (turning brown), pour a thin layer of olive oil on top before sealing the container. This acts as a barrier against air.
  • Freeze: Oregano pesto freezes exceptionally well. Spoon it into an ice cube tray for easy portioning. Once frozen, transfer the cubes to a freezer bag or container. It will keep for up to 3 months.
  • Thawing: When ready to use, thaw the pesto cubes in the refrigerator or at room temperature. You can also directly add frozen pesto cubes to warm dishes like pasta or soups.
  • Heating: Generally, oregano pesto is used cold or at room temperature, as heating can alter its fresh flavor and vibrant color. However, if you do need to warm it up, do so gently over low heat, just enough to take the chill off.
 
  •  

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25cup | Calories: 354kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 25g | Trans Fat: 0.003g | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 189mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 69IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 113mg | Iron: 2mg
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Recipe Rating




 

5 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I’m always on the lookout for new pasta recipes and I’m excited about how versatile this oregano pesto recipe is. I put it on pasta and used the leftovers as a spread!

    Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!

  2. 5 stars
    Swapped almonds for sunflower seeds and it turned out fantastic! I paired it with your roasted potato salad recipe and it was so good! The fact that it’s vegan made this recipe a winner!

  3. 5 stars
    I ran out of almonds so I had to make mine with walnuts. I tried it this morning with some toast and I loved the flavors! So excited to use it for my meal prep this week!

  4. 5 stars
    Wow! This pesto is so flavorful. I have only ever had traditional basil pesto, but I think I have found a new love. Thanks for sharing.

  5. 5 stars
    I love the flavors and the twist that the oregano gave. Tried this with pasta and salad. I added chili flakes to the pasta. Always a hit. Also super easy to make.