Carrot Greens Pesto (or ways to reduce food waste)

I come from a long line of food-shouldn’t-be-wasted-ers.  While I wasn’t raised in a
“clean plate club” household (thank goodness!), my family, and especially my mom, made sure that whatever was left was eaten as leftovers or used in another meal later in the week. The little bits of meat ended up in a pot pie or a pasta, the bones were used for stock, the stale bread became bread crumbs and croutons, all of those things that have become popular again were present all throughout my childhood. And for that I am so grateful.

But as I have gotten more and more into my own version of making the most of my food there were certain things I noticed that I was still throwing away and it bothered me. Beet greens, carrot greens, fennel fronds, to name a few. The beet greens were easy- sautéing them as I would kale or chard is delicious, especially as a warm salad with roasted beets and some feta! The fennel fronds have been a wonderful addition to my stocks. But carrot greens?

This dilemma bummed me out so much that I often skipped the beautiful bunches of carrots at the CSA or grocery store because I just didn’t want to face wasting the greens. I felt like there had to be an option, especially once I learned that they were not poisonous as I had heard once.  So I started poking around and found that they were great in stocks and salads. And then I thought of pesto. So I tried it out and… it is amazing!! A little spicy and full of spring flavor, sort of like arugula pesto.

For Father’s Day I used some in our appetizer with French bread rounds and tomatoes. To. Die. For.


So, please, next time you pick up one of those wonderful bunches of carrots, don’t throw the greens away, make some pesto instead!

Carrot Greens Pesto (or ways to reduce food waste)

Jessica Braider
Course Dinner


  • 1 cup chopped carrot greens stems removed and saved for stock
  • 1 clove garlic roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons toasted walnuts
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • salt & pepper


  • Combine carrot greens, garlic, walnuts, and parmesan in a food processor. Once they have started to blend together, slowly pour in the olive oil while the food processor continues to run. Add salt and pepper to taste.


This pesto freezes well, so if you have more than a cup of greens, just adjust the recipe to fit your needs and freeze the pesto in small containers.


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