Roasted Beet Pesto

roasted beet pesto ready to serve, in a white bowl.

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5 from 3 reviews

Roasted Beet Pesto is a colorful twist on the classic pesto sauce. Savory and flavorful, toss this beet pesto with pasta or use as a topping for chicken or a sandwich spread.


  • 2 to 3 medium beets, peeled and chopped into 1 inch pieces (2 1/2 to 3 cups beets)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Parmigiano cheese (or Pecorino)
  • 2 handfuls fresh basil leaves
  • 12 ozs pasta (optional, to make beet pesto pasta)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel and chop the beets into roughly 1 inch cubed pieces.
  2. Add the chopped beets to a baking dish. Toss with the 2 tablespoons olive oil and add salt and pepper to taste. Put the baking dish in the oven, and roast the beets until they have softened enough to pierce with a fork. This took 45 minutes in our oven, but check it around 35 minutes in case your oven is faster. When roasted enough, remove the beets to cool a bit. If using the beet pesto with pasta, this is a good time to start boiling the water for the pasta.
  3. Add the garlic to a food processor, and pulse to mince the garlic. Next, add the roasted beets to the processor and pulse to chop the beets with the garlic.
  4. Pour the olive oil into the food processor, followed by the cheese and basil. Turn the food processor on high to combine all the pesto ingredients. Remove cover, and stir to get any bits that haven’t gotten incorporated into the pesto, and pulse the processor again to combine. This will create a nice, thick beet pesto. Pulse in a bit more olive oil if you want to thin the pesto a bit.
  5. Set the pesto aside, and finish cooking pasta according to package instructions (or scoop the pesto into a bowl or container to serve as you wish). To serve beet pesto pasta, drain the pasta, and toss immediately with 1 tablespoon olive oil plus 2 to 3 tablespoons pesto. Plate the pasta, and pass extra pesto at the table along with Parmigiano chees.


  • We used basic red beets but you could experiment with other varieties.
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