Garlic Scape Pesto

garlic scape pesto tossed with bucatini pasta and topped with tomatoes.

Garlic Scape Pesto is a great way to use the green stalk of a garlic plant. Garlic scapes have a fresh garlic flavor much like the garlic bulbs we eat regularly. This scape pesto recipe is flexible, with several possible variations.


  • 1/2 cup garlic scapes, coarsely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic (optional)
  • 1 cup of kale
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil or parsley (optional)
  • 1 tbsp toasted pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds


  1. Add the garlic scapes to a food processor, and pulse so that the scapes get chopped into smaller pieces.
  2. Add the olive oil and pulse again. The scapes get chopped more thoroughly once the evoo has been added. Add the kale, and parsley or basil if using, and pulse again.
  3. Place the remaining ingredients – cheese, seeds and red pepper flakes- in the food processor. Pulse until everything gets well combined. Remove the cover, and scrape any bits on the side that still need to be incorporated, and pulse again to finish the pesto.
  4. The scape pesto is ready! Toss immediately with hot pasta, or refrigerate for later use.


  • This makes enough for a pound of pasta with a bit leftover.
  • The regular garlic clove amps up the garlic flavor if you have one handy and want to add it. But there is still good flavor with out it if you just use the scapes.
  • We have enjoyed this pesto using the fresh herbs but it also works to skip them if you don’t have any available.
  • The garlic scape pesto keeps 5 to 7 days, refrigerated in an airtight container.

Keywords: garlic scape pesto, pesto without nuts, scape pesto recipe, what to do with garlic scapes

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