Lemony Artichoke Pesto Recipe

a jar of homemade artichoke lemon pesto

Artichoke Lemon Pesto is a deliciously healthy Mediterranean tapenade perfect for simple pastas, spreading on toasty bruschetta, or serving with cheese and crackers. You’ll want to have a jar in your fridge at all times, it’s too good and too easy not to make!

homemade artichoke lemon pesto in a glass jar

artichoke lemon pesto is fresh and delicious

It’s fabulous with cheese and crackers, on pasta, or made into a classic Italian bruschetta. It takes 10 minutes to make, and the flavor combination is out of this world. If you love artichokes I promise you this recipe is worth your time. It’s not much to look at, I admit, but trust me on this, it’s a winner. So versatile, too.

pesto doesn’t have to include basil!

Pesto simply means to ‘pound’ or ‘crush’ in Italian, and refers to grinding ingredients with a mortar and pestle. Today we’re using a food processor for convenience, and artichokes as the base for our sauce, instead of the basil that stars in a pesto alla Genovese.

in Italy there are many types of pestos with different flavor profiles. Check out my sun dried tomato and almond pesto, or my chive and parsley pesto for variations. Are you a pesto purist? Definitely check out my spicy basil pesto.

ingredients for lemon artichoke pesto

 

what you’ll need to make a jar of homemade artichoke lemon pesto

  • a can of artichoke hearts ~ whole or quartered will work. I don’t recommend marinated artichoke hearts because they’ll be laden with oil and pre-infused with mediocre flavor.
  • a large lemon ~ a Meyer lemon will work too.
  • good extra virgin olive oil ~ go for the good stuff, you’ll really taste it in this recipe.
  • fresh garlic ~ 2 cloves.
  • Asiago cheese ~ or another aged Italian cheese you love.
  • salt and (fresh cracked!) black pepper

making artichoke lemon pesto in a food processor

 

quality ingredients matter in a simple recipe like this

Making this pesto yourself with high quality cheese and olive oil really elevates a simple thing to something special. You can find commercial versions of this pesto but they just can’t compare. Why? Simply because commercial pestos have to be concerned with their bottom line, they just can’t afford to use the good stuff. I first discovered this type of pesto at Trader Joe’s, I’m not sure if they even sell it anymore. But I was always disappointed in the flavor every time I bought it.

Go with good olive oil, fresh lemons, imported cheese…you’ll taste the difference, guaranteed.

asiago cheese

how to make artichoke lemon pesto

If you have a food processor, you’ll find this pesto is quick and easy. A small or full sized machine will work for pesto. If you don’t own a processor, just get a good sharp knife and do it by hand.

  1. Drain but don’t rinse a can of artichoke hearts. I used quartered. If you use whole, just cut them in half.
  2. Add the artichokes, olive oil, grated cheese, lemon zest and juice, salt and pepper to a food processor and pulse about 25 times until the mixture is well chopped but still has texture. You can run the machine for a few seconds if necessary to complete the job. Leave some texture, you don’t want to create a paste.
  3. Taste the pesto and adjust any of the ingredients to your liking. You might like it less lemony or more garlicky than I do.
  4. Store in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or freeze for longer storage.

storing artichoke lemon pesto in a Weck jar

how to use artichoke lemon pesto

Now for the fun part, this sauce is super versatile.

  • Serve the sauce with your next cheese or charcuterie platter. It goes great with all sorts of cheese.
  • Spread it on toasted bread, or make a classic Italian bruschetta with it.
  • Use it as a simple pesto sauce for pasta. You can add extra cheese and a little pasta water while tossing with hot pasta.
  • It makes a great sandwich spread for turkey or roast beef sandwiches.
  • Add it to your next potato or pasta salad.
  • Spread it on a simple chicken breast or salmon filet before baking.
  • I love to spread on crackers, it’s amazing.

to freeze artichoke pesto for longer storage

Freeze it in heavy duty zip lock freezer bags, or in airtight containers. Plan to use within 3 months.

artichoke lemon pesto with cheese, crackers, and wine

more reasons to love artichokes

a jar of homemade artichoke lemon pesto
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3.96 from 24 votes

Artichoke Lemon Pesto

This Artichoke Lemon Pesto is made quickly and easily in the food processor. It's the perfect sauce for a simple pasta dish or spread on toasty bruschetta! You'll want to have a jar of this versatile sauce in your fridge at all times, it's too good and too easy not to make!.
Course Sauce
Cuisine Mediterranean
Diet Gluten Free
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Yield 16 servings
Calories 49kcal
Author Sue Moran

Ingredients

  • 15 ounce can artichoke hearts, drained
  • 2 small cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
  • 1/2 cup Asiago cheese, finely grated
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, or more to taste
  • salt and fresh cracked black pepper

Instructions

  • Put the artichokes in a food processor. If they are whole, cut them in half first.
  • Add the garlic, lemon zest and juice, cheese, oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
    making artichoke lemon pesto in a food processor
  • Pulse the machine about 20-25 times to break everything down but still retain some texture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl if necessary. Note: You can run the machine for a few seconds if you want your pesto a little smoother, but be sure to retain some texture, you don't want a paste.
    artichoke lemon pesto in a food processor
  • Taste the pesto at this point and adjust as you like. I added a little more lemon juice, cheese, oil, and salt and pepper.
    a jar of homemade artichoke lemon pesto
  • Spoon the sauce into a jar and refrigerate until needed. The sauce will keep up to 2 weeks in the fridge, or you can freeze for longer storage, just put it in an airtight plastic container or in a zip lock freezer bag.
    Storing artichoke lemon pesto in a Weck jar

To serve with pasta

  • Cook your pasta, drain and return to the pan.  Reserve a cup of the cooking liquid.
  • Spoon dollops of pesto onto the pasta and toss along with some grated cheese.  Add in some of the cooking liquid to help distribute the pesto and make a light sauce.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Serve with extra cheese.

Nutrition

Serving: 2Tbsp | Calories: 49kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 148mg | Potassium: 6mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 25IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 1mg
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

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33 Comments

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  • Reply
    Kimberly O'Brien-Silke
    March 28, 2022 at 7:25 am

    5 stars
    I used this pesto in place of red sauce to make personal flatbread pizzas in my ninja foodi grill. It was WONDERFUL

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      March 28, 2022 at 8:52 am

      Sounds wonderful, thanks for the review Kim!

  • Reply
    Julie OBrien
    August 3, 2021 at 6:47 am

    5 stars
    This was delicious and easy. I had purchased a small jar of lemon artichoke pesto. So decided to see how easy it would be to make, your recipe was perfect. I didn’t know my family would love it so much. My son says this stuff is addicting, must be the garlic! Thank you for sharing. I will definitely be making again, but will double the recipe. Will be a good one for football Sundays home-gate parties.

  • Reply
    Marlene Wilkins
    May 30, 2021 at 11:44 pm

    Your site looks very good. Will try some of the artichoke pesto with dinner. Thankyou. M

  • Reply
    Sandy
    August 20, 2020 at 2:44 pm

    I’m going to make my first batch tomorrow, wish me luck ? I have to use store bought lemons right now , but as soon as my Myers lemons are ripe, I plan on doing it again. Love artichokes and artichoke hearts. I know is is going to be amazing,

    • Reply
      Sue
      August 20, 2020 at 4:20 pm

      I’ve been dreaming about artichokes lately, I’ve got some lemony artichoke cakes coming up soon, yum!

  • Reply
    Bridget
    October 13, 2015 at 7:47 pm

    Your artichoke pesto recipe is fabulously inventive. I hate to wait to get your recipe for the Chimichurri. Hope you’ll send it sooner rather than later.
    With great anticipation and much thanks for sharing,
    Bridget S. Bennett

  • Reply
    An American In Sicily
    May 7, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    Recipe looks fabulous! I love artichokes and here in Sicily we have so much of them!

  • Reply
    Claudia
    January 20, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    I hope you are having the best time ever – and this is one sweet recipe you left us with – I do love the gentle tangs of an artichoke pesto – nice change from the basil. I could just spoon-feed myself this and not share.

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