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
3.75 from 20 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


  • 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


  • 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.


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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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • 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
    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
      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
    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
    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.

  • Reply
    Susan Lindquist
    January 20, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    First of all, have a wonderful time on the West coast! Second, what an interesting pesto … I always think of the traditional basil and walnut or pinenut pesto, but there are SO many different kinds!

  • Reply
    January 20, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    This sounds trull amazing!!! It reminds me so much of Spring all its promise!!

  • Reply
    January 19, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    good luck on your trip! I hope you have such a nice time enjoyin delicious food 🙂

  • Reply
    Nessa Robins
    January 18, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    I love pestos and this sounds like a delicious recipe for one I never tried before. Have a great time in L.A. 🙂

  • Reply
    Kitchen Belleicious
    January 17, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    Hands down my favorite pesto recipe ever. I haven;t even tried it but I know I am going to LOVE it! making this tonight

  • Reply
    Liza in Ann Arbor
    January 16, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    I’m love pesto in any way, shape or form. Thanks for the idea to use artichokes-perfect for when basil is not in season. And I totally agree about the commercial pestos. Why bother?

  • Reply
    January 16, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    This sounds delicious, Sue. I love your photography so much! I hope you have a WONDERFUL week. Enjoy every minute of your trip!

  • Reply
    January 16, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    what a unique pesto! great recipe, sue, and hope you’re having a blast in la!

  • Reply
    Marina {Yummy Mummy)
    January 16, 2012 at 6:32 am

    I love artichoke lemon pesto! Those lemons are gorgeous. And I’m drooling over your last post with the just out of the oven chocolate chips…

  • Reply
    January 16, 2012 at 6:20 am

    What a great recipe! Another must from Sue’s kitchen!

  • Reply
    January 15, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    This pesto sounds delicious. Love the asiago block!

  • Reply
    January 15, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    I really need to buy one because I’m always stumped when it comes to making things like this.

    I am so jealous that you are going to LA for a week! Have a great time, you lucky dog!

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      January 15, 2012 at 4:20 pm

      Tabitha you already sprung for the KitchenAid mixer, and these little Cuisinarts are really inexpensive—you need one!

  • Reply
    January 15, 2012 at 11:51 am

    Oh I love the looks of this. I made something similar a long time ago and smeared it on bread. I agree that you can always do a better pesto at home. I’m saving this one. Thanks Sue. Hope you have a great trip in some warmer weather 🙂

  • Reply
    January 14, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    have a fab trip!!! this pesto sounds divine! 🙂 x

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
    January 15, 2012 at 12:23 am

    Ohhh yum! I love all those flavors but have a hard time finding Meyer Lemons. Hope you have a terrific trip – you will be missed! Good luck on the bread – I think making bread is one of the most satisfying adventures in the kitchen. Don’t get a sunburn!

  • Reply
    once in a blue moon
    January 14, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    sounds and looks, of course, delish, happy travels to you~

  • Reply
    Heather @girlichef.com
    January 14, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    That picture of the Meyer Lemons is so sunny and gorgeous. I must try this pesto, it sounds divine! Have a blast in Los Angeles…can’t wait to hear about your bread baking adventure 😀

  • Reply
    January 14, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    This pesto sound glorious! My mind is currently scurrying through ideas to hold this little concoction. I WILL be making this. Thanks for the inspiration.

  • Reply
    January 14, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    I love this provencal theme of flavors that you’ve been cooking lately… all looks delicious.

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      January 15, 2012 at 3:19 pm

      Thanks Amy, I’ve noticed that I naturally lean towards Mediterranean food and I’m hoping to explore it more deeply this year. Doing the blog has helped me realize this, which is good because I sometimes get overwhelmed with the ‘so much food to try, so little time’ feeling.

  • Reply
    January 14, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    This looks and sounds delicious and love how you suggest to serve it…Love arugula and this together would be wonderful. I do not have a mini food processor, but I know I need one for this exact thing! Have a great time in LA!

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