3 green sauces you should know how to make!

Spicy Basil Pesto ~ theviewfromgreatisland.com

Three vibrant green sauce recipes you should know how to make in your sleep, because when it comes to quick, easy, healthy meals, it’s all in the sauce, the green sauce!

basil in blender for pesto sauce

why you need to get to know these three green sauces

As we head into spring, our cooking evolves right along with the season and we start to crave everything GREEN! Whether you’re tossing up your first salad of the year, grilling a steak, making tacos, a bowl of pasta, or just a plate of scrambled eggs, these are the secret sauces you need to freshen it all up.

Spicy Basil Pesto is made with a Serrano pepper for a wonderful kick! ~ theviewfromgreatisland.com

green sauce recipe #1 PESTO

Pesto simply means ‘sauce’ in Italian. A classic Italian pesto is made from basil, garlic, olive oil, parmesan, lemon juice, and pine nuts, and is one of those foods, in my opinion, that just has to be made at home. The brightness of flavor compared to what you can get out of a jar is unbelievable, and it’s one of the easiest projects you can do in the kitchen.

Learn how to make basic pesto here, then get creative and change it up…

  • swap in other herbs for some or all of the basil. I’ve had great luck with my chive and parsley pesto, but you can also experiment with other herbs you like, like cilantro, tarragon, or mint. Just be mindful when using very strong tasting herbs to make a blend that isn’t too overpowering.
  • other hard, nutty cheeses can be used in place of the parmesan, think asiago or gruyere. If you want to keep it vegan, you can leave the cheese out altogether, too.
  • pine nuts are expensive, so I often sub in walnuts or almonds for that nutty taste and texture.
  • take the concept and think outside the box, some of my favorite pestos are my sun dried tomato and toasted almond pesto, and my lemony artichoke pesto. I’ve even made pesto with pistachios.
Pasta with Chive Parsley Pesto in a white bowl

how to use pesto


green sauce recipe #2 CHIMICHURRI

Chimichurri is a classic Argentinian sauce that is similar to pesto, but with its own flavor profile that is incredibly punchy and bright. It’s the most pungent of all our 3 green sauces, and one of my all-time favorites. A classic recipe calls for garlic, shallot, parsley, cilantro, oregano, basil, oil, red wine vinegar, and chili flakes. To me, it’s that combo of the garlic, aromatic oregano, and vinegar that really makes it special.

Learn how to make chimichurri sauce here ~ some chefs feel that the only true way to made this sauce is by hand, with a sharp knife and lots of elbow grease. I prefer to use my food processor. I think it does a more thorough job and makes this amazing sauce all the more do-able whenever I get the urge.

chimichurri sauce in a jar

how to use chimichurri sauce

Chimichurri can be used as a sauce, or a marinade but it makes a fabulous dip for bread, which is how I first discovered it in an Argentinian restaurant.

  • traditionally chimichurri is served with steak, but you can also serve it alongside grilled chicken, pork, fish or shrimp
  • think of it as a bright green, herby barbecue sauce and spoon it over anything you’ve got going on the grill
  • use it as a dressing for grilled or roasted vegetables, or a bean salad
  • drizzle over roasted potatoes
  • spoon over tacos or fajitas
  • slather it on sandwiches instead of mayo (your grilled cheese will never be the same)
  • chimichurri can sub in for your regular salad dressing on a green salad
  • my favorite way to use leftover chinichurri? On fried eggs, of course!
Chimichurri Shrimp recipe is a vibrant, flavorful appetizer or light meal, serve it with crusty bread, or over rice or pasta. ~ theviewfromgreatisland.com

green sauce recipe #3 GREEN GODDESS

Green goddess dressing is a classic dressing dating back to the 1920’s. It’s a garlicky celebration of all kinds of fresh herbs, but green goddess particularly showcases the unique flavor of tarragon. A through line to all these green sauces is that you really need to make them at home to experience their epic flavor. While you can find lots of ‘green goddess’ dressings in a bottle, they don’t hold a candle to the fresh version.

Learn how to make green goddess here ~ you can vary the thickness of the dressing by using more or less mayo. A thicker green goddess dressing can be used as a dip for crudité.

green goddess dressing in a jam jar

how to use green goddess dressing

pouring green goddess dressing

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