Lemony Toasted Pumpkin Seed Pesto

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 4 minutes

Yield: 8 servings
Serving size: 2 tablespoons


1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
4 cups cilantro, lightly packed
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


1. In a medium dry skillet, toast the pumpkin seeds over medium-high heat for 4 minutes while stirring constantly. The seeds will make a popping sound and begin to turn brown.

2. In a food processor, place the toasted pumpkin seeds, cilantro, olive oil, minced garlic, lemon zest and lemon juice. Process for 1 minute, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl twice.

3. Add the Parmesan cheese and process 1 minute more, stopping twice to scrape the sides of the bowl. Place in a container and top with a drizzle of olive oil. Cover and refrigerate for up to one week until ready to use.

Serving ideas: Use the pesto on foods such as pasta, shrimp, scallops, pork, omelets, potatoes, roasted vegetables and soups.

Nutrition Facts

Per serving:
Calories: 137
Protein: 6 g
Total fat: 11.2 g
Saturated fat: 3.4 g
Cholesterol: 9.5 mg
Sodium: 229 mg
Dietary fiber: .3 g

Susan Ojanen is an integrative nutrition coach in Bristol, Tennessee, and owner of smallstepswellness.com. She is passionate about helping clients worldwide achieve their health goals by creating sensible and maintainable lifestyle changes.

Statements and opinions expressed on this Web site are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the publishers or advertisers. The information provided on this Web site should not be construed as medical instruction. Consult appropriate health-care professionals before taking action based on this information.