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Bowl of zucchini pesto with a spoon, seeds in the background and some lemon wedges

Zucchini Pesto (Courgette Pesto)

Chloe from Forkful of Plants
Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Condiment, Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 2
Charred zucchini and toasted seeds mixed with basil, garlic, nutritional yeast and lemon make for a delicious zucchini pesto. Cheap and easy, it’s a great light late summer dish, and the perfect way to use up an abundance of zucchinis!
5 from 1 vote


  • 1 medium zucchini (about 350g)
  • 2 tbsp mixed seeds
  • 30 g basil (1 lightly packed cup) leaves removed
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp salt


  • Slice the zucchini in half, then cut each half into 4 slices lengthways.
  • Preheat a griddle pan over a medium-high heat, and brush it with a little oil*. Once hot, add the zucchini slices. Cook them for 3-4 minutes on the first side until lightly charred, then flip them and char on the second side.
  • In a separate small pan, toast the seeds over medium heat until they are fragrant and golden, around 3 minutes.
  • Allow zucchini and seeds to cool for 5 minutes, then add them to a blender along with the basil, garlic, nutritional yeast, lemon juice and salt.
  • Blend the courgette pesto to the desired consistency (I like to leave a few bits). You can stream in some olive oil towards the end if you would like it to be slightly runnier.

To serve

  • I like to cook some pasta for 8-10 minutes and char a few more zucchinis for serving. You can top it with a little bit of lemon zest, a grind of black pepper or a sprinkling of red pepper flakes for a lovely punch of flavour.


*If you need to keep this recipe oil free, skip the oil here (just make sure you're using a good non-stick pan!).
For the best basil zucchini pesto, make sure to chargrill the zucchinis until they are soft through. This will help them to blend easier, make your pesto creamier, and reduce the need for adding olive oil.
BATCH COOKING: This can be made as a small batch, or multiplied to use up several zucchinis and stored in the fridge or freezer. Simply multiply the ingredients exactly.
STORAGE: This pesto can last up to 1 week in the fridge, if stored in an airtight container. Add a thin layer of olive oil to the top of the pesto to stop it from oxidising and turning brown.
You can freeze pesto really easily in small airtight containers or an ice cube tray. Freezing it in an ice cube tray makes it really easy to get the exact amount of pesto that you need for a meal. Once the cubes are frozen you can transfer them to a reusable container or bag. 
Defrost basil zucchini pesto in the refrigerator overnight before use.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!