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  • Writer's pictureDonna

Mint & Pistachio Pesto

Updated: May 14, 2023

The mint and lemon really shine in this pesto making it the perfect topping for grilled or roasted lamb!

I love dips and sauces! Pestos, salsas, and sauces bring lots of extra flavor to a variety of dishes and are easy to prepare. You can also make them in large batches because they freeze well.

We love to grill lamb chops in the summer but I am not a fan of mint jelly (or any jelly for that matter) which seemed to be the standard side or sauce for lamb for years. I decided to make an better option for the lamb and created this mint based pesto. Using some other key ingredients from Greek recipes (pistachios, lemon, olive oil), I crafted a bright, minty pesto with a zip of lemon. This pesto is also amazing on crackers, vegetables, potatoes and a spoon.

Mint & Pistachio Pesto


  • 2 large bunches of fresh mint

  • 4-6 oz of unsalted pistachios

  • 1/3 c grated parmesan cheese (freshly grated is best)

  • 1/2 c lemon juice

  • 3/4 c extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 shallot (or 2 cloves of garlic)

  • 1/4 tsp black pepper


  1. Thoroughly rinse the mint and pat dry. Note: fresh mint can be very sandy/dirty and it is important to rinse or soak it well to remove any dirt from the leaves.

  2. Remove mint leaves and discard stems.

  3. Peel and cut shallot in quarters.

  4. Add all ingredients to a food processor and pulse at 15 second intervals until desired consistency. The pesto should retain some texture when it is done.

I recommend making the pesto a day or two ahead of serving to allow the flavors to further develop. This recipe makes ~3 c of pesto but you can easily freeze it in plastic freezer bags.

We love this with grilled lamb chops! We usually buy the small rack of chops to grill. I trim large areas of fat and season with black pepper, onion powder, cayenne pepper and a dash of cinnamon. We grill them over indirect heat for ~30 minutes turning the meat every 5 minutes to cook evenly to a temperature of 165°F.

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