Fresh Cilantro Jalapeno Pesto Recipe: Don't Feel Guilty, Basil Pesto Will Understand by Donna John

Fresh Cilantro Jalapeno Pesto Recipe: Don't Feel Guilty, Basil Pesto Will Understand

Not only are my basil plants thriving, but also my jalapeno plants. While I love basil pesto, I decided to try a new version of pesto to utilize all my fresh-picked peppers: cilantro jalapeno pesto. This homemade pesto recipe is loaded with flavor and so easy to make. (Sorry, basil pesto!)

All you need for this fresh cilantro basil recipe is cilantro, almonds or walnuts, a jalapeno, garlic and olive oil. You can also add some cotija cheese if you need the cheese in your pesto. I've made it both ways and they are equally delicious. Put all the ingredients into a blender or food processor and whirl until thick and combined. Make it as smooth or chunky as you like. If you like a thinner pesto, add a little more olive oil. Be sure to season with salt and black pepper.

You can use this fresh cilantro jalapeno pesto in so many different ways! Try it on pasta, pizza, baked potatoes, sandwiches, toasted bread, tacos, grilled chicken or flank steak, or stir it in to sour cream for a delicious dip with tortilla chips. You can even marinate chicken, fish, shrimp, pork or beef in this flavorful pesto.

Note: 30Seconds is a participant in the Amazon affiliate advertising program and this post contains affiliate links, which means we may earn a commission or fees if you make a purchase via those links.

Cuisine: American / Italian / Mexican
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes 


  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds or walnuts
  • 1 bunch cilantro, tough stems removed
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed 
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (or more, if needed)
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons cotija cheese (optional)

Helpful Products

Recipe Notes

  • This pesto is delicious with or without the cheese, so don't add if you want a dairy-free pesto.
  • Leave the seeds and ribs on the jalapeno if you want a spicier pesto.
  • For some tanginess, add some fresh-squeezed lime or lemon juice.
  • Add some cilantro stems to the blender, too. Just remove if they are thick and tough. 

Here's how to make it: 

  1. Put all the ingredients into a blender or food processor. Season with salt and black pepper.
  2. Pulse until thick and combined, adding more olive oil if needed. 

Recipe cooking times and servings are approximate. Need to convert cooking and baking measurements? Here are some kitchen conversion charts. Here's how to submit your recipes to 30Seconds.

Take 30 seconds and join the 30Seconds community, and follow us on Facebook to get recipes in your newsfeed daily.

Related Products on Amazon We Think You May Like:

30Second Mobile, Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

Blenders $30 & Up
Olive Oil
Olive Oil $4 & Up
Almonds $4 & Up
Walnuts $4 & Up

Vegan Basil Pesto Recipe: Easy Non-Dairy Pesto Recipe Is Outstanding

What a fun twist on basil pesto gives it some heat.

join discussion

Please login to comment.

recommended tips

4-Ingredient Cranberry Chicken Recipe: Another Winner Chicken Dinner

Healthy Mediterranean Balsamic Honey Salmon Recipe (15 Minutes)

​Creamy Italian Parmesan Sausage Soup Recipe: Zuppa Toscana Has Some Competition

6-Ingredient Sticky Peach Baked Chicken Recipe Is a Winner Chicken Dinner