Carrot Top Pesto

Farmers Market Carrot Top Pesto

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A few weekends ago, I was at my local farmers market and wanted to purchase one bunch of carrots. The tops were still attached and I immediately felt guilty because they were so beautiful, and typically I would just throw them away. I thought I would ask the farmer if she had any ideas on how to use them and she told me she makes pesto. What a great idea! I then proceeded to buy fresh basil, garlic, and spinach and was excited to start experimenting when I got home. I paired this carrot top pesto with pasta and it was the perfect dinner on a warm summer evening.

Why We Love It

Other than the taste ☺, this pesto is packed full of greens which are incredibly nutrient-dense. The carrot tops, basil, and spinach pair nicely for a powerhouse of nutrients. I also appreciate the fact that you can use the whole carrot and nothing really goes to waste. It’s very versatile in that if you don’t have one ingredient, you can swap it for another. For example, I have swapped cashews to use in the place of pumpkin seeds. Lastly, this pesto can be paired with a variety of foods. I like adding it to pasta, pizza, bruschetta, proteins, and veggies. It tastes so fresh and like you just stepped out of a farmer’s market.

Farmers Market Carrot Top Pesto


2 cups packed carrot greens (washed and tough stems removed)

1 handful of spinach

4 cloves of garlic

1/3 cup pumpkin seeds

1 tsp. salt

1 lemon, juiced

1⁄2 cup olive oil

2 Tbsp. water


1. Place all ingredients except the water into a food processor, blender or mortor and pestle and process until consistency is smooth, making sure to scrape the sides, and adding water as needed.

Can be served with hot food or cold. Stores well up to 3 days. It usually turns a darker color when in the fridge but it’s still suitable to eat.

Supplies Needed:

Cutting board
Liquid measuring cup
Measuring cups
Measuring spoons
Food processor, or blender, or mortar and pestle
Citrus press (not necessary if you don’t have one)
Bowl for serving

Recipe by Meghan McGee, NFC

About the Author: Meghan McGee is a graduate of NTI’s Certified Natural Food Chef program as well as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. She believes food is the most powerful catalyst that brings people together. Sitting around a table, enjoying a nourishing meal with strangers or friends is her absolute favorite thing to do. Her mission is to inspire others to take control of their health.  You can find Meghan’s personal chef and other services at

Photo by Meghan McGee

No-Waste Kitchen

The Natual Food Chef teaching kitchen at Nutrition Therapy Institute is extremely low-waste.  Reducing food waste by teaching root-to-stem and nose-to-tail cooking, using glass storage containers for leftovers, repurposing extra ingredients, and composting any unusable food scraps.  Save money on food by learning how you can transform your kitchen into a low, or no-waste kitchen by becoming a Natural Food Chef.  Attend a live cooking demonstration to hear from one of the Chef Instructors and learn more about the program.

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