Pepita Parsley Pesto via from Shaina Olmanson

Pepita and Parsley Pesto

It began a few weeks ago, that nighttime chill in the air that catches at the back of your throat, lingering against still bare shoulders, torsos clad in tank tops.

The market stalls piled higher and higher encouraging us to stock up for the long months ahead. My garden, still producing, has started to yellow and turn crisp as a result of the longer, colder nights.

In response to the changing seasons, as if a learned behavior turned habit, I purchase bushels of apples and boxes of tomatoes, and I cut back nearly all of my herbs: freezing some, setting others to dry, and pulsing the rest into pesto to be tucked into the freezer for a dark snowy winter day in the months ahead.


Two weekends ago when the overnight temps dropped to just above freezing I collected all my remaining basil and blended it with a healthy scoop of pine nuts.

This present batch takes the remaining parsley and pairs it with the muted green pepitas from the season’s pumpkins for a bright pesto and a hint of lemon perfectly paired to winter root vegetables and spooned over hearty roasts.

As a bonus: the use of seeds allows me to sent it in lunches either as leftover or tossed with pasta or cold, boiled potatoes because it poses no threat to allergies the students might have.
Pepita Parsley Pesto via from Shaina Olmanson

Try this pesto over this roast chicken or toss it with your favorite seasonal vegetables.

Pepita Parsley Pesto via from Shaina Olmanson

Pepita and Parsley Pesto

A fall-style pesto using the last of the parsley before the weather turns and pairing it with lemon and pumpkin to brighten up your autumn meals.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Condiments
Servings: 14 people
Calories: 114kcal


  • 3 cups packed fresh parsley
  • 1 cup shredded Romano cheese
  • 1/2 cup raw pepitas
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic roughly chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil


  • Place the parsley, Romano cheese, pepitas, lemon juice, garlic cloves, and salt in a food processor. Pulse until the parsley is finely chopped.
  • Turn the food processor into the on position and let it run while adding the olive oil. Once the olive oil is incorporated, turn the food processor off.
  • Freeze pesto for use later in ice cube trays, or use immediately, tossing with pasta, roasted vegetables like butternut squash or green beans, or use as a rub for roasting chicken or pork.


Calories: 114kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 176mg | Potassium: 95mg | Vitamin A: 1115IU | Vitamin C: 17.7mg | Calcium: 96mg | Iron: 1.1mg

What are you doing to preserve the harvest season?

About Shaina

Shaina Olmanson is the home cook and photographer behind Food for My Family, where she shares recipes, tips, opinions and her philosophy on food as she wades through the process of feeding her family, her friends and anyone else who will let her. She strives to teach her four children how to eat well: seasonally, locally, organically, deliciously and balanced.

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  1. I love pepitas so much, I just made granola with them. So good! This pesto looks and sounds amazing! I can’t wait to make it!

  2. My kids LOVE pepitas! I can practically taste the deliciousness 🙂

  3. Love this idea! I want some!

  4. I have been looking for a good recipe for pepita and parsley pesto to go with some tilapia I just bought… what great timing! Thanks for the post.

  5. Looks delicious! I haven’t dared pesto yet, but maybe this will give me the jumpstart to do so!

    • I certainly hope so, Emily. This was one of the first ways I started stocking up my freezer and pantry for winter, and I would be lost now without it. Good luck, and let me know if you have any questions!

  6. Love pepitas! I bet they are fabulous in this pesto!

  7. My freezer right now has standard basil pesto, chimmichuri (from an SimpleBites post from earlier this summer), and soon it’s going to have this combo. I’ve never tried something like this, but it sounds like the perfect way to use the parsely in my garden and pepita (didn’t know that name unitl today) in my cupboard. Thank you!

  8. Our Homestead says

    Ok I’ll be the one to ask. lol What the heck are Pepitas?

    • They are pumpkin seeds, in this case, with the white shell removed. I usually find them in bulk, but you can also find packages of them from Bob’s Red Mill and others. There is a link above to some on Amazon.

  9. Yes! I need to make this! I have some parsley in the fridge that I don’t want to go to waste and I have some pepitas in there that I’m always at a loss for a way to use them. Now I know the little project my 3 y.o. will do with me tomorrow morning!

    • Made it this morning (super easy, and I figured out what I always do wrong with other pesto – not enough oil! This was just right.). My 3 y.o. really liked it and I thought it was a nice pesto, except it reminded me that I don’t really like the taste of parsley! Ha! Anyway, I have it in the freezer to have during the winter when some veggies need a pick-me-up.

      • I’m so glad your 3-year-old liked it, and yes, this is definitely a parsley-heavy pesto, so if you aren’t a fan to begin with it might be a bit overwhelming. Next time, try the same recipe, but swap 2 cups of the parsley for fresh basil.

  10. 5 stars
    Great idea with the pepitas. Dan’s allergic to tree nuts so we can’t do too many nut substitutions in pesto, but these would work like a charm!

  11. I love pumpkin seeds and this pesto is super good lookin.

  12. This looks spectacular! I have never tried adding pepitas to pesto, but now is as good of a time as any. Thanks for sharing!

  13. Oh how perfect 🙂 I just love this recipe!

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