Roasted Pepper Pistachio Cilantro Pesto Recipe, made with roasted poblano and jalapeno peppers, roasted pistachios, and fresh cilantro, is perfect for pasta, dips, or spread.

Roasted Pepper Pistachio Cilantro Pesto Recipe

Spring is right around the corner. Can you believe it?

Last week I went for a stroll through our pitiful garden plot that needs tilling and a bunch of attention before spring. Of course the only thing that’s looking alive is the cilantro (and the damn mint – damn you mint). The cilantro is only a few inches tall but it’s held its own through the winter and in a few weeks will be going strong until the summer heat zaps it.

Roasted Pepper Pistachio Cilantro Pesto Recipe

In hopes of a bumper crop of fresh cilantro I began thinking of how to use it up. Pesto is a favorite that I love to make with fresh basil throughout the summer but I’d never tried a cilantro pesto. After some thought I threw together a combo of a bunch of green things hoping for the best. Cilantro, Roasted Peppers and Pistachios Pesto is now on my list of regulars.


That’s all I’m gonna say.

I served it with pasta and shrimp but it certainly could be used for bruschetta, added to chili, or thinned for a sauce over chicken or what have you. As far as the pistachios, I had some leftover from the holidays so that’s what I used. You could certainly substitute the traditional pine nut or walnuts.

The ingredients for this Roasted Pepper Pistachio Cilantro Pesto Recipe are simple: cilantro, poblano peppers (roasted), a jalapeno pepper (roasted), pistachios, garlic, parmesan cheese, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Roasted Pepper Pistachio Cilantro Pesto Recipe

Begin by roasting the peppers. Everyone seems to have their favorite way to roast peppers but here’s one way to do it: Cut the peppers in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and seed knob. Then coat them inside and out with olive oil then place them, cut side down, on a baking sheet and bake in a 500° oven for about 15 minutes.

They turn a deeper color and look a little shriveled but, oh, they smell so good! For the pesto, I removed the skins but if you were using them in a soup or sandwich the skins on would be fine I think. To loosen the skins on the peppers for easier removal, put the roasted peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap or foil and let sit for another 15 minutes or so. To remove the skins, lay the peppers skin side up on the cutting board and with a knife or your fingers peel the skins off.

Roasted Pepper Pistachio Cilantro Pesto Recipecilantro-pesto-pasta-10

Once the peppers are roasted (and peeled if you so desire) you’re ready to put the pesto together.

It’s basic, basic, basic.

Basically, you put all the ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.

Cilantro Pesto Recipe

I usually process the garlic and nuts alone first so they’ll be more finely chopped, then add the cilantro, peppers, olive oil (streaming in slowly) and ending with the cheese. Salt and pepper to taste. The recipe that follows makes roughly a cup of pesto.

Roasted Pepper Pistachio Cilantro Pesto Recipe

This Roasted Pepper Pistachio Cilantro Pesto Recipe is great for using as a bruschetta spread or with pasta. It’s wonderful with pasta! You’ve got to try this with this Shrimp Pasta recipe. You just gotta.

Roasted Pepper Pistachio Cilantro Pesto Recipe

Roasted Pepper Pistachio Cilantro Pesto Recipe

Yield: About 1 cup.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

A pesto full of flavor perfect for serving with pasta or bruschetta.


  • 1/3 cup pistachios; roasted (pine nuts or walnuts may be substituted)
  • 2 whole garlic cloves
  • 2 poblano peppers; roasted, seeded and peeled
  • 1 jalapeno pepper; roasted, seeded and peeled
  • 1 cup cilantro; loosely packed
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese; shredded
  • pinch(s) salt and pepper (to taste)


  1. Process nuts and garlic in a food processor until finely minced.
  2. Add peppers and cilantro and process while slowly streaming in the olive oil until smooth.
  3. Add cheese and pulse a few times until blended.
  4. Salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Refrigerate covered until ready to serve.

Did you make this recipe?

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I’d love to hear back if you try this one to see if you enjoyed it as much as we did.