This is one of the easiest oregano pesto recipes you will find! A few ingredients and a run through the food processor and you’ve got yourself a flavorful Oregano Pesto! This sauce is delicious and has so many great uses, you’ll find yourself eating it all the time.
Fresh Oregano Pesto
Pesto is a fabulous condiment that can really elevate a dish. As we all know, basil is the most common type of pesto out there. Pesto is not just for basil though. It can be made with other things too. My Roasted Red Pepper Pesto is another good example of this.
Since pesto can be made with things other than basil, why not oregano? Fresh oregano has a strong flavor all by itself, but that is tempered by the other ingredients in the pesto. This flavor is not bad (strong does not always mean bad when it comes to flavor) just strong.
Oregano is a versatile herb that is most often used dried. I don’t think fresh oregano gets enough attention. With this recipe, it will get its day in the sun!
This pesto has tons of flavor, and is made much like the traditional basil pesto you are used to.
What You Will Love About This Recipe
If you have a garden and you grow oregano, this recipe is going to be your saving grace. Oregano has a tendency to go crazy (mine certainly does) and there is always the question of what to do with it all besides drying it. This recipe is your answer!
Also, if you happen to grow herbs indoors (or want to), you can grow oregano inside your house. This means you can have fresh oregano year round to make this pesto!
Types Of Oregano
There are several varieties of Oregano available. Greek Oregano (also known as Italian Oregano) is by far the most common and it is what you will find in the grocery store and growing in your garden (unless you grow another type).
Greek Oregano is what you find in pizzas, pastas, and sauces. This recipe calls for Greek oregano.
I am going to touch on other varieties even though they are not called for in this recipe, because if you run across other varieties at least you will know a little something about them.
Other Oregano Varieties
Golden Oregano- As the name implies, this variety has yellow colored leaves.
Marjoram- Yes, Marjoram is a type of Oregano! It is milder in flavor and a bit less spicy, so if you want a more toned down flavor, you can try substituting an equal amount of Marjoram for the Oregano.
Syrian Oregano- This variety is most often seen in the Middle Eastern spice blend known as Za’atar.
Other varieties you may have heard of such as Mexican Oregano or Cuban Oregano, but they are not true Oregano because they are not of the same family. Their uses in cooking are very similar, however.
Ingredients For Oregano Pesto
The ingredient list for this pesto is short and sweet! You will need:
- Fresh Oregano
- Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper
- Walnuts (be sure they are unsalted)
- Parmesan Cheese
Why walnuts and not pine nuts? I love pine nuts, but they are expensive! Walnuts are much more budget friendly (and often easier to find).
Equipment Needed For Oregano Pesto
All you really need for this recipe is a food processor, as it does all the work for you. I don’t recommend a stick blender, it just doesn’t have the power you need to pulverize the ingredients properly.
How To Make Oregano Pesto
This could not be any easier!! Just put your ingredients in the food processor, turn it on, and once everything is well blended you are good to go!
Do not put the oregano stems in the pesto, just use the oregano leaves. The stems can be a bit stringy and won’t make for a good texture in the finished pesto.
The leaves are fairly easy to remove from the stems. Hold the very top of the stem with one hand, and with the other hand, pinch the top of the stem underneath your other hand with your thumb and forefinger. Slide your thumb and forefinger down the length of the stem. The leaves should pop right off. If that doesn’t work for you, they can be pulled off the stem one by one.
I have more instructions in the recipe card below to help you with pesto success!
Frequently Asked Questions
No, you really need fresh oregano for this recipe. The dried oregano will not produce the same result because the leaves have been dried. Not to mention that you would need a LOT of dried oregano to make this.
If you find you don’t have enough, there are a couple of options. First, you could make a slightly smaller batch of pesto. Secondly, you can use arugula, marjoram, or basil as a “filler” if you will to make up for not having enough oregano. This option will mean a bit less oregano flavor.
Yes! You could use an equal amount of pine nuts or almonds. If you don’t like nuts or can’t eat them, try pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds.
What To Do With Oregano Pesto
This vibrant pesto is great on pasta! If it’s Summertime, try it on my Garlic Scape Ravioli. It is also wonderful as sauce for pizza (that is actually my favorite use for oregano pesto).
You can also try it as the base for my Vegetable Flatbread with Creme Fraiche.
Try it in pasta salad, or throw a couple of spoonfuls in a cream sauce to add lots of great flavor. Mix it in with mayonnaise to add zest to a sandwich!
This also makes a great marinade for chicken or pork, or a sauce for salmon.
If you want to use it as a pasta sauce, save a ladle full or two of your pasta cooking water and add that to your pasta and pesto. This is very helpful to help distribute the pesto over all your pasta.
Storing Oregano Pesto
This can be kept in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed container for up to a week. If it seems thick when you pull it out of refrigeration, let it sit on the counter for a little bit to get to room temp and give it a stir. If it’s still stiff, add just a little oil and give it another stir.
You can freeze your pesto too! Try freezing it in ice cube trays (this is great if you know you are only using a little at a time) or putting the whole batch in a freezer friendly container and freeze until you need it. If you freeze it, use within two months.
To defrost your pesto:
I like to defrost in the refrigerator. If you use the defrost setting of your microwave, that will end up cooking the pesto.
The best thing to do is pull it out of the freezer the day before you need it and it should be ready when you need it.
If you are reading this, thank you for being here. I certainly hope you love this recipe for Oregano Pesto! If you tried this recipe, I’d love to hear how it turned out! Just leave a rating or comment below.
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These easy Oregano Pesto is a great way to use up all the excess from the garden. It's great on pizza, stirred into cream sauces, or tossed with pasta!
- 1 cup of fresh Oregano Leaves (tightly packed)
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
- 1 small clove of fresh Garlic (peeled)
- 1/4 cup Walnuts (unsalted)
- 1/4 cup grated or shaved Parmesan Cheese
- 1/4- 1/2 cup Olive Oil
- Pull the oregano leaves off the stems and discard the stems.
- Add the oregano leaves to the food processor.
- Add the 1/2 tsp of salt, 1/4 tsp of black pepper, the clove of garlic, 1/4 cup walnuts, and 1/4 cup of parmesan to the bowl of the food processor.
- Pulse until the ingredients begin to form a paste and the walnuts are pulverized.
- Slowly drizzle in the oil. Add 1/4 cup of oil to start, and if it the pesto still seems very thick, add more oil just a little bit at a time until it reaches a smoother consistency. Be careful not to add too much oil.
- Your pesto is ready! Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Marjoram may be used as a substitute for Greek Oregano.
The pesto can be frozen, either in ice cube trays or in a freezer friendly container for up to two months.
To defrost the frozen pesto, take it out of the freezer and let it defrost in the refrigerator, don't use your microwave to defrost it.
Before using refrigerated pesto, let it sit on the kitchen counter for about a half hour to come to room temperature.
If the pesto seems too thick, add just a little oil and stir to thin it out.
This pesto is great as a base for a homemade pizza!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 139Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 405mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 2gSugar: 0gProtein: 3g
All information presented and written within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist or registered dietitian and any nutritional information should only be used as a general guideline. Statements within this site have not been evaluated or approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is provided for recipes contained on this site. This information comes from online calculators. Although The Copper Table attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.
This pesto is a great way to use up my fresh oregano! It has such incredible flavors and we love this with pasta and butter. Such a great dinner!
I love this recipe too Kathryn! It is really good with pasta, I’m glad your family likes it!
What a fun take on pesto! I’ve always made it with basil but had a ton of oregano in my garden. It’s so delicious. I can’t wait to use this as a base for a pizza. Love it!
Love to hear that you enjoyed it Amanda!
I have to admit that I was skeptical about make pesto with oregano, but it works so perfectly! I used it to marinate chicken thighs that I grilled and sliced to served on top of buttered pasta. It was a huge hit with the family.
That sounds wonderful!
Erica Leigh says
This was sooooo good. I had never made pesto with oregano but I absolutely loved the flavor of it. Super easy and fast to make as well which is always my favorite.
Happy to hear that you loved it Erica!
Thank you for another amazing way to use all of our fresh oregano! I put a bunch in the freezer, I can’t wait to enjoy it all winter. I also can’t wait to try your ravioli with it!
Oregano is growing rampant in my garden and this easy pesto was a delicious way to use some of it. It was perfect on pizza!
I was looking for something to do with my garden oregano, and that is when I found this recipe! It was perfect drizzled over a tomato salad.
I haven’t tried it on tomato salad, I will have to do that!
I have never thought of using oregano in pesto instead of basil that man it’s fantastic! So flavorful and perfect for all the Italian dishes I love to make.
Love this! It’s a perfect twist on a basil pesto, and I have so much oregano to use from my garden! I’ll be making this often!
I am glad you like it Chenee! I have a lot of oregano to use as well, and I will be making it several times too!
Adding this to my growing collection of unique pesto recipes. I used it on a sandwich and it was great!
I’m glad you liked it Keri!
Amy Liu Dong says
My niece loves pesto so much and I want to try this recipe for her. Thanks for sharing this with us!
You’re welcome Amy!
Wonderful well-balanced flavor that lingers! My family devoured every last bite. Can’t wait to make again.
That’s awesome Karen! Thank you for stopping by and sharing!