Poblano & Pistachio Pesto

Creamy and spicy, fresh and bright, this pesto made with both roasted and fresh poblanos, jalapenos, pistachios, garlic, lime juice, and Pecorino Romano cheese is such a fun diversion from a typical basil pesto. We love this pop of flavor with anything we grill on the barbecue, enchiladas, or even a spoonful in our chicken tortilla soup! Delish!

This pesto has funny origins, though! We had lunch at the Gristmill River Restaurant & Grill, fun restaurant in Gruene, Texas and I ordered the Pasta Poblano Salad made with poblano pesto. It sounded so interesting and I’d never had poblano pesto before, even though we love poblanos and cook with them a lot! But, when the dish arrived, the poblano pesto turned out to really be a poblano salsa and not a pesto at all. Undeterred, I arrived back home with this hankering to create a poblano pesto! This is the result, and we love the way it tastes using both roasted and raw poblanos as well as jalapenos, lots of cilantro, garlic, pistachios and Pecorino Romano cheese.

The smell of roasting peppers is so enticing with the warm and cozy aroma and you always know there will be something delicious to eat soon when you smell peppers roasting. We really like the combo of roasted and raw peppers in this pesto because it has both the fresh, vibrant characteristics as well as the smooth taste of roasted peppers.

We also take a great shortcut when it comes to roasting peppers. We grill them over medium heat on the barbecue for 2-3 minutes per side and then place them right in the food processor. No need to peel them at all, which saves a lot of time, and how you know it if you’ve ever peeled roasted peppers!

For the fresh peppers, simply remove the stem and seeds and coarsely chop them before adding them to the roasted peppers.

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Poblano and Pistachio Pesto

Roasted and fresh poblano peppers, with jalapenos, cilantro, pistachios, Pecorino romano cheese, olive oil and lime juice.
Servings 8 Condiment Sides
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes


  • 1 Food processor


  • 3 large poblano peppers, stem and seeds removed and cut in half lengthwise (Half raw and half roasted)
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, stems and seeds removed and diced
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves
  • 8 large basil leaves or about 1/2 cup thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup roasted pistachios
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil


  • Roast half of the poblano peppers and half of the jalapeno peppers on the grill over medium heat for 3-4 minutes per side, just until beginning to brown and blister. Remove from heat and cool for about 10 minutes. (This step can be done several hours or a day ahead of time.)
    Treks IMG 8541
  • Meanwhile, coarsely dice the raw poblano and jalapeño peppers.
    Treks IMG 8535
  • Add pistachios to the food processor and puree until very fine. Add cilantro, basil and cheese and continue to process. Add both roasted and raw poblano peppers, jalapeño pepper, garlic, salt and lime juice and puree until smooth.
    Treks EC942E6D 59A2 427B 9FDC 292464AAF6E9
  • Finally, drizzle in olive oil and process one final time until smooth. There will still be some lumps, but mostly smooth.
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Keyword: pesto, roasted poblanos

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