No Waste Vegan Carrot Top Pesto

No Waste Vegan Carrot Top Pesto

Wasting food is one of my ultimate pet peeves. It bums me out when I forget about something in the refrigerator and it ends up in the compost bin. Recently, I have been trying to come up with ways to reduce my waste in the kitchen. Using the whole vegetable is a great way to do this! Enter carrot top pesto.

Carrot Top Pesto is the perfect example of creating less waste. This awesome condiment is the perfect addition to eggs, toast, pasta, literally anything. It requires only a few simple ingredients, and if you made my Spicy Roasted Carrots, you’ll be having some carrot tops leftover.

What is carrot top pesto?

Pesto is the perfect condiment in my eyes. Contrary to popular belief, pesto does not need to contain basil, pine nuts, or cheese. Pesto is a sauce that is made my pounding, or in modern times, a food processor. You can make it in a mortar and pestle if that’s what you’re into. Go for it!

The popular pesto alla genovese is what most people think of when it comes to pesto. I love playing around with different herbs, greens, nuts, and cheeses (or lack thereof). If I see that I have some herbs or greens that have seen better days; they get turned into pesto.

I first thought of carrot top pesto when I bought my regular bunch of carrots from the Farmer’s Market. My friend had been raving about this delicious arugula hazelnut pesto she had purchased earlier that week. When I chopped the greens off of the carrots, I was reminded of that pesto. I tossed a few things together and this AMAZING sauce was created.

My absolute favorite way to eat this pesto is to spread it on some crusty toast and then top it with creamy avocado slices and sprouts. Talk about elevated avocado toast!

What ingredients are in carrot top pesto?

Carrot Tops: these are the tender greens on the top of the carrots. I try to use mostly fronds, but you can use some of the stem as well. Make sure to wash them well, even if organic.

Hazelnuts: it’s best to use skinned hazelnuts for this. You can use raw ones, but I think toasted nuts give a richer flavor. If you’re not a fan of hazelnuts you can use almonds, pecans, or walnuts.

Nutritional Yeast: this is my favorite flavoring. Make sure you don’t use the type of yeast you use in your bread. Nutritional yeast lends an umami cheesy type flavor to foods. It is essential in the vegan and paleo diet.

Olive Oil: you will want to use a high quality oil for this sauce, especially if you plan on eating it raw on toast. If you can get your hands on a nice Italian olive oil that lends on the grassier side, you will be in seventh heaven.

Substitutions: this is an easy recipe to tweak to your liking. If you eat dairy, replace the nutritional yeast with parmesan or romano cheese. Swap out the nuts for whatever you have on hand. You can use avocado oil but it will have a more neutral taste.

Don’t throw away your carrot tops! Try turning them into this delicious No Waste Carrot Top Pesto!

a spoonful of carrot top pesto to show texture

No Waste Carrot Top Pesto

This recipe helps reduce kitchen waste by using carrot tops and turning them into a delicious sauce/dip. Try this pesto on avocado toast, pasta, or even dipping veggies into it.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Course Sauce
Cuisine American


  • Food Processor


  • 1/4 cup hazelnuts toasted and peeled
  • 1-2 each garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice fresh
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 cup carrot tops
  • 1/2-3/4 cup olive oil


Carrot Top Pesto

  • Add the hazelnuts, garlic, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast to the food processor.
  • Blitz on low speed until it the nuts are in small pieces. This should take about 30-45 seconds.
  • Once the nuts are in small pieces, add the carrot tops.
  • Blitz on low speed for 1-2 minutes, stopping every now and then to scrape the sides of the bowl.
  • Turn the food processor on low and slowly drizzle the oil into the mixture. This should take about 45 seconds. Start with 1/2 cup and if you want it to be thinner, add the extra 1/4 cup.
  • Scrape the sides and blitz for 10 more seconds.
  • Enjoy!
Keyword dairy free, easy, gluten free, keto, make ahead, paleo

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