This recipe has a wholesome balance of crunchy chickpeas (in place of traditional pine nuts), sweet fresh basil and bright, refreshing lemon. It’s a quick and easy side dish or main dish. The pesto can be used to toss with hot or cold pasta, or drizzled over chicken, fish and veggies.

Try substituting all or part of the basil with fresh spinach or arugula leaves for a new and unique pesto.


15.5 oz. can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
3 cloves garlic
2 c. fresh basil leaves, packed
Juice from 2 lemons
½ c. olive oil
2 Tbs. shredded Parmesan (optional)
Salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 300°F. Toss chickpeas in salt and pepper. Roast for 20-30 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool. Pulse garlic, chickpeas and basil in a food processor several times until blended. While the food processor is running, add the lemon juice. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Turn off the food processor and scrape the sides of the bowl. Add Parmesan cheese, if using, and pulse again until blended. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve as desired or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.