This Pea and Mint Pesto is a delightful twist on the classic and a perfect way to use fresh spring peas. It’s incredibly versatile – enjoy it on anything and everything! Fresh peas are cooked with leek, then blended with fresh mint leaves and Parmesan cheese to create a smooth, nut-free pesto spread.

Using a knife to spread the pesto on a crusty piece of bread

Spring is peak pea season. Depending on where you live, grab some fresh green peas when farmers market season starts. Whether you call them fresh peas, garden peas, or English peas, they’re one of life’s most versatile vegetables. I always keep a bag of frozen peas in my freezer for when fresh peas are out of season. It’s also a great way to preserve any fresh peas you buy if you can’t use them right away.

Pea and Mint Pesto Uses:

  • Pasta Sauce: Toss with hot pasta or gnocchi for a vibrant and flavorful primavera dish.
  • Crostini: Spread on crusty bread and top with your favorite vegetables or a drizzle of balsamic glaze for a delightful appetizer.
  • Sandwich Spread: Add a layer of freshness and flavor to your sandwiches.
  • Veggie Dip: Thin with a little olive oil or yogurt for a refreshing dip for crudités.
  • Soup: For a creamy and vibrant soup, blend the pesto with vegetable broth and a touch of cream.

 But wait, there’s more! This versatile pesto can also be transformed into a creamy and delicious Pea and Mint Soup thickened with potatoes.

Pea & mint pesto in a jar with some on crostini in background

What makes this easy pesto recipe so versatile? You can use fresh or frozen peas, allowing you to enjoy this vibrant sauce year-round. While it’s not a no-cook recipe (raw peas aren’t for everyone!), the peas only need a quick blanch (boil) for 2-3 minutes with the leeks to achieve a crisp-tender texture (al dente).

Pesto without Nuts

This pesto recipe achieves a smooth consistency by omitting nuts. However, if you prefer a chunkier texture, feel free to add your favorite nuts! Pine nuts, almonds, or pecans are all delicious options.

The pesto viewed from overhead on a round board with a knife and fresh mint leaves

Spring Pesto Recipes

Spring is the perfect time to whip up a batch of pesto!  This vibrant sauce is not only delicious but also freezes beautifully, providing you with a healthy and flavorful shortcut for future meals. Toss it with hot pasta for a quick and satisfying dish, swirl it into soup for added depth, or simply warm it up as a delightful side. Another fantastic spring option is my Green Garlic Pesto.

Pea and Mint Pesto Secret Ingredient

This pesto takes a delightful twist on the classic pesto recipe.  While fresh garlic is often a staple in pesto, I’ve opted for a secret weapon: leek!  This subtle addition brings a layer of savory depth without overpowering the sweetness of the peas and the refreshing mint.

Freezing Pesto

The beauty of homemade pesto is that you can easily freeze it for later enjoyment.  Here’s how to do it:

  1. Once your pesto is made, portion it out into freezer-safe containers. Ice cube trays are a great option for single-serve portions.
  2. For larger quantities, use airtight freezer containers.
  3. Top the pesto with a thin layer of olive oil to protect it from air exposure.
  4. Label and freeze your pesto for up to 6 months.
  5. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight before using

This recipe yields 2 ½ cups (655 grams)

This pesto can be made in under 10 minutes. The fresh peas are boiled for 3 minutes, allowed to cool, then blended with fresh mint, parmesan salt, pepper and olive oil. Done!

If you’ve tried this Pea and Mint Pesto or any other recipe on the blog then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how it turned out in the comments below. I love to hear from my readers!

Yield: 4

Pea and Mint Pesto

Spreading pea and mint pesto onto a crostini

Fresh peas, leek, mint and Parmesan cheese are blended to smooth perfection. Serve on crusty bread, use as a dip or turn into a soup.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Total Time 8 minutes


  • 2 cups (181 grams) fresh peas or frozen peas defrosted
  • ½ medium leek, chopped
  • Small handful of fresh mint leaves
  • ½ cup (45 grams) Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup (118 ml) olive oil


  1. Bring a pan filled half-way with water to a boil and add the peas and leeks. Cook for 3 minutes, drain and set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the cooled or defrosted peas, leek, mint, Parmesan, salt & pepper to a food processor.
  3. Pulse 10 times until chopped, then with the processor running, drizzle in the olive oil until well blended and smooth. You can add as much or as little as you like to make it the consistency you want. Taste for salt, add more if needed.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 242Total Fat 20gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 16gCholesterol 7mgSodium 506mgCarbohydrates 10gFiber 3gSugar 3gProtein 5g

This nutrition calculation is provided by Nutronix that is only a guideline and not intended for any particular diet.