This is a delicious version of the classic with a little more zip! You can substitute the vinegar with lime juice, lemon juice or Italian salad dressing.

Recipe Summary

prep:
15 mins
cook:
15 mins
total:
30 mins
Servings:
8
Yield:
8 servings
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Ingredients

8
Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta, and return water to a boil. Cook pasta for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente; drain well.

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  • In an electric food processor or blender, blend cilantro, garlic, vinegar, Parmesan cheese, cayenne pepper, nuts, and salt. Add 1/4 cup of the olive oil, and blend the pesto. Add more olive oil until the pesto reaches your desired consistency.

  • Pour pesto in a small saucepan and warm over low heat, stirring constantly, until pesto begins to simmer. Pour over cooked pasta and toss.

Nutrition Facts

386 calories; protein 10.1g; carbohydrates 42.8g; fat 20.5g; cholesterol 2.8mg; sodium 54.8mg. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (166)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 4 stars
03/28/2006
This may be deserving of a five, but only after some changes are made....what's up w/ the vinegar, walnuts, and cayenne?! Hubby loves cilantro, and so I remade it and I chose to change the recipe. I used 2 cups cilantro, 1/4 cup of roasted pinenuts, 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese, 2 tsp of salt, 2 tsp of black pepper, 1 tsp minced garlic, and 6 Tbsp olive oil. All I can say is wow...what a kick!!! Much better!! Read More
(342)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 2 stars
03/26/2012
This recipe did NOT go over at my house. My boyfriend said "nope " and put it down. I've never had him refuse to finish a meal. I think the problem was the garlic. I love garlic but 5 cloves was way too much and it totally overpowered the dish. If I made this again which is unlikely because I don't think I could tempt the bf into tasting it again I would tone the garlic down to 2 cloves. Read More
(8)
208 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 123
  • 4 star values: 55
  • 3 star values: 19
  • 2 star values: 7
  • 1 star values: 4
Rating: 4 stars
03/27/2006
This may be deserving of a five, but only after some changes are made....what's up w/ the vinegar, walnuts, and cayenne?! Hubby loves cilantro, and so I remade it and I chose to change the recipe. I used 2 cups cilantro, 1/4 cup of roasted pinenuts, 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese, 2 tsp of salt, 2 tsp of black pepper, 1 tsp minced garlic, and 6 Tbsp olive oil. All I can say is wow...what a kick!!! Much better!! Read More
(342)
Rating: 5 stars
06/16/2004
Wow! This was really good! The only thing I substituted was pine nuts instead of the other nuts. Also the left overs actually tasted better the next day- I think I will make the pesto again a day ahead of time so the flavors will blend better. Also there is no need to pick the leaves off the cilantro- just wash- squeeze out the water-cut the ends off then cut in half and add to the blender- I learned that from making Amy's Cilantro Sauce(on this site)so many times. Read More
(120)
Rating: 4 stars
06/27/2003
I used this recipe to create a quick and easy appetizer I had at a party a few years ago. Spread one package of cream cheese on a plate and then spread it with the cilantro pesto. Serve with tortilla chips or crackers. I used more cilantro than called for in this recipe - almost double I think. Also added some lime juice which gave a great bright burst of flavor. Don't really remember how much but maybe 1-2 T? Read More
(98)
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Rating: 4 stars
10/11/2007
This was great! To adjust to personal taste: I use only 2 cloves of garlic which was plenty. 1/3 c. of parmesan 1/2 tsp. black pepper 1 tbs. lemon juice and 1/3 c. Brazilian nuts. Awesome pesto!...Next time I d double recipe so I can freeze some in an ice-cube tray for quick meals. Thank you for sharing and for some many helpful reviews. Read More
(45)
Rating: 5 stars
11/02/2007
I was not expecting much from this but it was very good! I often buy fresh cilantro to use a small amount for a recipe and it's frustrating trying to find a way to use up the rest. This is a tasty and easy way to use it up. I may try some other cilantro pesto recipes as well but the nice thing about this one is that you probably have all the ingredients on hand. Read More
(35)
Rating: 4 stars
03/25/2005
Excellent! I added some water as a replacement for half the oil. The flavors were definitely better the second day. I'd recommend preparing the sauce the night before to give the flavors a chance to meld. Read More
(32)
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Rating: 5 stars
07/12/2007
read previous reviews so subbed lemon juice for vinegar. Had pine nuts after making basil pesto so toasted them & used them instead. Also used about a 1/4t crushed red pepper instead of cayenne...I don't like really hot just a zing. Since I was washing the cilantro as I was adding it to the blender putting all the liquids in to begin w/ it got a little water & mixed up very nicely. Let it sit in fridge overnite & used on pasta w/ some feta...yum!!! Read More
(29)
Rating: 5 stars
06/21/2006
We loved this! We used it first as a sauce with grilled chicken breasts and used the leftovers as a pasta sauce. My husband liked it so much he called his mother and told her how great it was! Victory! Read More
(28)
Rating: 4 stars
10/09/2008
This is excellent! I followed the recipe as far as the pesto goes but then decided to add chicken. I cooked the boneless chicken breast with garlic red onions and yellow peppers. MMMM! My guest thoroughly enjoyed it and I plan to pass this one on. Read More
(22)
Rating: 2 stars
03/26/2012
This recipe did NOT go over at my house. My boyfriend said "nope " and put it down. I've never had him refuse to finish a meal. I think the problem was the garlic. I love garlic but 5 cloves was way too much and it totally overpowered the dish. If I made this again which is unlikely because I don't think I could tempt the bf into tasting it again I would tone the garlic down to 2 cloves. Read More
(8)
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