What Does Pesto Taste Like?

Pesto is a green Italian sauce that goes great with various types of pasta. Although most recipes for pesto are the same, you can change up your pesto recipe by including additional herbs or changing the quantity of one or more ingredients.

In general, traditional pesto sauce is easy to make and usually has herbs such as fresh basil and garlic, among others. Some people make their own pesto sauce, but there are numerous brands of pesto sauce with products that taste very similar to homemade sauce.

Pesto tastes like garlic and parsley or basil and has a creamy texture thanks to the cheese. It has an earthy, nutty flavor that people love. Once you learn what ingredients are in pesto sauce, you can understand why it has that particular flavor. Although the green pesto color is a turnoff for some people, once they take their first bite of this amazing sauce, they usually wonder how they lived so long without it.

Pesto pasta for sample of what pesto tastes like
Pesto pasta is a popular pesto-based dish.

How Does Pesto Get Its Taste?

Garlic and herbs are the main ingredients in pesto. If you make your own pesto, keep in mind that none of the ingredients in the sauce should be dominant over the others. You’ll want to keep all of your pesto ingredients blended in equally, with none of them being either too overpowering or barely noticeable. For the right taste of pesto, you need the right mixture of certain ingredients because it takes all of these items together to make pesto that tastes the way it’s supposed to.

If you’re intent on making homemade pesto, it’s best to use only fresh ingredients. Foods you can use to flavor your pesto include tarragon, cilantro, kale, sage, and mint. This isn’t to say you should use all of these when you make your pesto, but you can certainly use more than one of these if you’d like. Experiment with your fresh herbs each time you make your pesto until you come up with a combination that creates a flavor you love.

Pesto spread on bread for sample of what pesto tastes like
You can spread pesto on toasted bread as a unique and delicious appetizer.

What About the Cheese?

As you can imagine, the right type of cheese, as well as a little olive oil, can create the perfect texture for your pesto.

For the best results, use cheeses that are hard, aged, and salty so that you get the right texture and flavor. These include Parmesan cheese, Asiago, Grana Padano and Pecorino Romano, among others. You want to make sure people can taste every ingredient you put into your sauce, and all of these types of cheeses will have a unique taste when blended into your pesto.

Last but not least, you’ll want to add some blended nuts to make the pesto sauce even creamier. Some of the most common nuts used in this sauce include cashews, walnuts, almonds, and pine nuts. Nuts are common in a lot of Italian dishes. Some sauces similar to pesto, in case you want to try them, include both coriander chutney (which is sort of an Indian pesto) and salsa verde. If you’ve never had any of these dishes, you owe it to yourself to give them a try with another delicious food.