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4 from 1 vote

Cilantro Pesto Pasta | Cilantro Pesto with Almonds

Refreshing cilantro pesto with almonds and a simple cilantro pesto pasta with the same for the lunch box.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: cilantro pesto pasta, cilantro pesto with almonds, instant pot pasta recipes
Servings: 3
Calories: 230kcal
Author: Srividhya G


  • 1 bunch Cilantro 2 cups tightly packed
  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 12 Almonds
  • 0.5 cup Water
  • 3/4 tsp Salt, heaped
  • 2.5 cups Pasta
  • Water to cook the pasta
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Oil



  • Clean the cilantro. I used the stems but discarded all the pale and yellow ones.
  • Wash thoroughly and pat them dry.
  • Add the almonds to 1/2 cup of water in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave it for 6 minutes. Allow it cool and remove the skin.
  • Peel the garlic skin and set aside.

Cilantro Pesto Recipe:

  • I don't have a food processor. So I used my regular mixer jar in pulse mode to make this pesto. Add the cilantro, garlic, and almonds and grind it in the pulse mode. Do not run the mixer continuously.
  • When it is coarse, add 2 tbsps of olive oil and salt and pulse again. If your child prefers a smooth texture, then pulse until smooth.
  • If not, add one more tbsp of olive oil and mix it and transfer it from the mixer and store in a glass jar. Seal the top with a cling wrap and then cover it with the lid. Refrigerate it right away.

Cilantro Pesto Pasta Recipe:

  • I used penne pasta for this recipe. Cook the pasta as per the directions in the pack. For this measure, I used about 4 cups of water, and I added 1/2 tsp of salt and oil.
  • Reserve the pasta water approximately 1/4 cup and discard the remaining.
  • In a pan, add the cooked pasta, pasta water, and the prepared cilantro pesto and mix them. I do this over very low heat and turn it off the heat right after mixing.
  • That's it. Pesto Pasta is ready. Allow it cool a bit before packing.


  • Cleaning the cilantro, washing and patting them dry are all very important. Fresh and clean cilantro always yields good pesto.
  • Do not add too much of garlic. I would recommend starting with one or two, and after preparing, taste the pesto and depending upon the taste add more if required. Too much of garlic adds a bitter taste.
  • As I mentioned earlier, seal and store the pesto right after preparing because pesto oxidizes fast.
  • Do not cook the pasta for a long time after adding the pesto.


Calories: 230kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1100mg | Potassium: 154mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 211IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 1mg