Not sure what to do with the garlic scapes you got in your CSA or at the farmer’s market? Make my super easy garlic scape pesto! Delicious on bread, pasta, veggies, proteins, aka all the things.

homemade pesto in storage jarIf you’re wondering what in the name are garlic scapes, you’ve come to the right place. Garlic scapes are the stalks that grow from the bulb of the garlic plant. They are usually harvested before they flower so the plant can channel all its energy into producing the most flavorful garlic bulb. Scapes have a mild garlic taste and are perfect if you want to add some garlic flavor to a meal.garlic scapesScapes look wild and curly and tangled. If I could be any food, it would be a garlic scape. Because they’re wild and unruly and don’t give AF about conforming to mainstream plant standards ;).pesto ingredients in food processor

If you’re unsure how to use garlic scapes in the kitchen, let me give you a few ideas:

  • substitute them for scallions (green onion) or chives in any recipe
  • use them to add mild garlic flavor to a recipe
  • finely dice and add to scrambled eggs with goat cheese (my personal fave)
  • make them into a pesto!

This pesto only calls for 6 ingredients! Garlic scapes, basil, walnuts, parmesan cheese, lemon juice, and olive oil. Blend together in a food processor or high-speed blender and voila! bread dipped in pestoThis pesto is delish on all the things. Sandwiches, pasta, bread, eggs, fish, chicken, veggies, you name it. Plus, it’s easy to make a big batch and then freeze in an ice cube tray so you can pop it out when you need it!

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Easy Garlic Scape Pesto

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (69 votes, average: 3.19 out of 5)


Not sure what to do with the garlic scapes you got in your CSA or at the farmer’s market? Make my super easy garlic scape pesto! Delicious on bread, pasta, veggies, proteins, aka all the things.


  • 1 bunch or 10-13 garlic scapes (about 1 cup chopped)
  • 1/2 cup packed basil
  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice (from 1/2 lemon)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. In a high speed blender or food processor, add garlic scapes, basil, walnuts, parmesan cheese, lemon juice and pulse until combined.
  2. With the blender or food processor running, stream in the olive oil. Scrape down the sides of the blender and continue blending as needed until the olive oil is emulsified and the pesto looks uniform.
  3. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: Blender
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: pesto, garlic scape

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  1. Denise

    Hi! I found that I had to add much more oil than the recipe called for! Did I do something wrong?

    • Hmmm! I’m not sure. It’s best to add in the olive oil very slowly so it can blend and emulsify properly with the other ingredients. If added to quickly, it can separate out and it might seem like you need to add more to blend. Does this sound like what might have happened? Let me know!

  2. Jenn Haloon

    It came out amazing. Are used wild garlic scapes from my yard and did not have a full cup. I also screwed up by putting the olive oil in before I even blended it. It is one of the best pestos I’ve ever had!

    • Thanks, Jenn! Doesn’t get better than garlic scapes right from the yard. I’ve definitely made that mistake before, but it still tastes delicious.

  3. Bekah

    I made this, and it was great!! It’s an excellent recipe to use the buds on top 🙂

  4. Denise

    I subbed non fortified nutritional yeast for the parm so it was vegan. Love it!
    I’ve also used raw sunflower seeds, but prefer walnuts as written

    • Hi Denise – that sounds like a perfect modification! I’ll have to try nutritional yeast next time I’m craving something more vegan-friendly.

  5. Susan Stamm

    This was the best garlic scape pesto. I’ve been making garlic scape pesto for years and I decided to try this recipe. So far it is my favorite! I freeze mine either in ice cube
    trays or flat in freezer bags. Freezing flat helps to break chunks off while frozen.

    • What a compliment, thanks so much Susan! Freezing flat is a great trip, I’ll have to try that 🙂

  6. Used pecans instead of walnuts. I think this is outstanding for whatever nut you want to use. Used the 3 cup recipe and when all said and done I had 4 1/2 cups which I made 1/2 cup portions for freezing.

  7. janice

    at last a recipe with the right proportions!! I made several batches and all were great!!!
    thank you. The lemon really brightened it up. I ran out of walnuts and then i used pine nuts. ran out of those and used cashews. I liked the batch with pine nuts best!

    • Isn’t pesto the best? I’m so happy to hear all batches came out well – pine nuts are one of my favorites too.

  8. This pesto looks delicious… I’m gonna try this recipe!