When I first made nasturtium pesto I thought I’d had a flash of sheer genius and my name would go down in the culinary annals of history. I was wrong of course, a quick Google brings up any number of variations, but I still think mine is the best! Nasturtium leaves and flowers have a lovely warm peppery flavour and make a fabulous addition to Spring, Summer and Autumn salads as well as giving depth to this pesto sauce. Stir it into pasta or couscous or mix it with a little balsamic vinegar to make a delicious drizzle to pour over risotto, serve with veggie burgers or anything else you fancy!

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Nasturtium leaf pesto and nasturtium flowers.

I grew these beauties from seed last Spring and, thanks to the mild winter, they are still going strong! I love the way nasturtiums climb up and around and along, turning their colourful faces to the light long after most of the summer flowers have gone. 

A nasturtium flower surrounded by its leaves.

Nasturtium flowers are so pretty just scattered over a salad or sitting atop a luscious lemon cake but, today, it is the leaves which take centre stage.  My pesto is simple to make, full of peppery goodness and vegan too! If you want the full nasturtium effect use large leaves as plates topped with a flowery late summer salad, drizzled with leaf pesto! 

Nasturtium pesto in a mason jar.

If you want to grow your own nasturtiums for pretty salads next year they really are very easy! Once you’ve grown them and enjoyed them, let them go to seed and you can make ‘Poor Man’s Capers’ with them! Also, if you let them drop their seeds, you’ll have a fresh supply of leaves and flowers next year! 

If you make my recipe I’d love to hear how it turns out for you. Please leave a comment and a star rating below and share your pictures with me on social media. Tag me @thinlyspread and include the hashtag #thinlyspread so I can see them!

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A jar of bright green nasturtium pesto

Nasturtium Pesto

A flavourful, peppery pesto using nasturtium leaves from the garden
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dips, Spreads and Condiments
Keyword: nasturtium recipes, pesto recipes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 7
Calories: 178kcal


  • 1 cup tightly packed nasturtium leaves
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1 large garlic clove - peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast (optional)
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


  • Wash and dry the nasturtium leaves
  • Toast the pine nuts in a small saucepan over a low heat until just browned
  • Add all the ingredients to the bowl of a food processor and whizz until smooth
  • Spoon into a clean jar
  • Keeps in the fridge for about 10 days


Nutritional information is only an approximate guideline. Calculations will vary according to the ingredients you use and your cooking methods.


Calories: 178kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 81mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 68IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 1mg
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A jar of Nasturtium Leaf Pesto, along with nasturtium flowers.

If you like making your own pesto, you might also like my recipe for Pea Pesto!

Smooth Pea Pesto in a white soup bowl.

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