Parsley Pesto Potatoes

$4.84 recipe / $0.81 serving

I don’t want to rub it in your faces, but here in New Orleans SPRING IS HERE! That means that I want a lot of bright, vibrant flavors.

These roasted potatoes with parsley pesto are about as vibrant as vibrant flavor gets. They’re a great side for grilled meats (because spring = grilling season!) or you can warm them up and top them with a soft boiled egg like I did for breakfast this morning. You could even stir in a bit of mayonnaise for a pesto potato salad type dish and serve it along side sandwiches. However you serve them, they’re a side dish that is seriously bursting with flavor thanks to the garlic, lemon, and Parmesan cheese.

I used my budget version of pesto for this recipe. Instead of fresh basil I used fresh parsley. Sure, the flavor is very different but it still gives it that nice pop of fresh green flavor. I also skipped the nuts and went light on the olive oil. The fresh garlic gives the pesto a really great spicy bite and the fresh lemon adds a tart zing. It’s a pretty bare bones version of pesto, but OMG, it still has tons of flavor! (you may want a breath mint afterwards, raw garlic can be harsh).

Parsley Pesto Potatoes

Parsley Pesto Potatoes

5.0 from 1 reviews
Parsley Pesto Potatoes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Total Cost: $4.84
Cost Per Serving: $0.81
Serves: 6 (1/2 lb. each)
  • 3 lbs. small Yukon Gold potatoes $2.29
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil $0.08
  • Salt & Pepper $0.05
  • 1 bunch flat leaf parsley $0.75
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled $0.16
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan $0.82
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (about ½ lemon) $0.35
  • ¼ tsp salt $0.02
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.32
  • 1 Tbsp water $0.00
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the potatoes into one inch cubes. Place the potatoes in a large bowl and toss with the vegetable oil until well coated.
  2. Cover one or two baking sheets with foil and coat lightly with non-stick spray. Spread the potatoes out over the sheets so that they are in a single layer and not piled on top of one another (you may need two baking sheets if your sheets are smaller). Season lightly with salt and pepper, then roast in the oven for 45 minutes or until golden brown and crispy on the edges.
  3. Meanwhile, rinse the parsley with cool water and shake off as much excess water as possible. Tear the leaves from the stems and place them in the bowl of a food processor (it's okay if some of the stems get in, you don't have to be very precise). Also add the Parmesan, salt, lemon juice, and peeled garlic. Pulse the mixture until it is finely chopped.
  4. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and slowly add the olive oil through the chute while pulsing. Scrape down the sides again and add one tablespoon of water while pulsing. The pesto should be a thick, almost creamy texture at this point. Taste the pesto and adjust the oil, salt, and lemon according to your liking (depending on the size of your parsley bunch, you may need to adjust the other ingredients).
  5. Once the potatoes are golden brown and crispy, remove them from the oven and transfer them to a bowl. Serve the pesto spooned over top or toss the potatoes in the pesto until they are fully coated.


Parsley Pesto Potatoes


Step by Step Photos

Cubed Potatoes

Cut 3 lbs. of Yukon Gold potatoes into one inch cubes. You can use a different variety of potatoes, but I like the dense, waxy texture of Yukon Gold for this.

Seasoned Potatoes

Toss the potatoes with 2 Tbsp of vegetable oil until they are well coated. Spread them out over a baking sheet that has been covered in foil and lightly coated with non-stick spray. Make sure the potatoes are not piled on top of one another. You may need two baking sheets if your sheets are on the smaller side. Even though the potatoes are coated in oil, that thin layer of non-stick spray really helps to keep them from sticking. Trust me. Season them lightly with salt and pepper (just sprinkle some on top, no measuring needed). Roast these potatoes in a preheated 400 degree oven for 45 minutes.

Pesto 1

While the potatoes are roasting, you can make the pesto. Rinse one bunch of flat leaf parsley, then shake off as much of the water as possible. Pull the leaves from the stems and place them in the bowl of a food processor (I use this one). You don’t have to be super picky about getting the leaves off of the stem – it’s okay if some stems make it in the bowl. Also add 1/2 cup Parmesan, 2 cloves of garlic (peeled), 2 Tbsp lemon juice, and 1/4 tsp salt.

Pesto 2

Pulse that mixture until it is finely chopped. (OMG it looks so good already). Scrape down the sides with a spatula.

Pesto 3

Add 2 Tbsp of olive oil through the chute as you pulse. I wanted my pesto a little bit runnier, so I also added a tablespoon of water. You can add more oil if you’d like, but this method kept the cost down a bit. It also produces a sharper, more pungent flavored pesto. Oil helps mellow the flavors some.

Roasted Potatoes

After 45 minutes, the potatoes will be golden brown and crispy on the edges. Transfer them to a bowl.

Parsley Pesto Potatoes

You can either serve the pesto spooned over top like this…

Parsley Pesto Potatoes

Or toss the potatoes until they’re fully coated in the pesto. I had some leftover pesto, but it DEFINITELY won’t go to waste. You can use it as a sandwich spread, add it to an individual pizza, or just dip some things (anything) in it!


  1. Nikki says:

    Has anyone tried coating the potatoes in pesto BEFORE roasting them? I’m looking at another similar recipe that does it in this order, and I’m curious if it weakens the pesto flavor too much.

    I’m not sure which order I’ll use, but I’m going to make these Sunday with perilla leaf pesto :-D

    • Nikki says:

      Update: I put the pesto on the potatoes BEFORE putting them in the oven after all, and it was truly delicious.

      • Awesome. My plan tonight. My nephew is a chef (multi city, 4 seasons, Michael Mina, etc,). He taught me to par boil, ice bath, then dry off in a towel before roasting or frying–whatever the cut or type potato.
        He’s gone to Hawaii. Sniff. Miss my Monday nights with Nate (his only day off).

  2. Jessica says:

    These are so amazingly delicious! Serving them with a steelhead trout tonight, yummyyyy

  3. Jenn says:

    I made this tonight to go with some flank steak and a salad. The potatoes were fabulous. So much so, the boyfriend had to be banned from the kitchen, he was seriously in danger of eating them all before the rest of the meal was ready!! It made about 3/4 cup of pesto total, and I used 1/2 cup on the potatoes. So there’s still some left to play with. Can’t wait to experiment!!

  4. Sara says:

    OMG Beth, this parsley pesto is stellar.
    I didn’t go the potato route; we had it on top of grilled skirt steak and ended up with it on the asparagus. And on the couscous. Basically slathered it over my entire plate. I will definitely be making again.

    I did it in a NutriBullet for anyone curious about non-foodprocessor options.

  5. Millie says:

    I mixed leftovers with a dollop of sour cream (maybe 1:3 pesto:sour cream). Yummy veggie dip!

  6. Mmmm, pesto makes everything better.

  7. ça donne grave envie , bravo !!!

  8. Merry Merino says:

    Hmm… I have lots of celery leaf pesto in the freezer that would probably be a great option for this. Will have to give it a try. (Freeze leftover pesto in your ice cube tray. I don’t think my ice cube tray has had water in it since I bought it last year)

  9. Maria says:

    I really love a lot of your recipes. But I don’t have a slow cooker, or a food processor, and don’t have the funds to purchase them. Is there another way to make pesto without a food processor?

  10. This Will be on our menu soon, was able to grill on us day but snow expected son, might have to shovel the grill out to have chicken with these potatoes!

  11. Karen says:

    Kale and spinach make great pesto too.

  12. Katrina says:

    I might mix it with a dollop of greek yogurt to get a low fat potato salad vibe. Yum!

  13. Emily says:

    Hi Beth! Love your website, and Ive made alot of your dishes. Since Ive expanded my cooking abilities, Ive found myself inherently in need of a lot more cooking tools! Would you be able to share your list of kitchen gear? Since you budget your food supplies Im sure you are good at picking out well working tools that also dont break the bank. Thanks again for all your help. Have a good one!


    • I actually don’t put much thought into the brand or type when I buy kitchen gadgets. :) Most of the items I have I’ve either picked up at the store without prior research or received as a gift. I usually just try to get things that look sturdy and don’t have too much plastic (because it breaks easier). I have a list of basic gadgets and equipment (but not brands) in my book and I plan on adding that to the site soon!

  14. Tito says:

    Interesting, I never thought of parsley as the base green for pesto! I’m excited to try this.

    I do love basil to an unhealthy degree so I actually have a plant in my kitchen that I grew from a sprig of basil from the grocery store. Every month or so I harvest the leaves and its the gift that keeps on giving!

  15. Potatoes coated in pesto? SUCH a great idea! Now I feel the need to plant a whole lot more parsley so I can just make sauces like this randomly all summer. :)

  16. Forgot…my other modification…particulary with russets vs Yukon golds…I soak the cut potatoes while the oven is preheating. Whether it is roasted or “fries”, it seems to help remove some of the starch which helps them be crispier.

  17. These look and sound so very good and I have 3 small russets that NEED to be used.

    I don’t have parsley, but I DO have cilantro!

    I like throwing some sunflower seeds in a parsley or cilantro pesto. Pine nuts are SO pricey that I’ve not purchased them in some time…using sunflower seeds or other nuts (walnuts, cashews, pistachios) instead.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  18. JenZ says:

    Yum! I’ll bet cilantro would be tasty in this too :)

  19. DrRandy says:

    If you want to reduce some of the harshness of the garlic, you can drop the whole cloves in boiling water for about five minutes before adding them to the pesto.

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