Feta Cheese Pesto

A couple of my boys are just miserable with allergies right now. It’s THAT time of year here, I guess. Michael, our “baby” has been experimenting with eliminating dairy from his diet. So far, the results have been mixed….probably because it’s really hard to completely eliminate dairy in my kitchen. There’s also the problem with so many our very favorite foods containing dairy products.

Michael is a gourmet eater and in-training gourmet cook, so today we embarked on some research involving one of his favorite foods: pesto. My regular pesto recipe has generous portions of Parmesan cheese, so that isn’t helping in the pursuit of dairy-free foods. Michael, however, had a brilliant idea. Instead of using Parmesan, we used feta cheese. We were both stunned at the amazing, delicious pesto that resulted.

This pesto recipe is fairly similar to my regular pesto recipe, but we did alter a couple things in addition to the type of cheese.

Feta Pesto

  • 2 c. fresh basil, washed
  • 2 oz. olive oil
  • 2 oz. white wine
  • the juice of one lime
  • 2 T. pine nuts, toasted
  • 4 T. minced garlic
  • 1 c. feta cheese, crumbled and packed tightly

Place all ingredients in a food processor and whirl until smooth. The feta cheese actually takes awhile to completely process, so be sure you run the food processor long enough.

We ate quite a bit of pesto on crackers, but of course, hot sourdough would have been better. The flavor was slightly different from a parmesan pesto, but it completely satisfied our pesto hunger. I can imagine growing to like feta pesto even better than Parmesan pesto if I eat enough of it.

Michael was so pleased with our research he declared that we should call the feta pesto, “FESTO!”


11 thoughts on “Feta Cheese Pesto

  1. festo??? well ok. I love feta and I love pesto…. but this made me shiver… I will try it anyway. Hi Barb… it’s midnight… sitting here with a glass of wine wishing everyone would stay asleep and let me have a few hours of catch up time…. yesterday I went to the local meat market 1 day sale (held twice a year) my freeezer is full and I am ready for some real cooking..well post wedding/company…. and it is cool here so soups would be great… but I will try the festo..and let you know what I think.

  2. Hi Stacey, it’s so good to see you! I know that feeling of sitting alone in a dark, quiet house and just savoring the silence.

    I will admit that I was surprised at how good the feta cheese pesto turned out to be. I wasn’t expecting it to be much more than just bearable, but it really is delicious.

    One of these days, we need to visit…..


  3. It looks like you are used to using a lot of cheese in your pesto, but I have always made pesto sans cheese. The cheese provides salt, so you need to add a little sea salt in. I just use 1/4 to 1 teaspoon of sea salt depending upon the size of the batch. In this recipe I would also up the nuts, as you aren’t using many, for texture. Pine nuts can be expensive, so you may want to use other nuts too! I actually follow a recipe for sunflower seed pesto and it is awesome!

  4. I’m confused…feta cheese isn’t dairy? Anywhooo, this sounds yummy, but since no one else in family even likes pesto, I’ll not try my hand at festo. Perhaps it will be something I’ll try when I get to see you next?

  5. Thanks for your suggestions, Alisa. I”ll have to experiment.

    Beth, feta cheese is made with goat’s milk. Many folks who are intolerant of dairy (made from cow’s milk) don’t have a problem with goats milk. And yes, we’ll be sure to play with pesto next time we get together.


  6. Just a warning, Noel….this stuff gets better and better as it sits in the fridge. (I’m sure there’s a limit to that….it will probably be nasty if I let it stew in there for six months!) As the flavors of the basil, garlic, and feta marry, this stuff becomes totally addicting. I am moving toward a position of liking this better than the parmesan pesto I used to make! Thanks for stopping by.


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  8. Hi
    I just found your site…in the middle of making pesto & feta tartlets…I just Googled “pesto feta” … & you came into my kitchen LOL…I know it’s a 2007 post, but I was unsure if feta & pesto would mix well..now I’m off to finish the tarts, so a big thank you :0)

    p.s. I’ll be back

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