Kalyn's Kitchen

Kalyn’s Kitchen Picks: Kirkland Basil Pesto

Nothing can beat my homemade Basil Pesto with Lemon, but when you don’t have any basil to make pesto this Kirkland Basil Pesto from Costco is pretty great! And this post has more than 20 recipe ideas for using Pesto; enjoy! 

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If you’re a regular reader, you know I love to make basil pesto in the summer, and I think my recipe for Basil Pesto with Lemon can’t be beat. But sometimes fresh basil isn’t available, you don’t want to bother making pesto from scratch, or you want to make recipes with pesto in the dead of winter. For times when making pesto just isn’t happening, I’m a huge fan of this Kirkland Basil Pesto from Costco, and this is great product that I’ve been buying for years.

Unlike tiny jars of pesto that you see in the grocery store, Kirkland Basil Pesto comes in a big 22 ounce jar, enough for any recipe that uses basil pesto. And this pesto keeps a long, long time in the fridge and like my basil pesto with lemon, it can be frozen. And just in case you’re wondering, Costco has never given me any pesto or paid me to write about it here, but I’m excited to add it to my list of Kalyn’s Kitchen Picks!

If you’re also a pesto fan, keep reading to see some of my favorite pesto recipe ideas, plus recipes using pesto from other bloggers. (Most but not all the recipes are low in carbs; you have been warned!)

Can you Cook with Kirkland’s Basil Pesto?

I’ve heard from many readers through the years asking about a warning on the label of Kirkland’s Basil Pesto that says “Product should not be heated.” But I’ve cooked with this pesto for years and years with no problem. And since Pesto is actually a sauce to be used with pasta, I’m quite sure that warning means that when you’re using this pesto as a pasta sauce, you shouldn’t put the pesto into a pan and heat it (just add it to the hot pasta.) Please don’t worry about using this as an ingredient in a dish that will be heated!

Favorite Recipes Using Basil Pesto:

Easy Baked Pesto Chicken is one of the most popular recipes on the blog, and I know quite a few families who tell me this is also kid-friendly!

Baked Salmon with Pesto and Tomatoes finished dish on serving plate

This amazing Foil-Baked Salmon with Basil Pesto and Tomatoes is something I make all year long.

Close-up photo for Low-Carb Chicken Pesto Salad with Olives and Peas

Chicken Pesto Salad is also quick and delicious for a salad that can be made with leftover chicken and this is perfect to make with rotisserie chicken with it’s too hot to cook.

Low-Carb Baked Chicken Stuffed with Pesto and Cheese found on KalynsKitchen.com

Baked Chicken Stuffed with Pesto and Cheese is another combination with pesto and chicken that’s been hugely popular, and this is great for a special low-carb meal.

Roasted Summer Squash with Pesto and Parmesan cooked squash on baking sheet

Roasted Summer Squash with Pesto and Parmesan is another favorite of mine.

Pesto Lemon Chicken Kabobs on serving plate

Pesto Lemon Chicken Kabobs can be cooked on a stove-top grill pan when it’s not grilling weather and if you like pesto you’ll make this over and over.

Sauteed Zucchini with Pesto close-up photo of finished dish on plate

I first made this Zucchini with Pesto with a special spinach and basil pesto, but since then I’ve made it many times with basil pesto from a jar!

Instant Pot Sausage Soup with Pesto close-up photo

Instant Pot Sausage Soup with Pesto can be made with garbanzo beans, or use cauliflower rice instead of beans for a low-carb soup!

Salad Recipes with Pesto:

Zucchini Noodle Salad with Pesto and Chicken ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Antipasto Salad with Pesto Vinaigrette ~ Two Sleevers
Zucchini Noodle Mock Pasta Salad ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
BLTA Pesto Chicken Salad ~ Peace Love and Low-Carb
Pesto Pasta Salad ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Pesto Potato Salad ~ The Perfect Pantry

Pesto Recipes with Vegetables:

Asaragus with Basil Pesto ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Pesto Chicken Stuffed Spaghetti Squash ~ Cookin’ Canuck
Twice-Baked Spaghetti Squash with Pesto and Parmesan ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Easy Four Cheese Pesto Zoodles ~ I Breathe I’m Hungry
Grilled Tofu Stacks with Pesto and Grilled Vegetables ~ Cookin’ Canuck
Spiralized Zucchini Noodles with Basil Pesto ~ The Italian Dish

Pesto Recipes with Chicken, Turkey, or Fish:

Fish Foil Packets with Pesto and Tomatoes ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Grilled Pesto Shrimp Skewers ~ Skinnytaste
Baked White Fish with Pine Nut, Parmesan, and Basil Pesto Crust ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Turkey Pesto Meatball Sliders ~ The Perfect Pantry
Slow Cooker Pesto Chicken with Mushrooms ~ 365 Days of Slow Cooking
Tilapia with Pan Roasted Tomatoes and Pesto ~ $5 Dinners

About Products Featured for Kalyn’s Kitchen Picks:

I purchased the Kirkland Basil Pesto myself and Costco has no idea whatsoever that I’m writing about their product. I love to feature products that are really a wow for me, and items featured as Kalyn’s Kitchen Picks are always things I’d happily buy over and over. I don’t accept review products from the many companies who offer to send them to me so that readers will know that my opinions are completely unbiased. You can see the complete list of products I’ve chosen to feature at Kalyn’s Kitchen Picks.

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    14 Comments on “Kalyn’s Kitchen Picks: Kirkland Basil Pesto”

  1. Have you ever tried making a creamy pesto sauce (for fettuccine or linguine, say with grilled chicken) using the Costco pesto sauce? I had attempted mixing a 1/4 or 1/3 of the jar with a heavy creme, but it did not come out as well as hoped. Any suggestions?

    • I haven’t tried that. But I might try it with cream cheese, Marscapone cheese, or something like that which is a bit thicker.

  2. I make pesto cheesey bread. I buy a French bread and score it, then fill the openings with melted butter, parmesan and asiago cheese (or any other mixture), and pesto. Wrap in tin foil and bake for 20 minutes. Yum!

  3. I bought some basil pesto a few days ago and was so anxious to try it. It hasn’t been opened yet but I totally fogged and left it on the counter and just realized it was suppose to be refrigerated. It was bought sat afternoon and it’s tuesday afternoon now. Do I need to throw it 🙁

    • Not sure, it does contain cheese but it’s Parmesan cheese so I’d guess the shelf life is pretty long. I would refrigerate a few hours, then open and taste to see if it still tastes okay. If it does, I bet it’s fine. But I haven’t ever done this so I can’t say for sure. Maybe check Google to see if it’s mentioned there.

      One thing you could do is freeze in ice cube trays, which would kill any bacteria. Then thaw a few cubes when you need to use some.

  4. Hi there, my husband picked up a jar of this at Costco and put in the cupboard. I see now that it says keep refrigerated. Do I need to throw it out?

    • I don’t really know the answer. It has cheese , but if it was only in the cupboard for a day or two it might be okay. Sorry, I don’t feel qualified to give a more definite answer than that.

  5. I usually buy Trader Joe's (Trader Giotto's Pesto alla Genovese) jarred pesto and just love it.
    I'll have to try the Costco jarred pesto. How long (approximately) is a "very long time" in the refrigerator?

    • Tracey it has a "use by" date on the jar. I haven't ever noticed exactly how long it stays good, but a few months at least.

  6. I totally agree with you here, Kalyn, we always have this pesto in the house, not only is it delicious but a great price!

  7. Yep, I have a jar of this in my pantry at all times (except summer). Thanks for including one of my recipes; I love pesto year-round, and this pesto is a great value and great flavor.