This Garlic Scape Pesto Recipe adds Swiss Chard to avoid the too-garlicky flavor that pesto made from Garlic Scapes can sometimes have! And everyone who likes garlic is going to love this tasty pesto made with these garlic shoots that show up in the late spring and early summer.

PIN Garlic Scape Pesto Recipe with Chard to try it later!

Garlic Scape Pesto with Chard ready to be frozen in mini muffin tin

Years ago I discovered garlic scapes and made some Garlic Scape Pesto. I liked the pesto I made with garlic scapes well enough, but they’re such a strongly-flavored ingredient that this year when my friend Margarethe gave me garlic scapes that she’d gotten in her CSA box, I thought it would be fun to try making a Garlic Scape Pesto Recipe that combined garlic scapes with something else, for a milder pesto with garlic scape flavor.

I thought of kale, but when I went out into the garden the chard was calling out to me, and I thought this Garlic Scape Pesto with Swiss Chard was a perfect combination of flavors. I like it on pasta, but I’ve also been mixing a few tablespoons into scrambled eggs when they’re nearly cooked and it would also be delicious mixed into soup.

If you don’t have garlic scapes, I’d still try chard pesto made with minced garlic, which I think would also be a nice blend of flavors.

What ingredients do you need for this recipe?

(This is only a list of ingredients; please scroll down for complete printable recipe. Or if you use the JUMP TO RECIPE link at the top of the page, it will take you directly to the complete recipe.)

What are Garlic Scapes?

Garlic Scapes are long green shoots that grow out of the top or hardneck garlic, and they’re a delicacy that shows up in the spring. You will probably find them at the Farmers Market if you have one that opens early in the season.

What is unique about this Garlic Scape Pesto Recipe?

You can find recipes for garlic scape pesto all over the web, but when I tried making it, I found the pesto to be a bit too garlicky for my taste. This pesto that combines garlic scapes and Swiss Chard is perfect for my tastebuds.

Want more for variations for Pesto?

Want more ideas for using pesto?

I’ve got a good collection of Low-Carb and Keto Recipes with Pesto on this site. And if you don’t have fresh basil I’m also a fan of Kirkland Basil Pesto from Costco.

Ideas for using the Garlic Scape Pesto with Chard:

This pesto is good on pasta, stirred into rice, on cooked vegetables, stirred into scrambled eggs or added to soup. And check out my Salute to Swiss Chard for more Swiss Chard ideas!

Garlic Scape Pesto with Chard collage of recipe steps

How to Make Garlic Scape Pesto Recipe with Chard

(This is only a summary of the steps for the recipe; please scroll down for complete printable recipe. Or if you use the JUMP TO RECIPE link at the top of the page, it will take you directly to the complete recipe.)

      1. If you’re not familiar with garlic scapes, the first photo shows what they look like.
      2. I used a cup of chopped garlic scapes. I wanted them cut into short lengths before I put them in the food processor.
      3. It took 2-3 minutes in the food processor before I felt the scapes were chopped enough to start adding other things.
      4. The chard was from my garden, so I chopped it up and gave it a good wash in the salad spinner.
      5. I processed the scapes/chard about 2 minutes more.
      6. Then I added the lemon juice, pine nuts, and olive oil and processed about 2 minutes more.
      7. Last I added the Parmesan cheese and processed about another minute.
      8. I froze the pesto in a mini muffin tin, and then when it was frozen I transferred the cubes to a Ziploc bag
      9. Have fun thinking of interesting ways to use your Chard and Garlic Scape Pesto!

    vertical photo of Garlic Scape Pesto with Chard in muffin tins ready for freezer

    More Ideas for Garlic Scapes:

    Chard and Garlic Scape Pesto found on
    Yield: 12 servings

    Garlic Scape Pesto Recipe (with Chard) 

    Prep Time 20 minutes
    Total Time 20 minutes

    This Garlic Scape Pesto Recipe adds Chard to avoid the too-garlicky flavor this type of pesto can sometimes have, and it's a delicious combination of ingredients.


    • 1 cup chopped garlic scapes
    • 4 cups chopped Swiss Chard leaves
    • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
    • 1/2 cup olive oil
    • 1/2 cup pine nuts
    • 2 cups Parmesan cheese
    • salt to taste (I used about 2 tsp. salt)


    1. Wash and dry garlic scapes; then cut into short lengths until you have one cup of chopped scapes.
    2. Wash, dry, and chop Swiss Chard until you have 4 cups chopped chard.
    3. Add garlic scapes to the food processor and process until they are starting to look finely chopped, about 2-3 minutes.  (It took longer than I thought it would.)
    4. Add chard and process the mixture about 2 minutes more, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
    5. Add the lemon juice, olive oil, and pine nuts and process about 2 minutes more.
    6. Add Parmesan and process 1-2 minutes more, or until the pesto reaches the texture you prefer.
    7. I like to keep it slightly chunky.
    8. I froze the pesto in a mini muffin tin and then popped out the cubes and stored them in a Ziploc bag in the freezer.  You can also freeze pesto in ice cube trays or small plastic containers with a snap-tight lid.
    9. This pesto is good on pasta, stirred into rice, on cooked vegetables, stirred into scrambled eggs or added to soup.  You could also use it as a green sauce on grilled fish or chicken.


    To make this recipe you will need a food processor. There are many good brands, but I love my Cuisinart Food Processor. (affiliate link)

    Nutritional information is calculated on 1/4 cup serving size.

    Recipe created by Kalyn.

    Nutrition Information:



    Serving Size:


    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 217Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 14mgSodium: 456mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 7g

    Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

    Did you make this recipe?

    Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating (under the PRINT button in the recipe) or share a photo of your results on Instagram! THANKS!

    Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Suggestions:
    This Garlic Scape Pesto Recipe is suitable for any type of low-carb or Keto diet. Try it over grilled veggies, grilled chicken, or grilled fish for a low-carb meal. Pesto is a calorie-dense and high-fat food due to the cheese, but it’s not something you eat in huge amounts and I’d eat this for any phase of the original South Beach Diet. 

    Find More Recipes Like This One:
    Use the Sauces Index to find more recipes like this one! Use the Diet Type Index to find recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest, on Facebook, on Instagram, or on YouTube to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

    Historical Notes for this Recipe:
    This pesto recipe with garlic scapes and chard was first posted in 2011. It was last updated with more information in 2024.

    Pinterest image of Garlic Scape Pesto Recipe (with Chard)

Share This: