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How to Make Lemon Oregano Pesto – Quick Recipe

This Lemon Oregano Pesto recipe is a great way to use fresh oregano you have growing. Love this on fish or chicken or even Italian subs! Simple to make this fresh oregano pesto beats basil any day!

Aphrodite created the sweet, spicy scent as a symbol of happiness.

I’m ready for a little joy and hopefully this pesto will do the trick. Oros ganos, a Greek word meaning joy of the mountain, defines the mountainsides of Greece where oregano and marjoram flourish.

Oregano grows in my herb garden and is just starting to flower, which means harvest now or forget about it. I could dry it, and I will, but I thought I’d try a pesto with my favorite herb this year.

It was also used in furniture polish to make the air more fragrant. I can attest that honeybees love my oregano. Now, if I could just find that hive!

green Oregano Plant with purple flowers.

Oregano was used as an herb in Egypt to preserve, heal, and disinfect. In Europe, because of its sweet scent, it was also used in nosegays.

Ways to Use Lemon Oregano Pesto

Oregano is one of my favorite fresh herbs. I love the flavor it gives to pizza and tomato sauce. I also love it on subs as part of an Italian dressing and on grilled fish.

I love pesto of every sort. With some extra oil or vinegar, pesto is easily made into salad dressings. Stir this sauce into rice or any grain dish, creating a new favorite dish. Of course, pesto always works with pasta.

It tastes savory on fresh tomatoes and gives eggs and cheese a definite warmth. Butter or extra virgin olive oil, lemon, and oregano brushed on fish or shrimp is heaven in my book.

You can try some mixed into your favorite vegetable. I plan on trying this oregano sauce over grilled corn.

Pesto is great with goat cheese as a spread on crackers or a baguette. It’s also great over tomatoes—no questions asked. Stirred into mayonnaise, it makes a great flavored spread for any sandwich.

Tonight’s dinner plan is delicious pesto spread over grilled fish. I can’t wait. A dollop of pesto in soup gives so much flavor. You get the idea. It is a workhorse in the kitchen.

Pasta is also a lovely companion to pesto of any kind.

Making Oregano Pesto:

Don’t have walnuts?

Pine nuts work also and I’m tempted to try pumpkin seeds next time I make this oregano pesto.

Pesto sauce is a delicious recipe and I love to make this when I have fresh oregano in the garden,

In fact I love this more than the traditional basil pesto.

Oregano is one of my favorite herbs and this pesto with its bright green color is one of my favorite ways to use oregano.

Green Lemon Oregano Pesto in clear bowl on blue tray on wood table.

Freeze Your Homemade Oregano Pesto

One of the best things about fresh pesto is that it can be frozen. That is great news for your summer’s bounty of herbs because it means you can taste summer all winter long. How good is that?

Leftover fresh oregano leaves can also be stacked flat in a freezer container. When frozen, you can take them out and use them as you would fresh oregano.

Pesto can be frozen in a small airtight container or ice cube trays, transferring the frozen cubes into a Ziploc bag. If you want a little flavor, all you have to do is pop one out. One cube really can flavor the soup pot!

So, enough about oregano. Tonight, I’m sprinkling a little bit of dried oregano, salt, and pepper on my fish. As soon as it is grilled through, I’m going to top it with a dollop of pesto and serve it on a bed of pasta with some fresh, juicy red tomatoes thrown in.

I better get started. Just writing this is making me drool!

Other Recipes Using Oregano You Might Like to Try

Lemon Oregano Greek Grilled Chicken

grilled chicken with lemon and peppers.

Chicken Vesuvio

Chicken Vesuvio.

Halloumi and Oregano Shrimp

Halloumi and Oregano Shrimp.

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Green Lemon Oregano Pesto in clear bowl on blue tray on wood table.
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Lemon Oregano Pesto

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 2 reviews
  • Author: Abbe Odenwalder
  • Prep Time: 10 Minutes
  • Total Time: 10 Minutes
  • Yield: 1 cup 1x
  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: Food Processor
  • Cuisine: American


Lemon Oregano Pesto is a great way to use fresh oregano you have growing. Love this on fish or chicken or even Italian subs! Simple to make this pesto beats basil any day!



1/4 c olive oil

2 chopped scallions

1 garlic clove, halved

1 T walnuts

1 1/2 t lemon juice

Zest of half a lemon

1/3 c grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

1 lightly packed cup of Italian parsley

1 lightly packed cup of fresh oregano leaves (Take the leaves off the stem by running your hand backward up the stem.)

Salt and Pepper to taste

Pinch of red chili flakes


I made this pesto in a food processor and processed it until it was well combined and pesto-like!

Use a blender if you want and puree until smooth. If you like more oil feel free to drizzle more in.


  • If you can’t find oregano, you could use cilantro, mint, or basil instead!
Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star


Monday 26th of September 2022

I had so much left over oregano in my garden (and parsley) so I gave it a shot. I thought the oregano would be overpowering but it wasn't at all. It was delicious, nice alternative to basil pesto. I followed the recipe, except added a little extra oil because my blender wasn't doing a great job. I served with pasta, chicken and cherry tomatoes, will definitely make again.


Wednesday 28th of September 2022

So glad you like it Melissa. Such a nice change from basil, right? Thanks for reading, Abbe.

Healthy World Cuisine

Sunday 7th of June 2020

This pesto sounds so refreshing! A perfect condiment to anything grilled or pasta this summer. Can't wait to give this recipe a go. Stay well and take care

Chef Mimi

Saturday 6th of June 2020

This is fascinating to me. I never would have made a pesto highlighting oregano. But I liked that you included parsley. Oregano is just so strong to me, but then, basil is pretty potent as well! Great recipe!

Judee Algazi

Tuesday 9th of August 2016

My husband is a lemon lover, and I'm always on the look out for more ways to enjoy lemon. Lemon Pesto is interesting and useful-- can't wait to try it!

Jesica m

Sunday 17th of November 2013

I have enjoyed reading your articles. It is well written. It looks like you spend a large amount of time and effort in writing the blog. I am appreciating your effort.