Lemon Oregano Pesto

Lemon Oregano Pesto
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!

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 mountain sides of Greece where oregano and marjoram flourish.

The sweet, spicy scent was created by Aphrodite as a symbol of happiness.

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

As an herb, oregano was used in Egypt to preserve, heal and disinfect. In Europe, oregano was used in nosegays because of its sweet scent.

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

Oregano Plant

Ways to Use Pesto:

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

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

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

Try some mixed into your favorite vegetable. I can tell you that I plan on trying this oregano sauce over grilled corn.

Pesto is great with goat cheese as a spread on crackers or a baguette. Over tomatoes-no questions asked. Stirred into mayonnaise, it makes a great flavored spread for any sandwich.

Tonight’s dinner plan is this 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.

Lemon Oregano Pesto

Freeze Your Pesto!

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

Pesto can be frozen in small containers or in ice cube trays. If you want  a little flavor all you have to do is pop one out. One cube really can flavor the soup pot! 

Leaves of oregano can also be frozen stacked and flat in a freezer container. Take them out and use them as you would fresh oregano.

 So enough about oregano. Tonight I’m sprinkling some dried oregano and salt and pepper on my fish. Then 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!

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Lemon Oregano Pesto

More Ways to Use Oregano:

Lemon Oregano Greek Grilled Chicken

grilled chicken with lemon and peppers

Chicken Vesuvio

Chicken Vesuvio

Chimichurri Sauce with Quinoa

Chimichurri Sauce with Quinoa


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Lemon Oregano Pesto

  • 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 (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 backwards up the stem)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Pinch of red chili flakes


I made this pesto in a food processor and processed until 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. And by all means if you can’t find oregano, you could use cilantro, mint or basil instead!

Keywords: oregano pesto, pesto, pesto sauce, oregano sauce,


A few more to try:
3 Ingredient Artichoke Dip
Zucchini Chips
Moroccan Fish with Saffron Lime Aioli
Tuscan Beans and Potatoes


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  • Healthy World Cuisine
    June 7, 2020 at 8:51 pm

    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
    June 6, 2020 at 6:39 am

    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
    August 9, 2016 at 12:42 pm

    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
    November 17, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    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.

  • Shulie Foodwanderings
    July 22, 2013 at 4:43 am

    Love this version of pesto. Seems so lemony fresh with the oregano. You can slather this on anything not just pasta. So tasty.

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      July 22, 2013 at 8:54 pm

      You're right Shulie. Slather away! Thanks for stopping by. Hope you had a good vacation!

  • Laura Dembowski
    July 17, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    Pesto is so yummy and versatile. I love something that I can make and then use all different ways and it tastes really different. Pasta, sandwiches, with a spoon . . . the possibilities are endless!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      July 22, 2013 at 8:53 pm

      Definitely the best thing about pesto, Laura. And this one turned out really good!

  • Shelley @ Two Healthy Kitchens
    July 17, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    This looks so fantastic – and my oregano is out in my herb garden, just waiting for an exciting recipe like this! Perfect! Love that you give so many wonderful ideas of how to use the pesto and the suggestion to freeze it!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      July 17, 2013 at 3:58 pm

      Shelley, this would be perfect for your healthy kitchen. And make some to freeze for later, too!

  • cquek
    July 17, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    i love to try that, never had pesto in my life

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      July 17, 2013 at 3:58 pm

      Cquek, don't wait. Pestos in any variety are soooo good!

  • shannon weber
    July 17, 2013 at 11:48 am

    oh this looks so good! I feel like i can smell it…just the lemon and the oregano together must be heaven. I've never made pesto with oregano leaves before, but what a great idea! i have some in the garden this year, and i'm always challenged to use it up; this is an awesome way to do just that.

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      July 17, 2013 at 3:57 pm

      Shannon, that's what challenged me. I have a lot, too and wanted something different to do with it! Try it and let me know what you think!

  • Amy
    July 17, 2013 at 8:23 am

    I love oregano because of the spiciness. This is a wonderful twist on the classic. 🙂 Now…I need to get a new plant of oregano as the previous one didn't survive. Can't wait to try this.

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      July 17, 2013 at 3:55 pm

      You are right, Amy. It does have a certain spiciness. And remember herbs like hot and dry places with poor soil. At least mine do!

  • ChgoJohn
    July 17, 2013 at 4:22 am

    I'm probably as big a fan of pesto as you are, Abbe, using it on meats, poultry, sandwiches, and in soups and sauces, too. Although much of Italy uses oregano, Marche, where the Bartolini come from, uses marjoram instead. You're right. it isn't as strong as oregano. No matter which you prefer, some dishes just wouldn't be the same without them. 🙂

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      July 17, 2013 at 3:54 pm

      You are right John and I know that Mario Batali loves marjoram for his tomato sauce. My mom had some and it does work very well!

  • Angie Schneider
    July 17, 2013 at 2:42 am

    Me too, me too, a fan of all different kinds of pesto. This looks awesome!

  • nancycreative.com
    July 17, 2013 at 12:37 am

    I like oregano a lot, too–this pesto sounds really good with lemon added!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      July 17, 2013 at 3:53 pm

      The lemon gives it zing! Thanks, Nancy!

  • Paula @ Vintage Kitchen Notes
    July 16, 2013 at 11:27 pm

    I´m a total pesto fanatic! I can eat it for days and days, on everything. Never made one with fresh oregano though. Dried oregano is probably the most commonly used herb here, because we eat a lot of italian sauces and pizza. An amazing recipe this one Abbe!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      July 17, 2013 at 3:52 pm

      I had no idea oregano was so popular in Argentina. It is fun to use in different ways so I thought I'd try this. Thanks, Paula!

  • Kitchen Riffs
    July 16, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    I like oregano a lot, too, and use it whenever I can. Mine has basically flowered, alas, although I'm still getting some fresh oregano. Still, dried oregano is good quality (at least IMO) so that's a great substitute. I love any kind of pesto, and this one has some quite nice, bright flavors to it. Good stuff! Thanks.

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      July 17, 2013 at 3:51 pm

      I love dried oregano, too! This pesto turned out well and tasted great on the fish last night. Nice to have something besides basil!

  • technology capitalists
    July 16, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    What time is that starting? I don't want to be late! 🙂