Pesto in the grocery store: Essential guide to find & buy

Do you understand enough about how to use and enjoy it? Let’s look at where to find pesto in the grocery store, where to buy and what kind you should get.

Where to buy pesto?

You can find different types of pesto at grocery stores. That’s where most people get it, but you can also find it online.

Fact: Although it is enjoyed throughout the world, pesto originated in the Mediterranean.

If you want one of the more common or fresh pestos, go to your favorite grocery store. If you’re looking for an artisanal pesto, your best bet would be to look online or to try to find a Mediterranean ethnic market near your home.

Where is pesto in the grocery store?

To find pesto in the grocery store, go to the pasta aisle. You’ll find it near the tomato and marinara sauces. It’s usually on the higher shelves because it’s purchased less often than tomato-based sauces.

That’s where you’ll find jars of pesto at your grocery store. But some people prefer to use a more expensive fresh version. Most stores that carry fresh pasta also have fresh pesto, stored in a small glass jar or plastic tray.

Where is pesto in the grocery store?

To find fresh pesto in your local grocery store, go to the refrigerated aisle where you get the fresh pasta and will probably be right next to it.

However, stores that don’t sell fresh pasta may still sell fresh pesto. In that case, you should try the produce department. The pesto will be by the refrigerated fresh herbs.

Why not grab some fresh oregano or parsley to go in your dish while you’re at it? The “green” nuances of fresh herbs go great with pesto dishes. Just be careful that you don’t double up on the herbal flavors in your meal.

What kinds of pesto are there?

You may be surprised by the variety of pesto available. Let’s look at the different kinds you’ll find online and at stores:

Jarred pesto

The pesto that comes in glass jars is usually the cheapest. It also has the most extended shelf life. You can store it in your cupboard until you open it. Once opened, it has to be refrigerated and used within a couple of weeks.

Fresh pesto

Fresh pesto usually contains no preservatives or other additives. Check the label if that’s important to you. It has to be refrigerated at the store and at home.

This kind of pesto is preferred by chefs because of its garden-fresh flavor. The herbs and pine nuts really pop on your taste buds.

Interesting fact: Did you know the pine nuts that make pesto so unique come from pine cones?

Even if you don’t want to bother with keeping pesto in your fridge, you should try fresh pesto at least once.

The best pesto brands

Trader Joe makes an excellent pesto with quinoa. Costco has the cheapest. Eataly makes the most authentic-style pesto. Every pesto brand has its own unique claim to fame. Part of the fun is trying different ones and discovering your favorite.

Basil pesto

You may have heard of basil pesto. But doesn’t all varieties have basil in it? Well, almost all of these do.

When people say “basil pesto”, they mean “regular pesto”. That means without any non-traditional ingredients.

Pesto concentrate

This is basically pesto without the olive oil. That makes it very thick, almost like toothpaste.

If you’re wondering where to buy pesto concentrate, you should look online, since most stores don’t sell it. Almost all pesto concentrate is sold by online food retailers.

That makes sense since it doesn’t have to be refrigerated until opened.

Pesto sauce in a jar

You have to reconstitute this concentrated version by adding virgin olive oil to it. Then it becomes a lovely pasta sauce.

Fun Fact: In Italy, pasta sauce is referred to by the Italian equivalent word for “gravy”.

When used as an ingredient in stews and soups, pesto concentrate doesn’t have to be diluted with oil. That’s one of its advantages.

Our Tip: Make sure the pesto you get lists virgin olive oil as an ingredient. Virgin olive oil has a much lighter flavor than regular olive oil.

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Pesto FAQs

What does pesto look like?

From a distance, pesto looks like a green sauce. But you can see a lot of details when you look more closely. You can see tiny little chunks of pine nuts and small pieces of basil. It has an oily sheen that makes it a gorgeous topping for cooked pasta.

Is there dairy-free pesto?

Most don’t contain dairy products at all. However, there are so many varieties that you may want to check the ingredient label of the pesto in the grocery store before you buy it.

Is pesto vegan?

There are no animal-derived ingredients in traditional pesto. The oil used in it comes from olives. Still, it’s best to check the ingredients.

In Conclusion

So now that you know where to buy pesto, why not go out and get some? It’ll be so much fun trying the different brands and varieties.

If you don’t know where is pesto in the grocery store, you should ask an employee. “What aisle is pesto in?” If they don’t carry it, tell them that they need to. It’s a flavorful and healthy sauce that everyone in your community should be enjoying.

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