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FRESH Pesto Two Ways: Pesto Tuna Melt and Pesto Tuna Salad

Friends don't let friends eat store bought pesto. It's just a fact. I know once you try this fresh and quick pesto recipe you'll be converted too!

You can eat the pesto spread over a sliced warm baguette, mix it together to make a pesto tuna melt, or top it on some salad to bring some excitement back to your greens. You can even mix it into fresh cooked pasta or as a pizza topping. The opportunities are endless.

This recipe is from the Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow. cookbook (linked below), which is one of my go-tos when I want something tasty but don't want to be in the kitchen forever. I'll admit, sometimes I don't feel like cooking after a long day.

*Cue shocked look*

However, this cookbook has been a lifeboat and saved me on my less energetic days. The recipes aren't complicated, they're easy enough for even novice cooks and they always turn out to be crowd pleasers.

I've played around with the ingredients and quantities in this "Presto Pesto" recipe, but nothing compares to this combination of flavors in the original. Try it and let me know how you like it!

The night we ate this for dinner, my husband was asking for comfort food. So a pesto tuna melt was a no brainer.

We mixed 2 tablespoons of the Presto Pesto together with 1 tablespoon of plain greek yogurt, and 1 can of tuna and then spread that on two pieces of whole wheat bread and added a slice of cheese.

We have a panini press that we use once in a blue moon, so I was excited to pull this out and have an excuse to fire up the grill. I've linked a similar one below. While we don't use the press that much, when we do decide to break it out we always enjoy our meals and we wonder why we don't use it more. The press isn't hard to clean and it's a quick way to cook food. We put the tuna melt on the press and left it alone for maybe 1 minute and it was already beautifully toasted. (Refer to picture for photo evidence)

I am still going the lower carb route for now, so, as I looked longingly at my husbands sandwich, I chose to eat my tuna pesto mixture over some chopped lettuce. I followed the same mixture that we did for the sandwich (2 tablespoons of pesto, 1 tablespoon of plain greek yogurt, and 1 can of tuna). From there I did jazz it up with a dash of salt and pepper, a drizzle of olive oil and squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

Not bad if you ask me. I soon forgot about the bread once I tasted the pesto. ;)

I'm writing the pesto recipe below and then will also write out the instructions for how we made our sandwich and salad! Be sure to tag me on instagram @Siggyfromscratch if you try!

"Presto Pesto" from Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow

Makes 2 Cups


2 cups of basil leaves

1 cup of shredded parmesan (or 6 oz wedge Parmesan, rind removed, quartered)

1/2 cup of roasted almond

1 tablespoon of minced garlic (or 1 clove fresh garlic)

1/2 cup of olive oil

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt


  1. In a food processor (I linked mine below), combine the basil, parmesan, almonds, and garlic. Pulse until it's ground well.

  2. Add the olive oil, lemon juice and sea salt. Blend again until smooth.

Leftovers can be stored in a airtight glass jar in the refrigerator for up to 1 week!

Pesto Tuna Melt Recipe

Yields 1 sandwich, Double recipe to make 2 sandwiches


  • 1 can of tuna

  • 2 tablespoons of pesto

  • 1 tablespoon of plain greek yogurt

  • 2 slices of whole wheat bread

  • 1 or 2 slices of cheese (we used cheddar)


  1. Combine the tuna, pesto and yogurt in a bowl and mix together.

  2. Spread mixture over slice of bread and top with cheese. Close with other side of bread.

  3. Heat a panini press to high heat and place sandwich on grill and close for 1 minute. OR heat a skillet over medium heat and grill sandwich until bread is toasted and cheese appears to be melted.

Pesto Tuna Salad Recipe

Yields 1 salad


(Repeat from the base for the pesto tuna melt)

  • 1 can of tuna

  • 3 tablespoons of pesto

  • 1 tablespoon of plain greek yogurt

  • Lettuce

  • 1 lemon

  • Olive oil

  • Salt and pepper


  1. Chop lettuce and place in a bowl.

  2. Mix together tuna, 2 tablespoons of pesto, and yogurt.

  3. Place mixture on top of lettuce.

  4. Top mixture with additional 1 tablespoon of pesto.

  5. Squeeze half of the lemon over the salad.

  6. Drizzle with olive oil.

  7. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

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