Chia Oil Pesto – Yum – Pass the Chia Pet Please

chia oil pesto recipe Love pesto but looking for a change of pace - or maybe a substitute for olive oil in pesto? Have you heard of chia oil? Yes it really is made from the same seeds as those found in late night infomercials and children's cartoon networks. While I don't know if I'd delve into the head of my Chia Pet for a late night snack the use of gluten free chia seeds and chia oil is becoming the latest health craze and makes a pretty darn good pesto.

Chia seeds and chia oil are packed with beneficial Omega-3 fatty acids, even more so than flax seed (in fact chia seeds are the richest plant source of Omega-3, and you'll even hear blatherings about it having more omega-3's than salmon if you eat 100 grams or like almost a half cup - personally I don't go around downing half cup sized handfuls of chia seeds - but the point is they are good for you)

Now back to our regularly scheduled program
- Chia Oil Pesto.

Pesto comes in many shapes and sizes - or textures and consistencies. Different ingredients can be used with subtly different tastes, but the basics are basil, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, and an oil - usually olive oil, and of course if you like a pesto that bites you back (and anyone within 10 feet of you) garlic. Yum. Chia oil has a light buttery taste that is scrumptious with toasted pine nuts and roasted garlic.
chia oil pesto recipe
Most people associate pesto with a thick or creamy paste - but I like to make a lighter fluffier pesto that goes absolutely sublimely perfectly on top of a nice juicy turkey burger. (oh great I just awakened the beast and my taste buds are working overtime to get me off the computer and placate them with a snack) Basically what I'm saying is that if you like a traditional pesto consistency just modify the ingredients (add more chia oil) until you get what you are looking for.

So enough dilly dallying already here's what you'll need for a Chia Oil Pesto

I'm sure you can figure this one out, but for those not used to making pesto I'll give you the list...

1. A good handful of fresh basil leaves
2. 1-2 tablespoons of toasted pine nuts (or cashews, sunflower seeds or almonds will work if you can't get your hands on pine nuts. I've even used crackers in a pinch, shhh don't tell)
3. One clove garlic (or more if you don't have a date in the next day or so) but one should be plenty.
4. A couple tablespoons Parmesan cheese (yes I know could I be more vague? What can I say I don't like to follow rules)
5. 1-2 tablespoons chia oil

Pulse that up in a food processor until everything is blended into a light fluffy mixture, but before it turns to a paste. whalah! or however you spell whalah. Serve and enjoy, or take your picture with your chia oil pesto and post it on Facebook if that's more your thing - but really it's meant to be eaten.

Your Turn to Share: What Have You Made With Chia Oil?

I'd love to hear what you think - what do you use Chia oil for?

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This Post on Chia Oil Pesto Shared on Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Seasonal Sunday, Fat Tuesday and Party Wave Wednesday - Check 'em Out!


  1. OH – I didn’t know about the oil. I love and add the seeds to just about everything, though!

    Baseball snacks: Sugar free Trail mix bars

    • The seeds sure are fun – “the snack that keeps on giving” I swear I’ll find some stuck in my teeth days later. 🙂

      Your Trail mix bar recipe looks awesome by the way – I tried to leave a comment but I don’t have the required accounts :

  2. barcode software

    Hmm, I have not heard about this oil but now it looks that we can easily use it as a substitute of olive oil in all dishes. Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

  3. Sounds Fantastic! I will be looking for this Oh so fabulous Chia Oil!
    Also- Wanted to invite you to share this great recipe at a weekly event I host titled Seasonal Sundays- (this recipe fits the theme well!)

    Happy Sunday!

  4. Chia Oil?! Thanks for the tip on another good source of Omega-3’s. I’ve known about the seeds, but I really like the idea about using the oil to make pesto. I definitely like pesto, so I’ll be trying out this recipe soon.


  5. Very interested to hear about this Chia oil from you. I have encountered it before, but didn’t realize it was actually from the same seeds as Chia pets. Anyway, I’ve seen it used to make sauces, like pestos, also for deep frying, and for salad dressings. Love your idea of making pesto lighter and fluffier, rather than heavy like my local Italian-American restaurant. Anyway, just one more tip- you can mash up your pesto Italian style just with a morter and pestle- you don’t even need a food processor.

    Lots of love,

  6. Hi Chris,

    I have read about the health benefits of Chia seeds. So this recipe is really interesting. Thanks for sharing it! 🙂

  7. Thanks for this wonderful recipe Chris. I tried mixing cheese with your recipe and it taste terrific! Just the smell of it makes me crave for more!

    • Glad you enjoyed it Jill, I agree a nice rich Parmesan cheese really adds some nice flavor. We love Trader Joe’s Parmesan cheese – it is made with raw milk and has a super nice nutty flavor that complements the chia seeds. (it’s also great with a traditional pine nut pesto)

  8. Man, that recipe looks so darn good. I usually cook with virgin olive oil that comes from a darker bottled glass, supposed to maintain the nutrients better. I’ll have to give this chia oil a shot though. I just wrote your recipe down and will try soon. Thanks!

    • Thanks Richard for stopping by, you have some great info on your chia seed site. It is interesting to learn how Native Americans would eat it to increase endurance on long distance runs. I could have used that in those good ‘ol days growing up playing sports before I became a lazy blogger. 🙂

  9. Hi Chris,

    I’m not too aware with the health benefits of chia oil though we’ve been using it in some of our recipe. It helps to know how that chia oil is good for our health. 🙂

  10. Hi Chris, thanks for sharing this Chia Oil Pesto recipe. Haven’t tried using Chia oil in replacement with olive oil. And never knew the health benefits of Chia oil. I assure you that I will try your recipe. 🙂

  11. I for one thing isn’t really familiar with chia oil. I might have been seen this but have just different names since I live in Asia.

  12. Thanks for linking your great post to FAT TUESDAY. This was very interesting! Hope to see you next week!

    Be sure to visit on Sunday for Sunday Snippets – your post from Fat Tuesday may be featured there!

  13. There’s always more to learn about oils and all the ways they affect our health, I’m researching them (again) now. I hadn’t heard of chia oil, but it is great to find an oil with a really high omega-3 content like that.

    • I know what you mean Mary, it is hard to keep up with all the different kinds of oils and which ones are good and which are bad. 🙂 Chia is such an unknown for most people, but I’m really finding a lot of good uses for it… like putting chia seeds in pancake batter – it makes it very light and fluffy.

  14. I will surely try this at home when I get back. Thanks for sharing this great recipe Chris!

  15. Where did you find chia oil? Does it cook the same as olive oil?

    • I found the chia oil on Amazon, I think they had a couple different kinds. I haven’t tried to cook with it however so I do not know what the smoke point is or how similar it is to olive oil. I’d have to do some research.

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