Do your friends make fun of you for how often they see you snacking on edamame? Do they warn you that some day you may turn into an edamame bean? No? Just me? Cool. Well, I assure you, just as I assure them, that there is a good reason why they are a staple part of my snack diet.

Not only are they almost as addictive as popcorn, they are also packed with the nutrients and protein you need for a mid-day energy boost. With 17 grams of protein in each cup, soy beans are so versatile and can been used in many different dishes and sides.

I put them in everything and always keep a bag of these green goobers in my freezer. They add protein and a nice bite to any dish—bonus points for making dips and spreads creamier, too. That's why I decided to add edamame to my pesto to create an edamame pesto spread.

Edamame Pesto Spread

  • Prep Time:5 mins
  • Cook Time:3 mins
  • Total Time:8 mins
  • Servings:4
  • Easy


  • 1 cup frozen edamame
  • 5 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup tightly packed basil leaves
  • 2 whole cloves garlic
  • 1 cup toasted almonds
  • 1 cup arugula
  • Pinch salt and pepper to taste
  • Lemon juice
garlic, vegetable, salad
Photo by Sarah Goldman
  • Step 1

    Pour edamame into a large microwave-safe bowl with 1/4 cup water and microwave for 2-3 minutes until edamame is steamed and warm all the way through. Drain out the water and you've got steamed, shelled edamame.

    legume, vegetable, pea, pasture, broad beans, edamame, fava beans
    Photo by Sarah Goldman
  • Step 2

    Pour edamame, parmesan cheese, basil, garlic cloves, almonds, arugula, salt, and pepper into your food processor. Let it blend on high while simultaneously pouring in the olive oil, so that it becomes evenly incorporated and creamy. If you want it to be a spread you can add less olive oil, and if you want it to be a sauce add more olive oil.

    vegetable, salad, lettuce, spinach, herb, arugula, oil, olive oil
    Photo by Sarah Goldman
  • Step 3

    Transfer the mixture into a bowl and give it a fresh squeeze of lemon on top. This will not only preserve that vibrant green color of the spread, but will also give the pesto a nice pop of acidity.

    vegetable, salad, lettuce, cabbage, herb
    Photo by Sarah Goldman
  • Step 4

    Spread this on bread as a base to your favorite avocado toast, use it as a condiment for a pesto chicken sandwich, or even create a pesto shrimp pasta masterpiece!

    vegetable, pasta, salad, cheese, spaghetti, sauce
    Photo by Sarah Goldman