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Pesto is a thick, green sauce made from basil, olive oil, cheeses, pine nuts, salt, and garlic. The sauce is popularly used as a topping for pasta and originates from Liguria. Besides pasta, you can use pesto as topping for chicken, salads, rice, burgers, and pizza. Unlike other sauces, pesto is served raw and doesn’t need heat to cook.
Many experts advise against heating pesto as it destroys the freshness and aroma of ingredients, especially the basil. Also, the cheese will clump and ruin the sauce. However, many grocery stores expose pesto to heat treatment to extend its shelf life. If you want to know where to find pesto in grocery store, we’ll show you the top stores and aisles to check in this post.
Where to find pesto in grocery store: Aisles & sections
Pesto is usually in the Condiments section of most grocery stores, and it’s the best place to find shelf-staple pesto. Also, that’s where stores keep all sorts of sauces and food additives for enhancing flavors. For example, mustard, barbecue sauce, and miso paste. Pesto should be in transparent glass jars on shelves, although it can also come in tubes inside packets.
If you don’t find the sauce there, then check the Delicatessen section, also known as the Deli. The Delicatessen section is where grocery stores sell ready-to-eat foods, such as sandwiches, hot soups or meals, and cheeses. Store workers use pesto to prepare such meals, hence you can find it there for sale. The deli is also the best aisle to find fresh pesto since it sells food prepared on the spot.
Some grocery stores or supermarkets may keep Pesto in the Refrigerator section of the Produce aisle. The Refrigerator carries frozen vegetables, drinks, meat, and many other foods that need to be kept cool for longer shelf life. Since grocery stores change their layouts regularly and vary across locations, you may find that the Produce and Refrigerator sections exist as separate aisles.
If the grocery store you shop at has a Health foods section, you can check there for vegan pesto. Vegan pesto doesn’t have cheese in it, which is an unsuitable ingredient for vegetarians since. Cheese mostly comes from goat or cow milk.
Stores that sell the best pesto
The stores listed below sell fresh and tasty pesto brands. Some of them have online locators to help you find the right aisle in your region as store layouts continuously change. Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe’s are among the few that don’t offer delivery options on their website. Hence, you may need to use a food delivery app to shop conveniently.
Since pesto is a sauce and topping for most meals, it qualifies as a consumable product. Thus, it’s eligible for Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card purchase. We have a guide that lists what you can or can’t buy with EBT cards. Don’t know what EBT cards are and how they work? Read our explainer article on how to apply for the electronic food stamps online.
Amazon sells a variety of sauces, and you can order pesto there. The online store will deliver the sauce to your doorstep, eliminating the need to go to brick-and-mortar stores. If there’s an Amazon Fresh building near you, you can also stroll in and check for fresh pesto.
- Basil Pesto is made with Genovese basil D.O.P. Intensely fragrant
- This authentic Italian Pesto contains Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Cashew nuts, pine nuts, and salt
- This famous Italian sauce is served with spaghetti, lasagna, and gnocchi
- FRESH INGREDIENTS: Made with Italian basil that is harvested at the peak of freshness unlike other brands that rely on artificial flavors
- BOLD FLAVORS: Small bottles are packed with bold; vibrant; and zesty flavors to create unmistakably authentic Italian dishes
- EASY TO USE: Pesto paste in a squeeze tube allows the paste to stay fresh and ready to use for your meals; You can easily control how much pesto paste you are using to maximize the flavor of your dish
- VERSATILE: Use this sleek side table as a place for your lamp and media remotes; a display surface for prized decor accents; or as a catch-all for daily necessities
- ELEVATE YOUR COOKING: Our pesto paste and all 7 variety pastes use locally sourced Italian ingredients for bold and authentic flavor
Walmart sells the Mezzetta pesto, among other popular brands. You can check for the aisle that carries pesto on the store’s website or mobile app. There’s an online locator feature to help you find a Walmart branch near you, their operation hours, and the availability status of any product you’re interested in.
Whole Foods Market
Whole Foods Market is the best store to buy organic and natural products. They have varieties of pesto brands in the Condiments aisle. You can use Amazon.com to buy Whole Foods Market products, or try a grocery delivery app if a particular product isn’t available.
Trader Joe’s has its own brand of pesto, the Trader Giottos Pesto Alla Genovese. You can order it from Amazon. In the physical stores, you can find pesto in the aisle carrying salad dressings, dips, and sauces.
Kroger sells the Barilla and Simple Truth Organic brands, among others. You can use the online store locator to find the right aisle and a Kroger location near you.
Aldi has a low profit margin, and is the best store to buy groceries cheap. They have the Priano brand in the Genovese and Rosso flavors. You can find them in the Sauces and Salsa aisle.
Target stocks pesto in the Pantry aisle. They are in glass jars in the Sauces, Salsa, and Marinades section.
Now you know where to find pesto in grocery store. As aforementioned, pesto is best served uncooked. Heating the sauce up at high temperatures will ruin it, however that doesn’t mean you’re stuck with cold sauce — we know how unpleasant cold food can be. If you must warm your pesto, do so at low heat.
Alternatively, you can warm only your pasta, chicken, or any meal you’re having. Then pour the pesto on it or mix it in with your food. The warmth from your meal will eventually enter into the sauce and make it more tolerable. If you need good substitutes for pesto, avocado sauce is an option. Also, basil vinaigrette can replace pesto, although its consistency is lighter.
Moses Dzarmah is the founder of Grocerycorridor. Having worked in the grocery store for almost all his life. His colleagues called him the grocery hermit for his knowledge around the field that’s encompassing. Almost disturbing that he’d know every nitty gritty part associated to grocery stores. I decided to pen down as my colleagues will endearingly say with a slight mockery “wealth of experience”.