Cilantro Jalapeno Pesto

Cilantro Jalapeno Pesto

Cilantro Jalapeno Pesto is a delicious twist on traditional pesto, served with gluten free pasta, topped with First Fresh Chicken Croquettes.

Cilantro Jalapeno Pesto

This post is part of a series of sponsored recipes created with First Fresh Foods. All opinions and recipes are my own, enjoy!

Cilantro Jalapeno Pesto

I love pasta with pesto, but my husband is allergic to basil, so I haven’t had it in years. When First Fresh Foods sent me their brand new Habanero Chicken Croquettes, I was quickly in love with their flavor and ease. They are so good and that pepper flavor is just the perfect amount of spice. When I was trying to decide what would pair best with the cheesy, spicy flavor I first thought about Huancaina Sauce. It’s a classic Peruvian Sauce made with queso blanco and aji amarillo. It’s wonderful, but I wanted a bit more freshness.

That’s when I got the idea to make a Latin spin on pesto and it worked fabulous! The Cilantro and parsley, paired with the jalapeno and queso blanco is amazing! Fresh and a bit salty. The underlying spice of the jalapeno and the garlic is just perfect. I could honestly eat it with a spoon.

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Habanero Chicken Croquettes

If you have been following My Gluten Free Miami this summer, you know I have fallen in love with First Fresh Foods Chicken Sausage. It is so good, low in fat, lean protein and easy to read ingredients made in a celiac safe environment. They were the first sponsor I began to work with, just because I love the chicken sausage.

Now they are branching out into cheese stuffed chicken croquettes, and they are still gluten free! I was so excited. They are delicious. Still a great source of protein, and they are so simple. Just throw them in the oven and your good to go.

If you can’t find them in your local grocery store, you can use sliced chicken breast (or any other protein), but I strongly recommend you ask your grocer to carry First Fresh products. They are delicious.

Cilantro Jalapeno Pesto

The Recipe

The great thing about this recipe is it’s ease.

The Pesto

All you do is the throw all the ingredient in a food processor or nutri bullet. If you want it a bit spicier, leave the seeds in the jalapeno. Super simple, super yummy.

The Chicken

Obviously, I used First Fresh Chicken Croquettes. They pair so well, but if you don’t have access and your in a pinch, some sliced chicken breast would beĀ ok….but once you try the croquettes, you will fall in love with them!

The Pasta

For this recipe I used Barilla gluten free pasta, you can use whatever is your favorite. I am also a big fan of Trader Joe’s quinoa/brown rice blend.Before draining the pasta, set aside a cup of the water to use when tossing the pasta with the pesto.FFF Logo Square


Thank you to First Fresh Foods for sponsoring this past and making such incredible Celiac Safe Chicken Croquettes!

Happy Gluten Free Eating!

Cilantro Jalapeno Pesto

Cilantro Jalapeno Pesto


  • 1 Cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 Cup loosely packed parsley leaves
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 1-2 Jalapenos (remove seeds if desired)
  • 1/2 cup crumbled queso blanco
  • 1/3 cup olive oil (add more if needed)
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1/4 teaspon salt.
  • 12 ounces gluten free pasta
  • 4 First Fresh Foods Chicken Croquettes


  1. Boil pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving one cup of the pasta water.
  2. Cook croquettes according to package direction.
  3. Blend all pesto ingredients in blender. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
  4. Toss pesto and pasta, adding pasta water as needed to thin pesto.
  5. Top with crumbled queso blanco and chicken.
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52 thoughts on “Cilantro Jalapeno Pesto

  1. Oh man i LOVE coriander, I add it to seriously nearly every dinner at the moment (I’m about one bowl of oatmeal away from adding it to my breakfast as well!). Do you think I could try extra firm tofu instead of chicken though?

  2. I use pesto all of the time but I bet your rendition with the kick of jalapeƱo and refreshing cilantro is absolutely wonderful! Can’t wait to try this!!!

  3. I am drooling looking at this recipe.
    JalapeƱos are one of my favorite things to cook with, this recipe is right up my ally.
    Fortunately, no one in my house is allergic to basil, so pesto is a regular occurrence.
    This might be now, too!

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