Parsley & Garlic Punch Pesto with Hassleback Potatoes (No Oil Baking Method)

Garlic Punch Pesto

Calling all garlic lovers – this one is for you!

I wanted to call this Garlic Punch in the Face Pesto, but I thought people might be a little bit scared of that. And there is nothing scary about this sauce.

I was trying to recreate one of my childhood favourite dishes, Chicken Kiev. It wasn’t really the chicken that I liked, it was the garlic buttery sauce inside it, which I then used the eat with the fries anyway. Let’s skip all that, and make this sauce with baked potatoes instead. Holy garlic heaven!

Garlic Punch Pesto

This actually reminds me a lot of garlic bread as well, something I truly miss from before going gluten free. I used to make a vegan version of garlic bread using vegan butter. But this is better. And knowing it’s also healthy makes it better still.

I have been making this pesto about twice a week for the last few months, its been my winter staple. It’s an amazing autumn or winter dish because its warming and hearty, and because that garlic punch will help boost your immune system.

I like to eat this dish as a main. I love a meal of just baked veggies, it leaves me feeling really satisfied and good. But this would make a fantastic side dish, so feel free to serve it up with a main.


I’m sure there’s a million ways you could serve up this sauce, like on some gluten free bread or on pasta. Get creative!

Heres what I do: I grab a few potatoes and a sweet potato and cut them hassleback style. I chop up some pumpkin, zuchinni, an onion and whatever else I have laying around. Grab a big ceramic or glass baking dish, layout all the veggies and cover about 1/4 in filtered water and bake for about 1 hour. Super easy, and the best part – no oil required! You can save the oil for the pesto.

Baked Hassleback Potatoes & Veggies (No Oil Method)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Bake potatoes & sweet potatoes using no oil whatsoever, just water!
  • 3-4 potatoes
  • 1 sweet potato
  • ¼ pumpkin
  • 1 onion
  • Any other veggies you like to bake
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C / 355°F.
  2. Slice potatoes almost all the way through, but leaving them still attached at the bottom.
  3. Place in a glass or ceramic baking dish and cover about ¼ the depth of the dish with filtered water.
  4. Bake for about 1 hour. Use a knife to poke the potato near the bottom and make sure it is cooked through.
  5. It will continue to cook while sitting in the water.
Tip: Steam some corn, peas and broccoli to go with the baked veggies.

And while thats baking away, I make up the sauce. A combination of garlic, parsley and olive oil – always a winner.
Garlic Punch & Parsley Pesto
This pesto is a healthy version of the garlic butter sauce used in chicken kiev and garlic bread. Try using this on cooked vegetables, bread, or in pasta - it is addictive!
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, or more OR flaxseed oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped parsley (you should have 1 cup of parsley AFTER chopping - I use curly leaf, but flat leaf would also work)
  1. In a mortar and pestle, smash the garlic up - you don't want any big garlic chunks so get it good and smashed.
  2. Add the salt and olive oil and mix it into a chunky paste.
  3. Add the chopped parsley and mix again.
You could also make this in a mini food processor, but I think it tastes better from the mortar and pestle - it feels good making something with your own hands! And it tastes better too, don't you think?

Do you love garlic as much as I do?

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10 comments on “Parsley & Garlic Punch Pesto with Hassleback Potatoes (No Oil Baking Method)

  1. Thank you for the great recipe! I love parsley and I will try it soon. I am making a similar one using green kale, a bit of basil and 2 tablespoons of hydrated sunflower seeds. It is truly amazing!

  2. If you make too much “pesto” you can add some white vinegar, soft bread crumb, some capers and tofu and blend it to obtain some delicious “salsa verde” (traditional north italian sauce)!

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