Easy Pesto Garlic Knots

You know what’s a sign of a good pizzeria? Good garlic knots. What’s that? You don’t sell garlic knots? Please excuse me while I take my business elsewhere.

In case you’re unfamiliar with garlic knots, imagine the love child of breadsticks and garlic bread. Now imagine that tied up in a cute little ball, and you’ve got yourself a garlic knot. When done right, they are chewy, tender, and bursting with garlic flavor. It’s just about impossible to stop at one. What’s really fun is unwinding the knot as you eat. I just love deconstructing my food!

Now, when you look at these whimsical twisted bites, you might assume they’d be a pain in the you-know-what to make at home. On the contrary, I’ve got a super simple version that you can make in a matter of minutes, but tastes fresh from the pizzeria. My Pesto Garlic Knots are the easiest Italian treat you can make. So before you pick up the phone and call the pizzeria, give these a try instead!

What’s the secret? Store-bought breadstick dough. You know, like the kind from Pillsbury? You wind it up into a little knot then slather it with fresh pesto. For those who don’t know, pesto is a delicious substance that can serve as a sauce or spread. It’s typically made from fresh basil, garlic, olive oil, and often times, pine nuts. All those fresh ingredients are blended down into a smooth, intensely flavorful spread. The good news is, you can buy it from the store if you’re lazy like me.

Pesto automatically amps up these knots, putting a new twist on them that you won’t find at your pizzeria. Of course, we also employ lots of garlic to these babies because, hello, they’re garlic knots. Then they get a quick bake to make ’em plump, fluffy, and golden brown. Serve these twisted and tangled cuties with some marinara sauce and you will be in heaven. They’re crazy addicting, so tender and tasty. Plus, with their cute size, it’s easy to down 3 or more at a time. I’m fairly positive my mother inhaled 4 knots in the course of 10 minutes. Watch out guys, these garlic knots are dangerous!

A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:

  1. You can make the pesto from scratch if you really want to take these over the top.
  2. Brush the knots with melted butter before adding the pesto for a seriously decadent experience.
  3. A sprinkle of grated parm is always welcome.
  4. The recipe makes a ton of knots, so it’s great for parties.
  5. Don’t be discouraged by the tiny size of the dough. The knots double up while they bake.

Easy Pesto Garlic Knots
By The Smart Cookie Cook

Yield: 12 knots


  • 1 11-oz. can Pillsbury Original Breadsticks
  • 1/2 cup pesto
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • marinara sauce, for dipping


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Tie the knots: separate dough into 12 strips along perforation lines. Tie each strip into a knot, just like you would a normal knot. Cross the two ends then pull one end through the hole. You can stretch out the strip a bit to make tying easier. Tuck any loose ends in so it looks like a neat little ball.
  3. Place 6 knots on each baking sheet. Use a basting brush to brush about 1-2 tablespoons of pesto onto each knot. Be generous! Sprinkle the garlic powder evenly over the knots, using one tablespoon for each tray. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown and puffed up.
  4. Remove from tray and serve with warm sauce for dipping. Enjoy!

Posted in The Smart Cookie Cook and tagged , , , .

Colleen Bierstine


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