Spinach Pesto

This spinach pesto recipe is perfect for pasta, pizzas, and sandwiches. It’s healthy, easy to make, and only takes 10 minutes. 

Close up of a jar of pesto with spinach and walnuts in the background

Pesto is one of my favorite sauces. It’s so bright and vibrant, and you can use it on so many different foods. This spinach pesto just might be the best pesto I’ve ever had. It’s jam-packed with fresh flavors, but it’s super healthy and easy to make.

This pesto still has a ton of basil, but it’s also loaded with spinach. That makes it healthier than traditional pesto and also gives it a slightly milder flavor, which I prefer. Sometimes pesto can be a little bit too intense, but this sauce is perfectly balanced and smooth. You’ve got to try it.

Why You’ll Love This Fresh Spinach Pesto

There are a lot of reasons to make this homemade pesto. Here are a few reasons why I know you’ll really love it. 

  • Cheaper. Pesto is a simple sauce, but it can often be really expensive to make. But not this recipe! Pesto traditionally uses pine nuts, which are one of the most expensive ingredients in the grocery store. This recipe uses toasted walnuts instead, which I think makes the pesto taste just as good but for a fraction of the cost. Spinach is also quite a bit cheaper than basil, so this sauce is so much more affordable than most pestos.
  • Healthy. Traditional pesto isn’t unhealthy, but it’s not nearly as healthy as this spinach pesto. Spinach is one of the healthiest ingredients that you can eat, so loading this sauce with it makes it a lot healthier. 
  • Easy. This is such a simple recipe to make. All you have to do is throw the ingredients in a food processor, blitz them up, and you’re done! The entire recipe only takes 10 minutes, max. 
Overhead view of the ingredients needed for spinach pesto: a bowl of spinach, a bowl of basil, a bowl of walnuts, a bowl of garlic, a jar of olive oil, a block of parmesan cheese, and containers of salt and pepper

Ingredients Needed

Here’s everything you’ll need to make this zesty spinach and walnut pesto recipe. Scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of the page to see the exact amount for each of the ingredients.

  • Spinach – Make sure to use fresh spinach for this recipe.
  • Basil
  • Garlic
  • Walnuts – You’ll want to use toasted walnuts that are unsalted.
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Salt
  • Pepper – Always use freshly ground black pepper.
  • Olive oil

How to Make Spinach Pesto

Here’s how to make this amazing 10-minute sauce. 

  • Add the dry ingredients. Put the spinach, basil, garlic, walnuts, parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper in a food processor.
  • Process. Run the food processor until the ingredients are finely chopped.
An overhead view of a food processor filled with garlic, parmesan cheese, spinach, and basil
Overhead view of spinach, basil, garlic, and parmesan cheese chopped up in a food processor
  • Add the oil. While the food processor is running, slowly add the olive oil. Keep adding the oil until the pesto is your desired consistency.
A pyrex pouring olive oil into a food processor
Overhead view of pesto in a food processor
  • Store and serve. Transfer the pesto to an airtight container and it’s ready to be eaten! 

Tips and Tricks

Here are some tips that you can use when making this spinach walnut pesto to make sure it comes out perfectly every time. 

  • Get a good toast on the walnuts. Toasting the walnuts is one of the keys to this recipe. If you have store-bought toasted walnuts, feel free to use those. But if not, the best way to toast walnuts is by placing them on a baking sheet in an oven at 350F and cooking for 8-10 minutes. Make sure to check every few minutes to see how the walnuts are doing. They should be very fragrant, but you don’t want them to smell at all burnt. 
  • Use fresh cheese. There’s a pretty big difference between pre-shredded parmesan cheese and parmesan that you grate yourself. Your spinach pesto will be much better if you buy a block of parmesan and shred it when you make this recipe, instead of using the store-bought stuff that’s less fresh.
  • Don’t over-process. When you’re chopping the dry ingredients in the food processor, make sure not to over-process. You want to process the ingredients until they’re finely chopped and then stop. If you keep running the food processor after that point, the ingredients will start to break down, and the pesto won’t have a good consistency. Only turn the food processor back on when you’re ready to add the oil.
  • Adjust the seasoning at the end. Because this recipe has parmesan cheese, which is salty, I only add a small amount of salt. Once you’re done making the pesto, taste it and see if it needs more salt or pepper. 
Overhead view of a jar of pesto with spinach and walnuts next to it

How to Serve It 

I put this pesto in or on everything. It’s great as a pasta sauce or a pizza sauce, as a condiment on sandwiches or wraps, or just to dip vegetables in. Here are some of my favorite recipes that use pesto. Substitute some spinach pesto for the store-bought pesto in these recipes, and the dishes will be taken to the next level.

How to Store Leftover Spinach Pesto

This pesto will last in the fridge for up to a week, as long as you store it in an airtight container. The oil might separate from the other ingredients a little bit, in which case just give it a stir before using it.

Can You Freeze This Recipe?

Absolutely! Put this spinach pesto in an airtight container and you can store it in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before using.

A jar of pesto with walnuts and spinach in the background

More Easy and Healthy Sauces 

I’m a big fan of sauces. They can be the difference between a good meal and a great meal. Here are some more of my favorite sauces that you should try making.

Yield: 8

Spinach Pesto

A jar of pesto with spinach and walnuts in the background

This spinach pesto is a healthier and cheaper version of a classic sauce. It's just as delicious, and only takes 10 minutes to make!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes


  • 3 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, toasted
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2/3 cup olive oil (approximately)


  1. In a food processor combine the spinach, basil, garlic, walnuts, cheese, salt, and pepper.
  2. Process until finely chopped.
  3. With the food processor running, slowly add the olive oil. Add enough oil to get to the desired consistency.
  4. Store in an airtight container and serve on your favorite pasta, sandwiches, and pizzas.


  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 1 week, or in the freezer for 3 months.
  • When you store spinach pesto, the oil might separate. Just stir it until everything is well mixed, then serve.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size

8 Servings

Amount Per Serving Calories 213Total Fat 22gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 18gCholesterol 5mgSodium 159mgCarbohydrates 2gFiber 1gSugar 0gProtein 3g

Nutrition Disclaimer: All information presented on this site is intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information shared on dinnersdishesanddesserts.com should only be used as a general guideline.

Did you make this recipe?

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© Erin S
Cuisine: Italian / Category: Side Dish Recipes

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