This 5-minute Spinach Pesto recipe is perfect for those who love the classic taste of pesto but want a veggie-loaded twist. Made with fresh spinach, a little basil, garlic, lemon and parmesan cheese, this pesto is packed with nutrients and flavor. Simply blend the ingredients together in a food processor and enjoy in so many ways!
Sometimes all you need to make a veggie delicious is a really good sauce or dip. Truly, a good sauce can transform a simple veg or even a quick meal into a delicious and enticing dish with minimum effort. A simple, flavorful sauce or dip is now part of my weekly meal prep (like Greek Yogurt Ranch Dip or Creamy Honey Mustard Dressing) for helping make easy veggie-loaded meals extra delicious throughout the week.
But what if you could get a veg INTO that really amazing sauce? Double the veggie goodness, right? Totally. That is one of the many things I love about this easy spinach pesto.
Pesto is a warm weather must for easily adding flavor and pizzazz to all sorts of meals. It pairs beautifully with grilled veggies, meats, or to throw over a pasta salad for a quick and delicious side. I especially love that this spinach pesto recipe adds a boost of green veggie goodness along with flavor. So no matter what you are enjoying this pesto with, you are instantly getting some veggies in. Not only is it packed with spinach, but it is made incredibly flavorful from little basil, garlic, lemon and Parmesan cheese. It is made with pine nuts, however I’ve made this pesto with almonds, walnuts and other nuts, so swap the pine nuts out if needed. It is perfect to add to meal prep since it keeps beautifully in the fridge for 7 days or in your freezer for up to 2 months. And just to make a good thing even better, this incredible spinach pesto comes together in just 5 minutes!
This pesto is naturally gluten free. For a dairy free version, use dairy free parmesan cheese. For a vegetarian version, use vegetarian parmesan cheese.
How to make spinach pesto: a step-by-step visual
- Make it without pine nuts. Use almonds, walnuts, or just about any nut you have on hand or prefer.
- Make it without basil. I love the flavor a little basil adds to this recipe, but if you want this to be an all spinach pesto, simple replace the 1/2 cup basil with a 1/2 cup of extra spinach.
- Freeze it. Pesto freezes beautifully. Just place in freezer safe container with room to expand and pop into your freezer for up to two months. Thaw in fridge when ready to use.
- Use garlic powder instead of fresh garlic. Not everyone loves the taste of raw garlic. If that is you, replace the 1 clove garlic in this recipe with 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder.
How to enjoy spinach pesto
I don’t think there is any wrong way to enjoy pesto. One thing I love about this spinach pesto is how incredibly versatile it is, but here are some ideas….
Add it into a veggie pasta salad with cheese.
Top grilled chicken, fish, steak or veggies with it. And if it is not grilling season, toss chicken and veggies in it before roasting for an easy and flavorful sheet pan dinner.
Pesto is also incredible on pizza as a red sauce alternative or even just as a dip for a veggie tray.
And of course, there is pasta. Just cook up your favorite noodle, toss it with this spinach pesto, and an easy, delicious dinner is done!
Other veggie-packed sauces and dips to try
- Roasted Eggplant Dip
- 5-Minute No-Cook Zucchini Avocado Dip
- Easy Avocado Pesto
- 25-Minute Roasted Carrot Hummus
- Creamy 10-Minute Beetroot Hummus
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5-Minute Spinach Pesto
- food processor
- 2 cups packed baby spinach
- ½ cup packed basil leaves
- ¼ cup pinenuts sub toasted sliced almonds or another nut
- 1 small clove garlic or ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons water
- 2 Tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
- Add spinach, basil, nuts, garlic, salt, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, and water to a food processor. Blend until the pesto is smooth. Stop and scrape down the sides and bottom and blend again several times to make sure everything is well incorporated.
- Once pesto is smooth, blend in parmesan cheese. If the pesto is very thick add another splash of water and blend again. Taste the pesto and add additional salt and pepper as desired.
- Enjoy immediately or store in the fridge for 7 days or freezer for 2 months.
The nutritional information is provided as an estimate only and may vary based on the product type, servings and other factors. If you are following a diet, please consult with a professional nutritionist or your doctor. Stay healthy!
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