Spinach Basil Pesto

This Spinach Basil Pesto is the perfect condiment for your pasta, chicken, or seafood! It is creamy, flavorful, easy to prepare, and delicious on top of most dishes! Add a flavor boost to your meals with this homemade pesto that comes together in under 5 minutes!

A jar of spinach basil pesto with a spoon in it.

Healthy Spinach Basil Pesto

Everyone needs to have a good pesto recipe in their back pocket, and this one is one of my favorites! This recipe is not only delicious and simple to make, but it also sneaks in some healthy greens by using a combination of basil and spinach. Basil pesto is great for nearly any dish, and is a great way to use up an overabundance of herbs. It also freezes well so make a bunch now while it’s plentiful and you can use fresh pesto in your dishes all year long!

Ingredients for spinach basil pesto in a food processor.

Spinach Basil Pesto Ingredients

  • Basil
  • Baby Spinach
  • Parmesan Cheese (optional)
  • Pine Nuts (or nut-of choice)
  • Garlic
  • Salt + Pepper
  • Olive oil

Can’t have nuts? Check this Nut-Free Pesto Recipe!

How to Clean Herbs

Herbs can be very dirty and gritty, whether coming from the supermarket, farmer’s market, or your backyard. The best way to clean herbs is to fill up a big bowl with clean, cool water. Dunk the herbs in the water and let all the dirt and grit sink to the bottom. Pick up the herbs and set aside. Empty the water, fill it back up and repeat until no sand or dirt remains at the bottom of the bowl.

Pesto inside of a blender basin.

Ways to Use Pesto

This bright pesto would be great with so many dishes! It is great with both chicken, turkey, and seafood. You can use pesto in pasta dishes, rice dishes, in a salad, as a dip or spread and served over grilled meat or veggies.

Check out these recipes using pesto:

How to Freeze Pesto

Pesto freezes really well. You can freeze it in small jars for single serve portions. Small mason jars work well for this.

How to Prevent it from Turning Brown

Pesto turns brown when the fresh herbs oxidize by coming into prolonged contact with oxygen. It isn’t harmful to eat brown pesto, but it can have an off taste and it looks unpleasant. To prevent browning you can float some olive oil over the top of pesto in the container. Make sure to cover the pesto entirely. This creates an airtight seal and will prevent the pesto from turning brown immediately.

You can freeze for up to 3 months. The longer you freeze fresh herbs, the less potent they become. To defrost leave in the refrigerator overnight.

Spinach Basil Pesto in a jar.

If you like this herb recipe, check out these others:

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Spinach Basil Pesto

A jar of spinach basil pesto with a spoon in it.

This Spinach Basil Pesto is the perfect condiment for your pasta, chicken, or seafood! It is creamy, flavorful, easy to prepare, and delicious on top of most dishes! Add a flavor boost to your meals with this homemade pesto that comes together in under 5 minutes!

  • Author: Lexi Davidson
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: about 1 cup 1x
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 1 1/2 cups spinach
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts (see note)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese (optional)
  • Big pinch of salt and pepper
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 12 tablespoons warm water

Instructions

  1. Add all of the ingredients except the olive oil and water to a food processor or a high-speed blender. Pulse until finely chopped. With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil. If needed you can add in a tablespoon of hot water as needed to make a smooth pesto. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  2. Use immediately or store for up to 1 week in a tightly sealed container.

Notes

  1. You can substitute the pine nuts for another nut like slivered almonds or cashews.
  2. Can’t have nuts? Check out this Nut-Free Pesto Recipe.
  3. Recipe originally published in 2013, and republished with new photographs in 2020.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 135
  • Sugar: 1g
  • Sodium: 12mg
  • Fat: 11g
  • Saturated Fat: 2g
  • Carbohydrates: 6.7g
  • Fiber: 0.9g
  • Protein: 4g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
Print

Spinach Basil Pesto

  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Total Time: 5 min
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 1 1/2 cups spinach
  • 1/2 cup cashews, pine nuts, or nuts of choice.
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Fine sea salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon fresh parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • Combine everything but the oil in your food processor or high-speed blender and pulse until ground down. Add oil and pulse again.
  • Store in the fridge.
  • Notes

  • Updated: 2/1/2017
  • Nutrition

    • Calories: 135
    • Sugar: 1g
    • Sodium: 12mg
    • Fat: 11g
    • Saturated Fat: 2g
    • Carbohydrates: 6.7g
    • Fiber: 0.9g
    • Protein: 4g
    • Cholesterol: 0mg

    5 comments
    July 26, 2020

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    Join The Discussion

    5 Responses

    1. I noticed the lemon juice is not in this recipe for the pesto but its included in the ingredient list for the recipe, do you add the lemon juice with everything else in the food processor?

    2. This pesto is perfect for mixing with shredded chicken for chicken salad. Absolutely love it for meal prep for my weekly lunches! I started trying some of your online recipes after buying your cook book – so far, everything has been easy to make and delicious. Thanks!

    3. This was so easy and so delicious! I’ve used it so far in some stuffed shells I made and on a sandwich. It is such a versatile ingredient – I love it!

      5.0 rating

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    Author: Lexi

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