Spinach Basil Pesto
Whenever you don’t have much fresh basil, you can make this Spinach Basil Pesto to stretch out your basil! And for pesto fans, this post has links to more interesting pesto variations.
One of the best things about having a garden is Pesto, something I used to make many times every summer. Pesto is a great way to use and preserve huge bunches of basil, but when I didn’t have that much fresh basil I loved to make this Spinach Basil Pesto to stretch out my basil.
Of course, there are as many ways to make pesto as there are cooks who make it; check below to see more interesting pesto variations.
What ingredients do you need for this recipe?
(This is only a list of ingredients; please scroll down for complete printable recipe. Or if you use the JUMP TO RECIPE link at the top of the page, it will take you directly to the complete recipe.)
- fresh spinach leaves
- fresh basil leaves
- garlic puree or finely minced fresh garlic
- Pine Nuts (affiliate link)
- good quality grated Parmesan cheese
- extra virgin Olive Oil (affiliate link)
Is it important to follow the recipe to make Spinach Basil Pesto?
I think the proportions of equal amounts of spinach and basil is great in this recipe, but if you don’t have that many basil plants, you could use less basil. I like my pesto a bit heavy on the cheese and pine nuts compared to some people, but pesto is something that’s always easy to adapt to your own taste so have fun experimenting with this delicious combination.
How do I use the Spinach Basil Pesto?
How to make Spinach Basil Pesto:
(This is only a summary of the steps for the recipe; please scroll down for complete printable recipe. Or if you use the JUMP TO RECIPE link at the top of the page, it will take you directly to the complete recipe.)
- Two cups of packed basil is a big salad spinner full; give the basil is good wash and spin dry.
- You’ll need 2 packed cups each of basil and spinach leaves (or adapt proportions to the amount of basil you have).
- Use the food processor to chop the spinach and basil, stirring a few times as needed to get it going.
- Then add the garlic, pine nuts, and Parmesan and process until it’s well blended.
- Finally, add the olive oil through the feed tube of the food processor and process until it’s as smooth as you’d like.
- That’s it! Make a big batch of pesto on the weekend and eat it on things all week long!
More Interesting Pesto Variations to Try:
Weekend Food Prep:
This recipe has been added to a new category called Weekend Food Prep to help you find recipes you can prep or cook on the weekend and eat during the week!
- (Pesto is always made to taste, so feel free to use more or less of any ingredient, whatever appeals to you.)
- 2 cups (packed) fresh spinach leaves
- 2 cups (packed) fresh basil leaves (washed and spun dry or dried with paper towels)
- 2 T garlic puree or finely minced fresh garlic
- 2/3 cup pine nuts (more or less to taste)
- 1 1/3 cup good quality grated Parmesan cheese (more or less to taste)
- 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (more or less to taste)
- To make this successfully you’ll need a food processor. There are many good brands, but for many years I’ve used a Cuisinart Food Processor DLC 10. (affiliate link)
- Spinach and basil should be washed and dried well.
- Put in food processor with steel blade and pulse repeatedly until both are well chopped, stirring a few times as needed.
- Add garlic, pine nuts, and Parmesan and blend for 2-3 minutes until nuts are finely chopped and mixture is well combined.
- With lid on and processor running, drizzle olive oil in through the feed tube until mixture is the consistency you prefer. I don’t like my pesto to be too thick, but if you prefer a thicker texture, you won’t need as much oil.
- This is good as a sauce on pasta, used as lasagna sauce, or served over vegetables, chicken, or fish. The pesto will keep for about a week in the refrigerator. You can freeze it if you're lucky enough to have some left!
Nutritional information is based on 1/4 cup serving size.
This recipe created by Kalyn when she had fresh basil and spinach in the fridge and a craving for pesto!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 213Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 222mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 5g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
In this recipe for Spinach Basil Pesto the Olive oil, pine nuts, and Parmesan cheese are all high in fat, but you don’t eat pesto in huge amounts. Eaten over vegetables, chicken, or fish, this would be acceptable for low-carb, Keto, or low-glycemic diets or any phase of the original South Beach Diet.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Fresh Herbs or Sauces to find more recipes like this one.Use the Diet Type Index to find recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest, on Facebook, on Instagram, on TikTok, or on YouTube to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.
Historical Notes for this Recipe:
This delicious Spinach Basil Pesto was first posted in 2007, probably without a photo! And now that I don’t have a garden I would love to make this pesto to stretch out my basil! This recipe was last updated with more information in 2023.