Spinach and Basil Pesto (and Ten More Interesting Pesto Variations)
In early summer, make this Spinach and Basil Pesto to stretch out your basil! It’s delicious and it’s low-carb, Keto, low-glycemic, gluten-free, meatless, and South Beach Diet friendly (with portion control)! Use the Diet-Type Index to find more recipes like this one.
One of my favorite things about having a garden is Pesto, something I make many times every summer. Pesto is a great way to use and preserve huge bunches of basil, but this Spinach and Basil Pesto is something I make early in the summer when my basil is just starting to come on. (Later when I have a surplus of basil, I freeze some of the fresh basil for winter and make some into Basil Pesto with Lemon, which I also freeze.)
This double green pesto is delicious on grilled or sauteed vegetables, grilled chicken, fish, or pasta. 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.
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.
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. 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 things all week long!
Ten More Interesting Pesto Variations to Try:
Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Asparagus Pesto with Pasta ~ Simply Recipes
Chard and Garlic Scape Pesto ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Beet Pesto ~ A Veggie Venture
Sage-Pecan Pesto ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Artichoke Pesto ~ Fat Free Vegan Kitchen
Garlic Scape Pesto ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Dandelion Pesto ~ David Lebovitz
Basil, Arugula, Scallion, and Lemon Pesto Sauce ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Broccoli Pesto ~ Family Fresh Cooking
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!
Spinach and Basil Pesto
This Spinach and Basil Pesto is a great way to stretch out your basil.
- (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.
- 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, but you probably won’t have any left!
This recipe created by Kalyn when she had fresh basil and spinach in the fridge and a craving for pesto!All images and text ©
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
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 or low-glycemic diets or any phase of the South Beach Diet.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You can also Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.
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