Spinach walnut pesto is easy, addictive and good on so many dishes. A personal favorite with nutty, vibrant texture and flavor.
Why Make This Spinach Walnut Pesto
This pesto is so versatile, It pairs well with a multitude of recipes. One of my favorites is Pesto Tortellini. This pesto is more nutritional than average pest, it has walnuts which are more affordable (but of course you can also use pine nuts). This pesto is loaded with fresh spinach giving it a nice vibrant color and hearty flavor.
Spinach walnut pesto is great in my Tuna Pesto Pasta, I highly recommend trying it with this recipe (yum!) one of my favorites.
You can easily freeze pesto, so it makes a great sauce to keep on hand in the freezer to pep up any dish. Use it as a dip, a sauce or a spread. The options are endless.
Spinach. The main ingredient of this recipe! Fresh spinach is necessary, frozen won't work. This adds pops of color and more nutritional value.
Walnuts. Walnuts add the perfect crunch, hearty nuttiness and they are much more affordable than pine nuts. You can easily use pine nuts or do a half and half blend to make this recipe.
Lemon Juice. Fresh lemon juice is always best for this recipe. It adds a vibrant citrus flavor you will love.
Olive Oil. High quality, neutral in flavor olive oil works best.
Cilantro & Basil. You can use both or just use one or the other. Honestly it all works well! Just be sure it's fresh basil and/or cilantro.
Parmesan. This adds a salty, buttery flavor to the sauce you will love. You can use pecorino as well. Something sharp, dry and salty is best.
Seasoning. Garlic cloves, salt, red pepper flakes.
Walnuts. Use pine nuts in place or you can do a 50/50 mix. Raw unsalted walnuts are best.
Olive Oil. Avocado oil will also work.
Cilantro. Fresh cilantro can be subbed with fresh basil. You can also mix both together. They both add and unique flavor.
Steps To Make This Recipe
Step One. Add all the pesto ingredients to a food processor and blitz until blended well and the walnuts (or pine nuts) are broken down. Feel free to add more olive oil if you'd like to thin it out or it the pesto is not blending just right.
Yes! I encourage making a large batch and freezing. I always have a frozen batch in my freezer. Store it in an airtight ziplock bag for up to 2 months.
This pesto will last up to 4 days in the fridge. You can spread it on sandwiches, mix into pasta, or dip bread in it.
No! You can't taste the spinach much at all, it's a great way to sneak in some greens.
Use only fresh ingredients. The spinach and herbs must be fresh, dried or frozen wont work.
Add the oil in slowly. I like to add the oil in a little at a time this helps to break it up and make the pesto more spreadable.
Use a neutral olive oil. The olive oil gives a strong flavor in the pesto, you want to be sure to use a neutral flavored olive oil so the herbs and Parmesan flavors come through more than the oil.
To make this pesto vegan, use nutritional yeast instead of parmesan.
Other Sauce And Dip Recipes To Try
Spinach Walnut Pesto
- high speed blender or food processor
- ⅓ cup raw walnuts
- ⅓ cup olive oil *neutral in flavor
- 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup parmesan
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes *more to taste
- ¼ tsp salt
- 3 cup fresh spinach
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro *see notes
- 2 garlic cloves
- Add all the pesto ingredients to a food processor and blitz until blended well and the walnuts (or pine nuts) are broken down. Feel free to add more olive oil if you'd like to thin it out or it the pesto is not blending just right.