Spinach Walnut Pesto

5 from 5 votes
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Spinach walnut pesto is easy, addictive and good on so many dishes. A personal favorite with nutty, vibrant texture and flavor.

White bowl with pesto and a silver spoon on the side.
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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.

Ingredients Needed

All ingredients needed in small bowls on a counter.

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.

Recipe Variations

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.

White bowl with fresh pesto and a small silver spoon in the sauce.

Recipe FAQs

Can I freeze this pesto?

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.

How long does this last?

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.

Can you taste the spinach?

No! You can’t taste the spinach much at all, it’s a great way to sneak in some greens.

Recipe Tips

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.

Recipe Pairings

This pesto goes with a plethora of items on my blog. I love my Salmon Pesto. You can also dip Air Fryer Garlic Bread in it, or Overnight Bread.

Other Sauce And Dip Recipes To Try

If you loved this recipe let me know! Also, follow me on Instagram & Pinterest for even more fun recipes to make you feel good from the inside out. Thanks for being here.

White bowl with pesto and garlic on the side with a silver spoon.
5 from 5 votes

Spinach Walnut Pesto

Spinach walnut pesto is easy, addictive and good on so many dishes. A personal favorite with nutty, vibrant texture and flavor. Ready in 10 minutes.
Prep: 10 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

Equipment

  • high speed blender or food processor

Ingredients 

  • cup raw walnuts
  • 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

Instructions 

  • 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.

Notes

*pine nuts will also work. 
*avocado oil will also work
*basil will also work, you can also do both together. yum!
To freeze: Store it in an airtight ziplock bag for up to 2 months. Defrost and use as is. 
This pesto will last up to 4 days in the fridge in an airtight container. You can spread it on sandwiches, mix into pasta, or dip bread in it. 

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25cup | Calories: 258kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 267mg | Potassium: 200mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 2266IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 111mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Author: Bailey
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Course: Sauces & Dressings
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4
Calories: 258
Keyword: 10 minute
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Recipe Rating




7 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Love this pesto. I doubled the batch and froze half as you suggested.

  2. 5 stars
    I made this last summer and loved it! It was just right and now I don’t remember what 3 cups spinach was by weight. What do you think, Bailey? Thanks.

    1. I’m guessing just under 8 oz! This is just a guess

  3. 5 stars
    This was really good, thought I’d taste the spinach but surprisingly I didn’t. Tasted like a high quality pesto from a specialty store.