Spinach – Walnut Pesto


Traditional pesto is made with basil, garlic, parmesan reggiano, olive oil, and pine nuts – but there is nothing that says we can’t mix that up a bit. I find that pesto made with all basil is just a bit too basil-y for me – and pine nuts are disproportionately expensive recently.

That brings us to Spinach – Walnut Pesto. Equal parts basil and baby spinach, and a handful of toasted walnuts. I am sure I will offend someone with this, but it tastes the same to me! And I like the added health benefits (no matter how small) of spinach and walnuts.

– 1/4 c walnuts, chopped, and toasted in a pan or in the oven until they smell fragrant
– 40 basil leaves (about 1 c)
– equal amount of baby spinach {just measure the piles if your baby spinach leaves are very different in size from the basil}
– 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
– extra virgin olive oil
– 1/4 – 1/2 c parmesan or parmesan reggiano cheese, grated or shaved

How do I make it?

  • Place the toasted (cooled) walnuts, basil, baby spinach, and garlic in a food processor, and pulse until the walnuts and garlic are chopped very finely.
  • Add some olive oil, streaming it in if you can, while you pulse the food processor.
  • You can either process the cheese, or stir it in, depending on your tastes. There is not much difference, really, but it is up to you.
  • Use as much or as little oil and cheese as you would like! It can be thick or thin – there is no wrong way to make a pesto.

More info please?

Spread this pesto on any sandwich or burger; serve as a dip with crackers or veggies; or heat a pan with some oil over medium heat and add spaghetti squash, using two forks to separate the spaghetti strands and incorporate the pesto (a little pesto goes a long way on this one!). Or use as a pizza topping with some ricotta cheese and roasted vegetables!

Spaghetti Squash w Spinach Pesto


  1. Jackie says

    It looks amazing Becky! I wish you lived closer so I could come over and be your taste tester!

  2. josie says

    other variations I like to do- mix in arugula, a squeeze of lemon juice, chicken broth, and/ or capers.


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