Spinach Pesto recipe

One of the best ways to keep something tasting fresh is through the use of veggies. But when veggies are hard to get, the second best way to get freshness is to find a way to preserve the veggies for future use. The way to do this? With a homemadeΒ spinach pesto recipe.

simple and easy homemade spinach pesto recipe

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This homemade spinach pesto recipe is easy to make, packed full of healthiness, and looks oh so pretty! One recipe lasts for a while (depending on what you use it for) and is a great way to use spinach that is on its way past prime. Or fresh herbs? It is an absolutely fantastic way to use herbs. Yum! Nothing better! You can replace the spinach with basil or other herbs and use it for months. Try my collard greens and olive pesto recipe for a fun twist.

Friend, if you haven’t made pesto before you totally can do it. I pinky promise! It’s as simple as throwing ingredients into the processor and pushing a button. You totally got this.

homemade spinach pesto recipe

This spinach pesto recipe I started making back when my kids were a bit younger and selling me produce from their “Farmer’s Market“. They grew bundles and bundles of spinach and herbs and expected me to buy every single bit of it. Guys, I can only eat so much spinach salad.Β 

How do you make pesto less bitter?

This is a common complaint from people that don’t like pesto. They find it far too bitter. Using spinach is a great way to help with that problem! Also, think about adding more cheese and garlic to mellow out the bitterness even more.

homemade spinach pesto recipe

I found that this pesto recipe was a great way to use that spinach, especially if it wasn’t the freshest, and herbs in a way that would keep longer and give us a bit of variety from the spinach salad. This pesto tastes delicious on homemade pasta or even toasted bread delicious-o! My kids also loved helping me put their produce to good use. And, of course, pushing the buttons on the food processor.


use fresh spinach instead of basil for delicious spinach pesto!

This spinach pesto is also easy for me to make in the food processorΒ with the ingredients I can find at my grocery store in the winters of Minnesota.Β There is always a supply of bagged spinach to be had, sometimes on sale.

homemade spinach pesto recipe

Homemade Spinach Pesto


If you like that squat jar in the first photo (I use those for everything!), you might like this one. Β It’s pretty similar, although you can also get similar jars at a big box store.

How long does homemade pesto last?

I wouldn’t try to keep it longer than about 5 days, in the fridge. But it freezes for several months! I make a batch and stash some in the freezer.

4.42 from 12 votes

homemade Spinach Pesto recipe

An easy and delicious homemade pesto featuring spinach instead of basil.

Course Appetizer
Cuisine Italian
Keyword pesto
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Calories 1573 kcal


  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons dried basil
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 cup pine nuts toasted
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese


  1. Put spinach, garlic, basil, and a bit of the oil into a food processor.
  2. Process until itty bitty.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and process until itty bitty again.
  4. I like to add a bit of Parmesan to the finished pesto and stir it in.
  5. Add a bit of oil to the top of the jar to keep it fresh while storing.
  6. Store in fridge.

Recipe Video

Nutrition Facts
homemade Spinach Pesto recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 1573 Calories from Fat 1395
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 155g 238%
Saturated Fat 15g 75%
Cholesterol 17mg 6%
Sodium 2785mg 116%
Potassium 1451mg 41%
Total Carbohydrates 33g 11%
Dietary Fiber 10g 40%
Sugars 9g
Protein 32g 64%
Vitamin A 117.9%
Vitamin C 29.8%
Calcium 62.3%
Iron 102.7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Other delicious recipes to make good use of fresh herbs and greens from the garden…

Puff Pastry Tomato Tart || This is sooo easy and delicious. Fresh tomatoes and basil are the stars of this easy and gorgeous appetizer.

easy Pesto Christmas Trees || Use prepared dough to make these little Christmas trees with pesto (probably the pesto from above ?!?)

Rosemary Lemon Ginger Gin Cocktail || Making a simple syrup from my favorite herb and using it in a cocktail is my ultimate favorite way to use fresh herbs. Soooo good! This is one of my faves.





    March 16, 2018 / 5:01 pm

    Would fine chopped water chestnuts stirred in work in place of nuts,, like making a spinach dip,,, also if jarring, could you add sugar, perhaps apple cider vinegar to help preserve? Thank you and a great recipe idea!!!

    • Nellie
      March 17, 2018 / 11:41 am

      I think the water chestnuts is a fabulous idea!! Honestly, I don’t quite know about preserving it. The way I make it, as is, will last for a few weeks in the fridge. Beyond that, I really don’t know. But I’m going to do some research and if I find a good answer, I’ll let you know!

  2. Kathy
    January 30, 2016 / 1:03 pm

    This is fantastic! I did make a couple changes. 1st I doubled the recipe so plenty for freezer for future use. I used sunflower seeds that I toasted in a dry pan and cooled in place of the pine nuts. (Thought about using sunflower oil as well, but decided to try a smaller batch with that in case its yuk.) I didnt need but 1/4c. oil even with a double batch. I did add the lemon juice and sugar, but not quite as much as the recipe called for. Not sure I will ever go back to basil pesto again to be honest. I think toasted pumpkin seeds would work wonders in place of the pine nuts in this as well. Thank you for the recipe.

    • Nellie
      February 1, 2016 / 12:49 pm

      I know! I agree about the basil pesto thing, too. Love hearing how you adjusted it and I think I may have to try the sunflower seeds instead of the pine nuts. Those are sure easier to find! And, some people just don’t care for the taste of pine seeds.

  3. August 31, 2015 / 12:14 pm

    What a nice way to sneak in some extra greens!

    • Nellie
      September 4, 2015 / 3:34 pm

      Any time we can do that, a good thing… right!

  4. May 23, 2014 / 3:16 pm

    Just made this with a few adjustments: I used ramps instead of garlic and I skipped the pine nuts due to my son’s nut allergies. It still turned out great, I’m excited for dinner tonight! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

    • May 26, 2014 / 10:23 am

      Glad you liked it! And it’s good to know that you can make changes for allergies and it still turns out well.

    • Anonymous
      January 5, 2015 / 6:21 pm

      what are ramps

      • January 5, 2015 / 7:45 pm

        Ramps are basically wild leeks. Janel and her husband’s second business at Strand Nursery works with wildflowers, so that’s what we call them.

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