Spinach Pesto Recipe

Pesto is a great sauce for pasta and it’s a great change from tomato sauce. In order to make our pesto healthier, I make it with baby spinach leaves instead of basil leaves. At home we call it “Popeye Pasta” and the kids go crazy for it!

Here’s what you will need:
  • A food processor
  • A large bag or box of baby spinach leaves
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic (optional)
  • Pine nuts
  • Parmesan cheese
There are no measurements here since I make it to taste. You’ll see as you make it what tastes right to you.

Roast your pine nuts for a few minutes in the oven at 350 degrees. It brings out the flavor and takes away the rawness of the nut. Don’t forget to save some for a top garnish!

Fill your processor with the spinach leaves. Add a very small amount of olive oil at a time as you grind the spinach. I tend to use the pulse on this to check on how much olive oil I need and how well the spinach is being processed.

Add the pine nuts half way and process again. Add a small handful at a time, but generally, one small handful is enough for one portion of pesto sauce (for four people). Now would be a good time to add a touch of garlic if you want.

When your pesto is ready, the sauce should be a nice creamy consistency. Some people like to add their parmesan cheese here, but I add mine later when I am actually cooking the sauce.

Our favourite pasta for this dish. Find it fresh or frozen
While I boil my pasta, I take the right amount of pesto for the amount of people I am serving and place it in a pot to warm up, along with one or two ladles of pasta water. While that warms up, I grate in the parmesan cheese. I tend to be reserved on the cheese. I don’t want the sauce to be overtaken by the parmesan. So instead, I add very little and place some grated parmesan cheese at the table for those who want more.
I also place a bowl of roasted pine nuts at the table for those who want a bit more crunch to the meal (like me!).

Pesto freezes so well and it’s a great staple to have on hand when you have an unexpected guest over for dinner. When I make pesto, I usually get another four containers to freeze along with the meal of the night. Remember, a little bit of pesto goes a long way!

Buon Appetito!

You may also like


Sober Julie August 23, 2012 at 7:25 pm

Oh I had to come over as soon as I read Pesto…I’ve become a huge lover of pesto lately. I haven’t made my own yet, I’m bookmarking this to try it.

Nolie August 23, 2012 at 7:47 pm

What a great way to sneak spinach into the kids.

Tammy inRdream August 24, 2012 at 12:01 am

YUM – O!

Little Miss Kate August 24, 2012 at 1:30 am

I love pesto, this looks like an awesome recipe!

OrangeHeroMama August 24, 2012 at 1:57 pm

Holy Delicious!!!!

Supervan August 26, 2012 at 10:30 pm

Tried this tonight and love it! 🙂

Julia M. C-G August 28, 2012 at 1:44 am

Thanks everyone for your great comments! I am looking to revamp some things to my site, so I can respond to you all individually!

Anonymous September 10, 2012 at 1:14 am

I really have to try this since spinach is not too much loved among my kids! Katrin

Jason June 15, 2014 at 11:30 am

Awesome! We like pesto and have never made our own. We’ll definitely have to try it! Thanks for sharing your recipe 🙂


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.