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This quick and easy spinach pesto recipe uses just 6 ingredients – fresh spinach, fresh garlic, Parmesan, walnuts, olive oil, and salt – and comes together in only a few minutes. It goes well with grilled chicken, al dente pasta or your favorite flatbread recipe!
Why you’re going to love this spinach pesto:
- It’s a great blueprint for pesto with any of your favorite greens! We always have a bag of fresh spinach in the fridge for lasagna roll ups, pizza or spinach dip – so I usually make this pesto with any leftover spinach that is looking a little lackluster. However, it works great with arugula, kale or even swiss chard greens.
- It’s super quick easy. A food processor or high spend blender is necessary for this recipe as it’s the best way to get all the ingredients finely minced and well combined. The help of either of these kitchen gadgets means you can have this pesto prepared in less than 5 minutes!
- It tastes amazing. There are very few flavors I can think of that compare to that of a freshly made pesto – the earthy greens, the slightly spicy garlic, the nutty Parmesan, all whizzed together in a river of olive oil. It’s the easiest way to dress up any boring dinner and add tons of flavor with very little work!
How to make this easy spinach pesto:
Add spinach, garlic, walnuts, and Parmesan to a food processor.
Process until minced, scraping the sides as needed.
Slowly drizzle oil in while the food processor is on until the pesto reaches the desired consistency. I like to use the full cup of oil, but some might prefer just a 3/4 cup. Season to taste with salt.
Tips for making the best spinach pesto:
- For this spinach pesto recipe, the spinach needs to be fresh – frozen spinach just won’t work. As frozen spinach thaws, it releases a lot of water which is not ideal for this type of recipe, since it is oil-based. Fresh spinach is also very tender so the food processor will have no problem mincing it up into very small pieces and creating a perfect sauce!
- Adjust the garlic to suit your taste. You might be happy with the flavor of just one small clove. I like to add to 2 large cloves because I LOVE LOVE LOVE garlic. I also typically use this pesto when I’m cooking/baking so the flavor of the garlic mellows a bit once it’s cooked.
- Don’t forget to season to taste with salt after blending the pesto together. It’s important to taste the pesto after it’s all minced up and combined and then season it with a bit of salt. The Parmesan cheese is going to add some saltiness, but with the simple ingredients in this pesto, it’s important to make sure that it’s well seasoned so the flavors have a chance to sing!
- Add olive oil based on your personal texture preference. I prefer a nice loose pesto with lots of olive oil, so I had the whole cup. Some prefer a more paste-like consistency, so they might be happy with 3/4 of a cup or even less. I’d recommend starting with 3/4 of a cup and working your way up from there until the pesto reaches the desired consistency.
If you loved this spinach pesto, be sure to try these other family favorites:
- 5 Minute Flatbread – NO YEAST!
- Mexican Street Corn Flatbread
- Loaded Baked Potato Flatbread
- Caramelized Onion & Gorgonzola Flatbread
- Tomato, Pesto & Feta Pizza
- Quick & Easy Pizza Dough
- 2 cups loosely packed fresh spinach leaves
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup toasted walnuts
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan
- 3/4 – 1 cup olive oil
- Kosher salt to taste
- Add spinach, garlic, walnuts, and Parmesan to a food processor.
- Process until minced, scraping the sides as needed.
- Slowly drizzle oil in while the food processor is on, until the pesto reaches the desired consistency. I like to use the full cup of oil, but some might prefer just 3/4 cup.
- Season to taste with salt.
- Use prepared pesto to make Pesto & Tomato Pizza, Wonton Ravioli, and Caprese Flatbread!