Spinach Walnut Pesto Recipe

Looking for a delicious and nutritious twist on traditional pesto? This mouthwatering Spinach Walnut Pesto recipe packed with flavor and nutrients, this pesto is perfect for adding a healthy boost to your favorite dishes. The combination of fresh spinach, toasted walnuts, garlic, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil creates a vibrant and versatile sauce that can be enjoyed in many different ways. Spread it on sandwiches, toss it with pasta, or use it as a dip for veggies – the possibilities are endless! Plus, with the added goodness of spinach and walnuts, you’ll feel good about indulging in this delicious pesto. Get ready to elevate your meals with this simple and scrumptious recipe.

Spinach Walnut Pesto Recipe

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Health Benefits of Spinach and Walnuts

Spinach and walnuts are not only delicious but also packed with numerous health benefits. Spinach is a leafy green vegetable that is rich in vitamins A, C, and K, as well as folate and iron. It is known for its antioxidant properties, which help protect the body against free radicals and inflammation. Spinach is low in calories and high in fiber, making it a great choice for weight management and digestive health.

Walnuts, on the other hand, are a powerhouse of nutrients. They are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for brain health and reducing inflammation in the body. Walnuts also contain antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, including vitamin E, magnesium, and copper. Consuming walnuts has been linked to improved heart health, reduced cholesterol levels, and better cognitive function.

By incorporating spinach and walnuts into your diet through this pesto recipe, you can reap the benefits of these nutrient-dense ingredients while enjoying a delicious meal. Let’s dive into the ingredients and steps to make this spinach walnut pesto.

Ingredients for Spinach Walnut Pesto

To make this flavorful spinach walnut pesto, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 4 cups fresh spinach leaves, washed and dried
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

These ingredients can be easily found at your local grocery store or farmer’s market. Now, let’s move on to the step-by-step instructions for making the pesto.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Making Spinach Walnut Pesto

  1. In a food processor or blender, combine the fresh spinach leaves, walnuts, garlic cloves, and grated Parmesan cheese. Pulse the mixture a few times to break down the ingredients.
  2. With the food processor or blender running, slowly drizzle in the extra-virgin olive oil. This will help emulsify the pesto and create a smooth consistency.
  3. Add the lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste. Continue blending until all the ingredients are well combined and the pesto reaches your desired texture. If necessary, you can add more olive oil to achieve a creamier consistency.
  4. Once the pesto is ready, transfer it to a jar or airtight container for storage. It can be used immediately or refrigerated for up to a week.
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Now that you have your homemade spinach walnut pesto, let’s explore some variations and substitutions you can make to suit your preferences.

Variations and Substitutions for Spinach Walnut Pesto

While the classic spinach walnut pesto recipe is delightful on its own, you can always experiment with different ingredients to customize the flavor. Here are a few variations and substitutions you can try:

  1. Nut-Free Pesto: If you have a nut allergy or prefer to avoid nuts, you can substitute the walnuts with sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds. These seeds will add a similar nutty flavor and texture to the pesto.
  2. Cheese-Free Pesto: For a vegan or dairy-free version, you can omit the Parmesan cheese or replace it with nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast provides a cheesy and savory flavor, making it an excellent alternative for those avoiding dairy.
  3. Herb Infusions: To add an extra layer of flavor to your pesto, consider incorporating fresh herbs such as basil, cilantro, or parsley. These herbs will complement the spinach and walnuts beautifully and create a more vibrant and aromatic pesto.

Feel free to get creative and experiment with different ingredients based on your taste preferences and dietary needs. Now that you have your spinach walnut pesto ready, let’s explore the various ways you can use it in your culinary creations.

Serving Suggestions and Pairing Options

The versatility of spinach walnut pesto knows no bounds. Here are a few serving suggestions and pairing options to inspire your culinary adventures:

Pasta Sauce: Toss the spinach walnut pesto with your favorite pasta, whether it’s spaghetti, penne, or fusilli. The creamy and flavorful pesto will coat the pasta beautifully, creating a quick and satisfying meal.

Sandwich Spread: Use the pesto as a spread on sandwiches and wraps for a burst of flavor. It pairs well with grilled vegetables, roasted chicken, or even a classic caprese combination of tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil.

Dip and Spread: Serve the spinach walnut pesto as a dip alongside fresh vegetables, pita bread, or crackers. It’s a healthier alternative to traditional dips and spreads, packed with nutrients and flavor.

Salad Dressing: Thin out the pesto with a little extra olive oil and lemon juice to create a vibrant and tangy salad dressing. Drizzle it over mixed greens, roasted vegetables, or even a grain-based salad for a delightful twist.

Grilled Protein: Use the pesto as a marinade for grilled chicken, fish, or tofu. The combination of the spinach, walnuts, and garlic will infuse the protein with a delicious and aromatic flavor.

Now that you know how to use spinach walnut pesto in various dishes, let’s discuss how to store and preserve it for future use.

Storing and Preserving Spinach Walnut Pesto

To ensure the longevity of your spinach walnut pesto and preserve its vibrant flavors, follow these storage guidelines:

Refrigeration: Transfer the pesto to an airtight container or jar and refrigerate it immediately. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Freezing: If you want to extend the shelf life of your pesto, consider freezing it. Spoon the pesto into ice cube trays or small freezer-safe containers. Once frozen, transfer the pesto cubes or containers to a freezer bag for easy storage. Frozen spinach walnut pesto can be kept for up to three months.

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Remember to label your containers with the date to keep track of the freshness. Now, let’s address some frequently asked questions about spinach walnut pesto.

Spinach Walnut Pesto Recipes for Different Dishes

Spinach Walnut Pesto Pasta

Cook your favorite pasta according to the package instructions. Drain the pasta, reserving a cup of pasta water. Toss the cooked pasta with the spinach walnut pesto, adding pasta water as needed to create a creamy sauce. Top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of toasted walnuts for an extra crunch.

Spinach Walnut Pesto Stuffed Chicken

Butterfly a chicken breast and spread a generous amount of spinach walnut pesto inside. Fold the chicken breast back together and secure with toothpicks. Season with salt and pepper, then grill or bake until cooked through. Serve with a side of roasted vegetables for a complete meal.

Spinach Walnut Pesto Bruschetta

Toast slices of crusty bread until golden brown. Spread a layer of spinach walnut pesto on each toast and top with sliced tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and a drizzle of balsamic glaze. Garnish with fresh basil leaves for a colorful and appetizing bruschetta.

Feel free to get creative and adapt these recipes based on your preferences and dietary needs. Now, let’s wrap up this article with a conclusion and some final thoughts.


Spinach walnut pesto is a delightful twist on the traditional pesto, offering a vibrant and nutritious alternative that will tantalize your taste buds. Packed with the health benefits of spinach and walnuts, this pesto is not only delicious but also versatile in its usage. From pasta sauces to sandwich spreads and salad dressings, spinach walnut pesto adds a burst of flavor to your favorite dishes.

By following the step-by-step instructions, you can easily make this pesto at home and customize it to your liking. Experiment with variations and substitutions to create your own unique spin on the recipe. Remember to store and preserve the pesto properly to enjoy it for an extended period.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use frozen spinach instead of fresh spinach?

Yes, you can use frozen spinach, but make sure to thaw and drain it before using it in the pesto. Fresh spinach is recommended for a brighter and fresher flavor.

Can I substitute the walnuts with other nuts?

Absolutely! You can experiment with different nuts such as almonds, pine nuts, or cashews. Each nut will bring its unique flavor and texture to the pesto.

Can I make the pesto ahead of time?

Yes, you can make the pesto ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator or freezer as mentioned earlier. This makes it convenient for meal prep or when you want to have a quick and delicious meal on hand.

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