Basil and Spinach Pesto

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This mouthwatering pesto features a prized superfood!

This Basil and Spinach Pesto can be used in a number of delicious ways.

This combination of basil, spinach, pine nuts, and parmesan make for an amazing pesto that’s perfect for any occasion! There’s really nothing better than sharing a delicious homemade recipe amongst loved ones, especially when it is this tasty and such a classic. It only takes a few minutes for the ingredients to come together, creating a mixture with a rich flavor and beautiful presentation.

The Perfect Pesto

Whip up this pesto as a marinade for chicken.

Pesto is a classic Italian sauce, traditionally made with fresh green herbs like basil and parsley, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil, and parmesan cheese. It’s perfect over pasta dishes, with meats, or even when used as a dip. This basil and spinach pesto is delicious on artisan bread or served with fresh pasta.

An Antioxidant Rich Sauce

Enjoy this recipe on pasta for a filling yet healthy dinner.

Our pesto recipe is a step above the rest due to the addition of spinach. Spinach is a fibrous and antioxidant-rich, leafy vegetable. When added to this pesto recipe, you’ll get an extra boost of vitamins A, B2, C, and K, which are important for maintaining bone health and immune function. It’s also high in iron, which is very important for the function of red blood cells and circulation. Along with other nutrient-dense herbs, pine nuts (which are packed with healthy fats), and protein from the parmesan, this sauce is not-so-surprisingly healthy and simply delicious.

Create this Sauce

There's something about homemade pasta that just tastes better!

You can have this recipe ready to go in just two steps! First, add all of the ingredients, except oil, to a food processor or blender. Pulse until they are finely chopped. Add oil and continue to pulse until smooth. Then, simply store the pesto in an airtight container in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it.

You can add this recipe to your favorite pasta, which is what we’ve done here. Cook one (16-ounce) box of whole wheat spaghetti or Fettuccine according to instructions on the box. Once cooked, add the pesto and toss to coat! You can also use it as a dip or even a marinade for meats like chicken (try this Pesto Grilled Chicken Breast recipe). YUM. 

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Basil and Spinach Pesto

Our version of pesto beats the store-bought version any day in taste and nutrition.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Yield 12 people
Serving Size 2 tablespoons
Course Condiment
Cuisine Italian
Author SkinnyMs.


  • 1 cup basil fresh, packed
  • 1 cup baby spinach fresh, packed
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • kosher or sea salt to taste
  • 3/4 cup pecorino romano cheese grated, optional parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil


  • Add all ingredients, except oil, to a food processor or blender, pulse until ingredients are finely chopped. Add oil and pulse until smooth. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  • Add this recipe to your favorite pasta. Cook one (16 ounce) box of whole wheat spaghetti or Fettuccine according to instructions on box, add pesto and toss to coat.


To freeze pesto, do not add cheese until thawed and ready to serve. Freeze up to 2 months.
Nutritional information does not include pasta. 

Nutrition Information

Serving: 2tablespoons | Calories: 183kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 78mg | Potassium: 62mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 368IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 75mg | Iron: 1mg |
SmartPoints (Freestyle): 6
Keywords Diabetic-Friendly, Gluten-Free, Keto, Quick and Easy

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Enjoyed this basil and spinach pesto? If so, you should also try these nutritious pesto dishes, next!

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The SkinnyMs. team believes that all people, regardless of age, size, and fitness level, have the power to transform their lives — they just need the resources to do so. The SkinnyMs. method promotes healthy living through a combination of clean eating and regular exercise. We offer everything you need to be successful.

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  1. This sounds delicious! I'll definitely give it a try. Do you have any ideas on what to substitute for the cheese if lactose intolerant?? Have a beautiful day!

    1. Cheese is a big part of pesto. I think you could likely find a vegan cheese or lactose free cheese at most grocery stores.

    2. I can't have dairy also, but there is a Pecorino romano and another romano that is made from sheep's milk which I can have. They are pricey, but it only takes a little. Roman is sold in grocery stores, but is often from cow's milk, so watch it closely. There are also lactose pills at most grocery stores and drug stores. I found that I need 3 instead of the 2 they suggest. Hope it works for you. Too many things made with Parmesan – hate to miss out! There may also be a Parmesan made from sheep or goat that works. I have found some sheep and/or goat cheese I can eat that are delicious.

    3. Kristin–look for cheeses made from sheep or goat’s milk. Smoked goat’s milk cheese and Manchego cheese are especially good. They can be a bit of an acquired taste, but both are exceptionally good and widely available.

  2. Healthy Living with Kristin! Cabot has a couple of 'light' cheeses that are considered lactose free. I

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