Spinach Basil Pesto

Spinach Basil Pesto

Have you ever tried making pesto with spinach and basil before? How about red pepper flakes? Holy cannolis people if you like to mix things up a bit you’ve got to try this awesome combination. It will knock your socks off.


2 cups fresh spinach leaves, well-washed and stemmed
1/2 cup fresh basil
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
3 garlic cloves
¼ – ½ cup extra virgin olive oil {depends on preference}
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon red crushed pepper flakes {totally optional}
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

how to make pesto


Toss the spinach, basil, garlic, salt, pepper, Parmesan, red crushed pepper and pine nuts into a food processor and pulse, slowly adding oil until the mixture is nice and smooth.

how to freeze pesto

I know it’s hard to imagine, but if you make more pesto than you can eat, try freezing it. I like to freeze my extra pesto in my mini muffin tin. I use a 2 tablespoon scoop so the portions are all the same. Then I simply pop the filled muffin tin in the freezer for a few hours until the pesto is frozen, then pop the cubes of pesto in a zip baggie to use later.

The next time you need a little pesto, simply pop a cube in the microwave for a few seconds to thaw, then mix in to your favorite recipe.

Pestos, Tapenades, and Spreads

Looking for more recipes? Be sure and check out the book Pestos, Tapenades, and Spreads. Amazon currently has it in stock and it has awesome reviews. Yummalicious!

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  1. Kathy says

    I’ve made this before but with toasted hemp seed. Being allergic to tree nuts, had to find an alternative and those puppies are good!

  2. Heidi says

    Hi Mavis,
    Where do you buy your pine nuts? They can be very expensive and didn’t know if you had the inside track on a deal:)

  3. Vicki says

    I’ve never been a fan of pine nuts. They just taste too piney for me. I substitute toasted almonds for pine nuts in all my pesto recipes with great results! I love the idea of adding spinach or other greens.

  4. Kathy in Chicago says

    Last year when I was looking for a way to use up my abundance of oregano, I used that instead of basil. I only have 1 jar of oregano pesto in the freezer, but 3 jars of the traditional stuff. My family prefers it! Now I’m going to have to try this one as well!

  5. says

    I almost always use a spinach/basil mix in mine now. Especially during the winter when there’s no basil in the garden. It’s so dang expensive at the store, so this is an awesome way to still have the basil pesto flavor on the cheap.
    I love pine nuts, but again, I generally sub something else for the cost factor.
    I had a TON of tabouli left over from a party two weekends ago and I mixed that with basil and almonds in the food processor to make pesto and it turned out awesome. I froze it in Popsicle molds and then stuck them all in ziplocks for those, what the heck am I gonna make for dinner, nights.

  6. says

    I am having an issue with my basil. Some dark brown spots with a surrounding light beige-y spot are showing up on my leaves … would you happen to have any insight?

    Thank you in advance 😉

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