close-up photo by Arx0nt of some fresh, green spinach leaves

Spinach & Basil Pesto

I don’t often make pesto (it’s so easy to find in stores) but when I want something that has an outstanding freshness and flavour — and no unexpected or unnecessary ingredients — this is my go-to spinach and basil recipe (vegan and nut-free versions included) …

graphic link to a recipe post on transatlantic notes called spinach and basil pesto


1 packed cup of fresh spinach

1 packed cup of fresh basil leaves

1/3 cup pine nuts (if nut-free, use sunflower seeds)

1/3 cup parmesan cheese (if vegan, use 3-4 tablespoons of nutritional yeast)

2 – 3 chopped, garlic cloves

1 tablespoon lemon juice

a good pinch of salt and pepper

3/4 cup (approx.) olive oil — more/less can be used, it just depends on what texture/consistency is preferred

a close-up photo of a small wooden bowl filled with fresh, homemade spinach and basil pesto made by molly of transatlantic notes


Place all ingredients, except for the olive oil, into a food processor and process until finely minced.

While the food processor is still running, add the olive oil a little at a time until the preferred smoothness is achieved. I usually do a taste test at this point to see if I need to add more oil, salt or garlic, etc which you can easily do.

Use or serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator and consume within 3-4 days.


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34 thoughts on “Spinach & Basil Pesto”

  1. This pesto looks and sounds so good! I’ve never made pesto, I agree it’s so easy to find in stores. But I’m gonna try making this, it looks so fresh!


  2. I absolutely ADORE pesto and my husband and I like to make this delicious pesto chicken pasta meal – but I’ve always just done store-bought. Now I’m thinking I need to try my hand at making it myself. I’m sure it would make the dish even better!


  3. I’ve never made my own pesto, but you’re right, it does seem easy to make. Also, thanks for putting the ingredients and directions front and centre in the post. I hate having to scroll through a novel just to find the ingredients


    1. It frustrates me when I am looking at recipes on other blogs that you have to keep scrolling and scrolling to get to the recipe, mine will always be just straight to the point! Thank you so much for stopping by — I hope you try making your own pesto!


  4. This sounds delicious – and super healthy too with spinach. I used to make mint pesto but stopped after my daughter complained it was like eating toothpaste pasta! I’ll have to try your recipe instead now, thank you 🙂


  5. Omg, this looks sooo good!! Love pine nuts too!! I like how you give options for substitution!! Will save it and try next time we are going to make pasta!!


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