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Spinach Pesto (Dairy Free, Paleo, Whole30)

Yields8 ServingsPrep Time20 minsTotal Time20 mins

Spinach is one of the first garden vegetables to emerge from the soil in early spring. It is very cold tolerant and hearty, so it will survive the nighttime temperature dips of early spring. Pesto is one my favourite sauces. Why you may ask? 1) It is so simple to make 2) It can be made with a diverse variety of green vegetables from spinach, to kale, and garlic scapes to fennel fronds to name a few 3) it can be made with a large variety of nuts/seeds such as walnuts, pumpkin seeds, pistascios and hazelnuts 4) it is a scrumptious sauce atop pasta, pizza, roasted vegetables/protein, appetizer on crackers to name a few. Need I say more! Traditionally, pesto is made with a mortar and pestle, but a far simpler and more approachable way to prepare it is with a food processor or blender. In this recipe I use pistachios in the shell and I remove them. It is more work? Yes, however, pre-shelled ones go rancid quickly and tend to taste stale/off. You can use whatever nuts you like in this pesto or you can use raw pumpkin seeds to make this nut-free.

 6 cups loosely packed spinach leaves
 ½ cup shelled pistachiosIf you use pistachios use ones in the shell and shell them
 4 garlic cloves, cut in half
 2 large lemons, juiced
 ½ cup extra virgin cold pressed olive oil
 1 tsp sea salt

Add all of the ingredients to a food processor. A food processor is my preferred tool to prepare pesto. Pulse ingredients in food processor until it reaches a gritty semi-smooth texture. You should still be able to to see small bits of the nuts and the spinach.


I often get asked if pesto can be made in a blender. You can use a blender, however it will result in a very smooth pesto. If you are not careful it will end up being too smooth and end up more like an unpleasant paste. So if you use a blender be sure to pulse nuts/seeds first a little before you pulse the rest of the ingredients.


Pesto can be placed in glass jars (leave about 1 inch space at the top) and frozen for up to 6 months.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 1/4 cup

Servings 0