Spinach-Walnut Pesto

We swap fresh basil and pine nuts for ingredients that are more evergreen and everyday, perfect for a vibrant hit in cooler months. The warmth from the toasted walnuts will help the sauce emulsify in the food processor; toast in a dry skillet over medium-low for 5 minutes or until fragrant and warm. Dollop this pesto over vegetable soups, spread on crusty whole-wheat bread, or spoon over fish or chicken. If using as a pasta sauce, use the starchy pasta cooking liquid to thin the pesto in the food processor so that it coats the noodles.

Spinach-Walnut Pesto in a black bowl
Photo: Greg Dupree
Active Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
10 mins


  • 4 cups fresh spinach

  • ¼ cup toasted walnuts

  • 1 ounce grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1 small garlic clove, chopped

  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons warm water


  1. Place spinach, walnuts, Parmesan cheese, garlic, lemon juice and crushed red pepper in a food processor; process until finely chopped. With processor on, slowly add olive oil through food chute. Add warm water; process until blended.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

85 Calories
8g Fat
2g Carbs
2g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Serving Size about 2 tbsp.
Calories 85
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Protein 2g 4%
Total Fat 8g 10%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Sodium 76mg 3%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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