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spinach pesto sauce in white bowl

Spinach Basil Pesto Sauce

Special tricks to create your greenest and creamiest pesto yet!

Course Dressing / Sauce
Cuisine Italian
Keyword pesto
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 3 /4 cup, 4 servings
Calories 171 kcal


  • 1.5 Tbs toasted pine nuts cooled + crushed
  • 1 garlic clove pan roasted and roughly chopped
  • 1.5 cups packed basil leaves blanched
  • 1/2 cup packed baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 small potato peeled + boiled (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano optional
  • squeeze of lemon


  1. Begin by toasting the nuts and garlic clove in a pan on the stove top. Depending on the nut, this should take 2-5 minutes. The garlic clove can be done simultaneously.

    Once cooled, adding them to the Cuisinart or blender and pulse until crushed into small pieces.

Blanching basil leaves (optional)

  1. Prepare an ice bath. Boil water in a small pot & blanch the basil leaves - 10 sec max. Immediately transfer them to an ice bath, reserving water for boiling the potato. Dry the basil leaves with a paper towel or herb spinner.

Using a boiled potato (optional)

  1. Boil the potato - cutting it into quarters will speed up the time it take to soften. 5-8 minutes. Set aside to cool or run under cold water to do this quickly.

Blend the Spinach Basil Pesto

  1. Add crushed nuts + garlic, basil leaves and fresh spinach to the Cuisinart. Add salt. Pulse a few times until roughly chopped.

  2. Slowly drizzle olive oil into the bowl and blend until emulsified and smooth. About 1-2 min. It's important to add the oil in very slowly, otherwise you'll end up with a chunky, oily mess.
  3. Add the potato (if using), pulse to incorporate into a creamy sauce.

  4. Transfer to a bowl and mix in finely grated cheese, if using, and a squeeze of lemon for brightness.


  1. Fridge: Pesto will store for 3-5 days in the fridge. Place a think layer of olive oil over the top to keep it green or lay plastic wrap directly onto the top of the pesto sauce. This keeps the air from oxidizing the pesto.
  2. Freezing: I use ice cubes trays for quick access. I recommend freezing without the cheese included. When defrosting, you don't want to heat it. Herb sauces are not meant for heating up! Defrost at room temp.


TIP: pesto is delicious in mashed potatoes. Boil a few extra to make some later with your finished pesto!!

Nutrition Facts
Spinach Basil Pesto Sauce
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 171
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.