This Dairy-Free Basil Spinach Pesto recipe is incredibly easy and perfect for the warm summer months when there is more basil than you even know what to do with. This flavorful sauce is the perfect addition to pasta, a delicious spread on sandwiches, and can even be used as the base of a delicious chicken salad.
This recipe leaves out the dairy, packs a nutritious punch with the addition of spinach, and literally takes only a few minutes to make in your food processor. The next time you have some extra basil be sure to whip up a batch of this easy dairy-free basil spinach pesto and keep it in your fridge!
Basil spinach pesto! Sounds fancy doesn’t it? If you’ve been an All the Healthy Things reader for even a little while, you know that there are some recipes I’m only just now making and creating because they sounded a lot more complicated than they actually were.
Basil pesto is definitely one of those recipes. I love basil pesto, but I never made it because it sounded so complicated. The good news is that this sauce is incredibly easy to make. It’s packed full of flavor from fresh basil, tons of garlic, and usually parmesan cheese. If you’ve never had it before, trust me when I say that it is absolutely delicious.
I’ve found myself buying pesto from the grocery store more frequently over the last few months and honestly, it’s kind of expensive. The ingredients themselves are relatively inexpensive though, so I knew it was time to get in the kitchen and make a homemade pesto sauce that we can keep in the fridge for those times we need it.
Thankfully this dairy-free basil spinach pesto is so easy to make that I’ll never be tempted to buy it from the store ever again.. Essentially all you do is gather your ingredients, place them in a food processor, give it a few pulses until smooth (yet a little chunky) and you’re done!
Not only is this basil pesto easy whip up, there are so many different and creative use for it in your every day cooking. Here are some of my favorite ways to use basil pesto sauce:
Add a tablespoon or so to your pasta sauce at the end of cooking for a punch of extra flavor
Use it as a spread on sandwiches just like you would mayo or mustard (trust me on this it’s a game changer)
Combine leftover roasted chicken, mayo, and a tablespoon of pesto for an easy and flavorful chicken salad
Traditional pesto is made with basil, pine nuts, parmesan cheese, garlic, and olive oil. Although I love the traditional take on pesto, I decided to take things in a bit of a different direction with this recipe to incorporate more fresh greens, leave out the dairy, and add a new twist of flavor.
Honestly, I like this dairy-free version of pesto even better and because it’s dairy-free you can easily incorporate it into your recipes if you have a dairy allergy or if you’re on a Whole30 and trying to avoid dairy.
I also added a little extra spice with crushed red pepper flakes and brightened the flavor a bit with fresh lemon juice. The lemon juice and red pepper really add an extra punch of flavor that takes this pesto sauce to the next level. I’m telling you, you have to make this!
red pepper flakes
fresh lemon juice
salt + fresh cracked black pepper
Another great thing about this pesto recipe is that it incorporates baby spinach for an extra punch of nutrition. You really can’t tell that there’s even spinach in this sauce because the flavor of the basil is so strong which is great. With this recipe, you get the best of both worlds – crazy good flavor and extra greens!
This recipe makes a small batch of pesto, but you could easily double it if you needed to make more. Making this basil spinach pesto recipe is also a great option when you have leftover basil you can’t use right away or spinach that’s beginning to wilt.
Just make a big batch of this sauce and then start incorporating it into some of your favorite dishes.
Last, but certainly not least, you can also try freezing this basil pesto! Just use an ice cube tray to freeze small blocks of your pesto.
Once frozen, you can pop them into a storage container and then use as needed. Frozen pesto cubes would work especially well when you’re trying to add an extra punch of flavor to hot pasta sauces like this Whole30 bolognese sauce or a creamy Alfredo sauce.
The pesto will melt right in! Go ahead and make a batch of this easy basil spinach pesto and start adding even more delicious flavor to your meals!
Spicy Lime Tahini Dressing [vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free]
Dairy-Free Jalapeño Ranch [whole30, paleo, vegetarian]
Chipotle Lime Aioli [whole30, paleo, gluten-free]
Lemon Herb Tahini Dressing [whole30, vegan, paleo]
1c basil leaves, packed
1c baby spinach, packed
1/3c pine nuts
3 cloves fresh garlic
1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
Add all of the ingredients to a high-powered food processor and blend until well combined and smoothed. Store in the fridge. Enjoy!
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