Basil, Spinach and Walnut Pesto

Basil, Spinach and Walnut Pesto

Pesto is such a beautiful thing to make.  It's verrry tasty and can jazz up a quick bowl of pasta perfectly, let’s not forget it's another freezer-friendly mealtime superstar.

This is a pretty nutrient-dense vegan version, made with ground walnuts, basil and spinach. Blended with lots of garlic and extra virgin olive oil as an excellent pesto should be, but omitting any cheese.

Basil, spinach and walnut pesto blog

I think you can get some pretty decent shop-bought pesto, but it's what you gain health-wise which inspires me to make my own. I mean check out the pile of fresh spinach and basil, those two inevitably make a decent dent in the daily vitamin quota. Honestly, though, this recipe is so easy there's no excuse for not making up a batch and having good stock to hand.. Just like a good tomato sauce, this is a handy midweek shortcut, and guaranteed to satisfy.

basil, spinach and walnut pesto

I suppose what I've done here is elevated my recipe from convenient, to healthy and convenient.  I've been making pesto for yonks, but over time I've refined my approach, adding spinach and omitting the cheese.  Does it make a difference to the taste?  Hardly!  You'll be so bowled over by the fresh basil and garlic, that you'll forget about ole Mr Parmesan, I'm sure of it.

basil spinach and walnut pesto

Basil, Spinach and Walnut Pesto



  • 150g fresh spinach leaves

  • 25g fresh basil

  • 100g walnuts

  • 4 large cloves of garlic

  • 1 cup of extra virgin olive oil

  • Seasoning


  1. Blend all the ingredients together in a blender.

  2. Season to taste and add more olive oil or a little water if you feel it's too dry.

  3. Stir through cooked pasta, drizzle with some more olive oil, season with black pepper and serve. I’ve added some oven roasted plum tomatoes.

basil spinach and walnut pesto

My Notes and tips

I like this recipe without the cheese, IMHO it’s not missed.  

If you'd rather keep things traditional, you can use pine nuts instead of walnuts, or remove the nuts altogether, check out the suggested pesto recipes below👇.

basil, spinach and walnut pesto

I hope you've enjoyed this recipe and perhaps you'd even like to try making it, let me know how you get on if you do.  While working on this recipe, I stumbled a delicious Sage and Pumpkin Pesto by one of my favourite food bloggers Supper In the Suburbs, check it out, I’ll be road testing it soon!


PS - this recipe was featured in Vegan Living magazine


Check these out:

Nut-free Pesto by Cooking and Carafes- Kate knows all there is to know about beautiful Italian food.

Basil, Pine-nut and Rocket Pesto by Olives and Feta - the added peppery punch of fresh rocket.

Turkish-Style Eggs with Wild Garlic Pesto by Food I Fancy - why stop at just the pesto?

basil, spinach and walnut pesto