Spinach Basil Lemon Pesto (Nut-Free)

Spinach Basil Lemon Pesto


Pesto is so versatile.   With just a few basic ingredients,  you can easily make fresh pesto.  I love to use pesto as a flavor booster in many recipes.  I add it to soups, vinaigrettes, and marinades.  I use it as a sauce on homemade pizza and to top grilled meat and veggies.  I feature it in a panini, and I simply serve it over warm pasta. I could go on and on (told you it was versatile).

I’ve made many different types of pesto (sun dried tomato and artichoke, to name a couple).  However, I usually find myself going back to the classic basil pesto.  In this recipe, I took the classic and decided to add one of my favorite ingredients.  Fresh spinach gives this pesto a nutritional boost and a vibrant green color.  This recipe is also nut free which helps to keep both calories and fat content down.  The inclusion of lemon juice adds a brightness to this pesto that most recipes don’t have.

You can put this pesto together in under 5 minutes.  Add spinach, basil, garlic, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and olive oil in a food processor.  Blend to combine, and it’s ready!  Keep stored in an air tight container in the refrigerator for one week, or freeze to use later.  I like to freeze pesto towards the end of summer when basil is bountiful (and inexpensive).  To do so, add pesto to ice cube tray compartments in 2-3 tablespoon increments.  Once frozen, pop them out of the ice cube tray, and add to a freezer safe container.  Add the pesto cubes to dishes throughout the winter for a fresh pop of flavor.

This recipe is a must make.  I encourage you to keep a jar of it available at all times like I do.  I hope you continue to find new ways to utilize the versatility of this spinach basil lemon pesto!


  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 tbsp parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
  • 3 tbsp olive oil


Add spinach and basil to food processor.  Pulse 2-3 times to combine.  Add garlic, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.  Pulse 2 more times to combine.  With the machine running, add olive oil in a slow steady stream until well combined and emulsified.

Makes: 3/4 of a cup

Notes: Recipe adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod’s Spinach Basil Pesto


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