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Pesto gets turned on its head with this milder version of Pistachio Spinach Pesto that is sure to have everyone asking to eat their greens!
Is it just me, or is anyone else ready for spring? This winter has felt like it has dragged on for FOREVER! It's March, and I am ready for some sunshine and warmer weather. I mean, the first "official" day of spring for this year coming up soon. So, I guess that means the weather should start becoming nicer and the trees will start to turn green again and all the flowers will bloom now, right?
This twist on a classic actually came about for two reasons
- My husband HATES basil - He claims it tastes like he is eating grass, haha. On the other hand, he LOVES raw spinach. (so lucky for this) Now he completely HATES cooked spinach, so that is a whole different ballgame with cooking, but I will always take the win when I can get them.
- Our daughters do not like pine nuts - Our youngest, in particular, says they are really strong and have an after taste. She is my mini-me in the kitchen, and it was her suggestion to use pistachios. I probably shouldn't have been surprised by her suggestion since those are her absolute favorite nuts.
Personally, I love traditional pesto, but I knew (at least not for now anyway) this classic was not something they were going to eat. It was because of that that I set out to find a new twist on a classic that they would eat.
What is in pistachio spinach pesto?
- Spinach (fresh)
- Parmesan Cheese
- Avocado Oil
How to make pistachio spinach pesto?
Time needed: 10 minutes.
Pistachio Spinach Pesto
- Add the pistachios, garlic, spinach, lemon, parmesan and salt and pepper to a food processor and pulse until fine.
Check to make sure there are no large pieces of nuts still visible before moving on.
- Drizzle in the olive oil until the mixture comes together.
You can add more or less olive oil depending how thick you want the final sauce to be.
- Add more salt and pepper to taste if desired and enjoy.
I tend to error on the side of less salt when it comes to this pesto since most pistachios already have some added.
Like I said above, this pesto has a much milder flavor profile compared to its basil counterpart. This means that for those people that find basil to be stronger as a fresh herb, this can be more appealing. The lemon in this recipe makes it brighter, leaving this pesto good for those who don't like basil.
This particular recipe uses pistachios. Pine nuts are the traditional nut used in making pesto, and they can be subbed into this recipe. Pine nuts can be harder to find and more expensive than pistachios since they have a longer ripening time and harder harvesting practices. Pine nuts are not actually nuts, either. Technically they are the seeds from pine cones. Pistachios have a little bit more of a nutty flavor when compared to pine nuts. Which in this recipe works well with the milder spinach. Either way, though, you can use what you like.
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What to use pistachio spinach pesto for?
This pesto is so versatile you can use it as a pasta sauce over your favorite gluten-free pasta or as a marinade for chicken (it is really good grilled). You can even use it as a sauce for pizza. The bonus is it comes together in about five minutes, making it a perfect addition to a weeknight menu.
If you love pesto but want to try something new, give this version a try and let me know what you think!
More Sauce Recipes
Pistachio Spinach Pesto
- Food Processor
- ½ C Unsalted Pistachios Shelled
- 4 C Baby Spinach Fresh
- ¼ C Avocado Oil
- 1 TBS Lemon Juice
- 2 teaspoon Garlic about 3 Cloves
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- ½ TSP Pepper
- ⅓ C Parmesan Cheese Freshly grated is best
- Combine all of the ingredients into the bowl of a food processor except the olive oil.
- Pulse until the nuts have combined, and a paste has formed.
- With the food processor on drizzle the olive oil into the mixture. If you want to make it a looser sauce, add more avocado oil if desired.
- Use it as a pasta sauce over your favorite gluten-free pasta, as a marinade or eat it with a spoon directly because it's that good!