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Spinach Pesto with Pistachios Recipe

Welcome Spinach Pesto to your table soon and bask in the garlicky, cheesy, nutty goodness. It’s delightful on sandwiches, pasta and more.

Green pesto with brown specks is spread on bread that sits on a wooden cutting board. A spoon with pesto on it sits nearby.

With 30 minutes between meetings today, I set out to do the impossible: Shower, change and make pesto so it could rest before using it. Fortunately, I’m well on my way to perfecting the 10-minute shower. That meant just enough time was left to whirl together the earthy, meaty, vibrant ingredients to make a perfect batch of pesto.

Making pesto can be a fast, satisfying kitchen endeavor.

Gather your ingredients, measure and prepare. That’s all it takes. No need to overthink it.

A Cuisinart Mini-Prep Plus sits on a counter. The bowl is filled with green pesto.

For this recipe, I use a mini food processor, but a blender would do in a pinch, to get it to just the right consistency. It’s quick and easy, and simple to clean up too. If you have more time and like using elbow grease, a mortar pestle is a great option as well.

Ingredients including spinach, pistachios, olive oil and Romano cheese sit on a counter with a measuring cup and a mini food processor.

In terms of ingredients, this recipe trades the traditional basil for in-season spinach. It will be weeks or longer before basil is ready here in Maine. In the meantime, spinach makes a fabulous substitute in pesto, lending a sweet earthiness to the recipe.

Green pesto with brown specks is spread on bread that sits on a wooden cutting board. A spoon with pesto on it sits nearby. A mini food processor sits in the background.

It’s combined with meaty pistachios, sharp Romano cheese, vibrant garlic, olive oil and a bit of salt and pepper. Whirled together, it’s magic.

A sandwich on a French baguette sits on a wooden cutting board. Tomato, prosciutto and pesto are visible at the end.

Spinach Pesto with Pistachios makes a lovely sandwich spread. It’s also fabulous tossed with pasta and spooned onto grilled salmon. Or, try tossing it with veggies or do as my daughter does and add some to a vinaigrette.

Whatever you do, enjoy it.

Spinach Pesto with Pistachios

Spinach Pesto with Pistachios

Yield: about 1 1/2 cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes


  • 2 cups packed baby spinach leaves, washed and dried
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup shelled pistachios
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Romao cheese
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • kosher salt, to taste


  1. Combine the spinach, garlic, pistachios and Romano cheese in a mini food processor or blender. Pulse to chop.
  2. Add the olive oil to the food processor and process to desired consistency.
  3. Season with salt, as desired, stirring well. I would recommend starting with 1/2 teaspoon. That may be enough.
  4. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

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