Spinach Pea Pesto (Gluten-Free, Oil-Free)

Spinach Pea Pesto

I love the idea of pesto being healthy.  Unfortunately, most store bought pestos are full of fat, sodium and preservatives. That meant I needed to make my own.  I decided to create mine a little different than the traditional pestos containing basil.  I LOVE spinach so this is how mine is different.  I also decided to throw in some peas for a very mild sweetness. The result….a very hearty pesto that is delicious and you can feel good about eating! I find myself dipping into it so much I have to refrain from eating the whole bowl at once!

Recipe: Serves 4  Prep time: 10 mins  

Gluten-free (Make sure all ingredients are labeled to be in a gluten-free facility if you’re gluten sensitive, in case of cross contamination)


3 cups fresh spinach
1 cup peas
1/4 cup pecans  (lightly toast them if you desire in a small saucepan over low heat just for a minute or so making sure to not let them burn)
2-3 large cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon lemon zest (optional)
Juice of 1 lemon
1 1/2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
2-3 tablespoons of low sodium vegetable broth, depending on desired thickness
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano spice
Few grinds of fresh black pepper
Throw all ingredients into a food processor. Pulse until thick and creamy. Serve with homemade tortilla chips or over pasta.
Homemade Garlic Tortilla Chips:
Preheat oven at 400 degrees. Stack 4 whole wheat torilla chips on top of each other. Cut in halves, then fourths. Spray a sheet pan with olive oil spray. Spread the chips out evenly. Spray the top of the chips with olive oil spray and sprinkle with sea salt and garlic powder. Bake for about 10 minutes or until golden brown.
Spinach pea pesto

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Appetizers, Entertaining Dishes, Gluten Free, Snacks, VEGAN, VEGETARIAN


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7 Comments on “Spinach Pea Pesto (Gluten-Free, Oil-Free)”

  1. Alicia
    October 18, 2012 at 9:59 PM #

    As I am not one to write reviews when I’ve made changes, I’ll preface this with the only change I made was to add a few extra cloves of garlic. We are a garlic loving family, especially raw garlic with the added kick. I’m not vegan, so I used a Parmesan blend cheese. I also used pine nuts and I roasted them, as instructed…literally two minutes on medium on the stove top, shaking often until they are golden. Don’t dig into this and expect PESTO to jump out at you…because *real* pesto is really oily. This is NOT oily, nor does it need to be. It’s nutty, with a sweetness from the peas. The spinach (raw) is undetectable in flavor, but it holds the dish together. I am slowly warming up to lemon in my food (just an Alicia thing) and the lemon is part of what makes this a tasty, sassy dip. I really really like it, but I won’t call it pesto. To me, pesto is oil and fatty (bad fatty). This a beautiful blend of subtle ingredients that blended together create a dip that gives a *POP*! Some might prefer more salt (my husband is an over salter), but I’d caution against it depending on what you’ll be using to dip into it. This is a dip I’ll bring as a hostess gift (who has time to make specialty dips when entertaining?) or just something to impress my friends with. Love it Brandi!

    OK, now my changes! I am using this as a pasta topping, so I’ll be adding some chicken broth to water down the thickness, I’ll put it over bow tie pasta and bake with Parmesan blend cheese (if I had nutritional yeast, I’d use it) until melted. Sounds yummy!! Smells even better :).

    • October 21, 2012 at 7:32 AM #

      Thank you so much for the wonderful feedback! I’m so glad you enjoyed it so much and your addition with the white wine to make it as a sauce also sounds delicious!

  2. December 12, 2012 at 8:14 PM #

    This looks awesome! Thank you!! 🙂


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