Toasted Walnut Spinach Pesto Pasta

Spiral pasta with homemade spinach pesto sauce

We are just about to wrap up our two week trip at our home away from home in the mountains. At the start of out vacation we were welcomed by a huge order or fresh and fabulous food delivered by Black Canyon Foods. This was my first time ordering from these folks and this must happen every visit to Colorado. In our order was a Cilantro Pesto sauce that was gone in seconds. It was time to make my own version!

With just a few items left in the fridge and pantry I put myself up to the challenge of using up every last bit of what we have left. I refuse to waste food, sooooo with a heap of baby spinach, toasted walnuts, parmesan and olive oil our pesto sauce was put together in minutes.
Spiral pasta in rainbow colors on rustic wooden table

My kids and husband love this curly swirly rainbow hued pasta. It is an irresistible subject for photography.

Grab a few handfuls of baby spinach to get a dazzling green color…

Baby spinach leaves on linen napkin.

What is not to love about a sauce that can be whizzed up in seconds in your food processor? The ingredients don’t need to be fussy or carefully measured out. Choose you greens, nuts and cheese according to what you have lying around. No heat required.

Homemade baby spinach pesto sauce in a glass with long spoon

My recipe calls for just a few servings, but you can make a whole lot more and enjoy it for a few days worth of lunch box meals and dinners.

You can easily make this a grain free or gluten free meal by simply omitting the pasta. I enjoy my pesto spooned over fried eggs, which makes this a low carb-grain free meal. I also toss a few spoonfuls in my salads as a dressing. You can thin it out with more olive oil if you wish.

Spiral pasta with homemade spinach pesto sauce

Pesto with quinoa or gluten free pasta is wonderfully tasty too. Toss in some chunks of grilled chicken, slabs of seared tuna or tofu for extra protein.

Little boy in ski suit walking on snowy stairs

We love coming into hearty, healthy meals after hitting it hard on the slopes.

Gorrono Ranch in Telluride Colorado

Serve hot, cold or anywhere in between.

Spiral pasta with homemade spinach pesto sauce

Do you have a favorite pesto recipe? What ingredients do you add to yours?


Pesto Recipe Links

~ Marla Meridith

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56 thoughts on “Toasted Walnut Spinach Pesto Pasta

  1. This looks great! Spinach is one of my favorite foods just because it’s so versatile. It can go into sweet smoothies, sautéed, raw in salads and on sandwiches, and made into pesto. Really, what can’t you do with Spinach? We buy it by the box in our house.

    1. Shawna, it is great how versatile spinach is. I need to try a smoothie with it, been seeing loads of great recipes around the web. Very smart to buy it by the box as it does go quickly!

  2. Give me any green pesto and I am a happy girl. It looks so fabulous and the little twirly swirly pastas are to die for 😉 Thank you so much for he link. Hugs.

  3. I get such a kick out of “use whatever’s in the kitchen” recipes. Like you, I can’t stand wasting food. It’s kind of fun to thing of new ways to use ingredients that I already have available!

  4. I’ve thought of you often over the past couple of weeks, knowing you are in your favorite place in the world. This looks like a wonderful meal to come home to after a day of skiing or snowshoeing. You just can’t beat homemade pesto.

  5. Thanks for the link, Marla! Your photos are gorgeous. I also have to put in a plug for pounding pestos in a mortar and pestle. My 5-year old daughter LOVES to do it, and it doesn’t take that much more time than a food processor. In fact, there have been many times when I’ve intended to whiz, but my daughter is so enthusiastic about “helping” me in the kitchen that I pull out the mortar and pestle and let HER make the pesto instead! 😉

  6. Marla–this looks great! We must be on the same page, because I made a green pesto this week too. Kale + almonds. My kids love “special green pasta” too. I will have to try your version soon!

  7. The pesto was great! Nice cheap alternative to traditional basil and pine nut. My batch needed the juice from half a lemon- and it served 2. Thanks!

  8. This recipe for Spinach Pesto is awesome. I had some fresh basil growing in a container and I used half spinach and half basil…….I can’t put into words how delish this is. Thank you for the recipe.