Spinach Pesto
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Spinach Pesto on Rice

Spinach Pesto on Rice from Weelicious



My greens obsession continues!

Can it be challenging to get kids to eat their greens? At times, absolutely. But it can really make a difference when you use your greens in creative ways.

Consider pesto. If your little one has an aversion to the color, I say get her involved in making it with you by letting her measure, dump and turn on the food processor. Sure it might make a bit of a mess in the kitchen, and you may have to do a little cajoling here and there, but I promise that when you're done and your youngster can taste how flavorful her creation turned out, that "no green food" face is going to be replaced with a big smile.

And don't forget to double the recipe so you always have extra spinach pesto on hand. I find it to be a lifesaver at mealtime. Just store the extra in freezer cubes and all you have to do is defrost one, toss it with pasta, rice, fish or chicken and voila, you have an effort-free meal in minutes!

Spinach Pesto on Rice from Weelicious

Spinach Pesto  (makes 1 1/4 cups - 5 servings)

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My greens obsession continues! Can it be challenging to get kids to eat their greens? At times, absolutely. But it can really make a difference when you use your greens in creative ways. Consider pesto. If your little one has an aversion to the...


  • 2 cups packed spinach
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil


  1. 1. Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.
  2. 2. Stir into rice and serve.
  3. * Can also be mixed into cooked pasta, fish or chicken.
Spinach Pesto

Nutrition Information

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  1. emily

    March 18, 2015 at 7:11 pm

    I just made this for St. Patty’s Day, and wanted to comment that aside from being delicious, the green color is so bright and pretty!

  2. Paula

    January 23, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    Hi, it is delicious even without the pine nuts but is there anything I can substitute the pine nuts with for kids with a nut allergy?

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  5. leileis

    January 7, 2013 at 11:07 pm

    Yum! Made this tonight and it was so good. I added about a cup of basil that I had on hand, turned out delicious. Mixed the pesto with some whole wheat penne and rotisserie chicken! Thank you Catherine for such an delicious and easy recipe.

  6. jessicac

    September 20, 2012 at 4:48 am

    Made this with pasta and leftover chicken – yummy! Hard to know how much spinach as I eye-balled it but it’s a great way to use up a garden surplus of spinach!

  7. Isabelle

    July 25, 2012 at 11:36 am

    Found this to be much better reheated. Threw in some chicken and tofu I had left over and it was delicious!

  8. Apologetic Ant

    June 28, 2012 at 3:52 am

    Hey, if i pay you a monthly fee will you display my banner ad? Say $10-20/mo. Drop us an email, Cheers.

  9. manin76

    June 26, 2012 at 10:23 am

    I made this yesterday, with quinoa … delicious !!!

  10. Shira

    June 26, 2012 at 8:41 am

    I made this last night. I threw in a handful of fresh basil leaves and served with whole wheat linguini and grilled chicken. Delicious!

    • Babar

      February 4, 2014 at 2:53 am

      yum. next is the lazy recipe for spicy tuna crmaey pesto with chili and mayo. with ground beef and corned beef. crmaey pesto rice ALL THE WAY!

  11. stephanie

    June 25, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    I made a version of this last night and stirred it into whole wheat couscous. No nuts, but my DD (2) loved it!

  12. Jennifer

    June 25, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    I’m wondering of this would still be good without the pinenuts? Nut allergies in this house:(

    • Ana

      June 25, 2012 at 4:37 pm

      I have made regular pesto without the nuts when I am out and it still has a great flavor.

    • catherine

      June 25, 2012 at 1:35 pm

      The pinenuts do add a lot of flavor. You’ll have a different flavor and consistency without them, but I think it would still taste great!

  13. irina

    June 25, 2012 at 10:54 am

    Can this be done with frozen spinach? If so, approximately how many ounces are equivalent to the “2 cups packed?”


  14. Adrienne

    June 25, 2012 at 10:11 am


    I’ve been following your pesto recipes for quite a while but I don’t know how young can I start my lilttle one on pesto typically made of raw veg?

    • catherine

      June 25, 2012 at 1:39 pm

      If you are serving a pesto with nuts, like this one, it is a good idea to wait until they are 1, and always consult your pediatrician! The raw vegetables are not a problem. In fact, my kids have been eating nut-free cilantro pesto since they were very young! http://b12.ba4.myftpupload.com/2008/04/21/cilantr-os/

  15. Susan

    June 25, 2012 at 9:25 am

    The other day I made this with some mint pesto and my son ate it! Stirred in a beaten egg to the cooked rice over medium heat – for extra protein. Super fast food was delish.

    • pauline

      June 25, 2012 at 10:25 am


      Do you mean that you just added mint to the recipie above or that you substituted the spinich for mint…I’ve to try at home!

  16. Carolyn

    June 25, 2012 at 8:52 am

    What can I substitute for Parmesan in pesto that is non dairy or soy? I have dairy and soy allergies

    • Shannon

      June 25, 2012 at 9:31 am

      There are so many brands of non-dairy/vegan cheese like Follow Your Heart that you can shredd and use. They used to just be found at Whole Foods and Sprouts, stores like that, but even my local grocery store carries non dairy cheese now.

      • Cara

        June 25, 2012 at 10:28 am

        You can also try substituting the parm cheese with Bragg’s Nutritional Yeast :)

      • Carolyn

        June 25, 2012 at 9:35 am

        Thanks Shannon! I’m new to the non dairy and soy world so still learning what works well for substituting.