If you want a recipe that’s simple to make, versatile enough to be a topping for pasta, chicken fish, even rice and a great way to get your kids in the kitchen (without a big mess), you have to try this Pistachio Pesto!


If you read Weelicious often, you know that I’m crazy for pesto. While it might sound a bit fancy or gourmet, I think it’s one of the most kid-friendly foods out there. We use pesto on everything from pasta to chicken to fish or even as a spread on sandwiches. The kids and my husband love it and it’s a total lifesaver for me, especially because I can make a batch and keep it in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Packed with protein and vitamins A, C, E, K (and more) from the spinach and pistachios, this is a recipe where you know your family will be getting their recommended daily allowance of a lot of good stuff and enjoying every last bite!


Pistachio Pesto

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Author: Catherine McCord
Total Time 2 minutes


  • 1 Cup Spinach, packed
  • 1/4 Cup Pistachio, shelled, unsalted & toasted
  • 1/4 Cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 Tsp kosher salt
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • 1/3 Cup olive oil
  • 1 lb Pasta, cooked


  • Place all the ingredients (except for the pasta) in a food processor and puree until smooth.
  • Mix with pasta and serve.
  • * Pesto can be placed in containers (or even ice cube trays) and frozen for up to 3 months.


Calories: 630kcal | Carbohydrates: 87g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 23g | Sodium: 310mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g
Did you make this recipe?Mention @Weelicious or tag #weelicious!

About the Author

Catherine is a mama of three. A Kentucky girl living in California. Hereโ€™s what I know: all kids can be great eaters and mealtime must be easy. I create simple, healthy recipes the whole family will love.


  1. Love every single one of your recipes, such an inspiration! healthy & delicious! Thankyou so much, keep doing what you do, I always look forward to watching your videos ๐Ÿ™‚
    Maria xo

  2. Catherine, thank you again for another amazing recipe! We made these for our 19-month olds, and you received RAVE reviews from my son. He finished his portion AND his sisters! His sister kept asking for “yum yums” (that’s what she calls your muffins). Thank you again!

  3. YUM! I’m pregnant but can’t seem to get myself to eat enough veggies/nuts… so I thought I’d give your pesto a try (even though I was if-y about the nuts)… BUT WOW! This was DEElicious! =D I didn’t have any pistachios at home… so I just subbed it with what nuts we had at home (I made two batches =P), one with walnuts, and one with pine nuts. YUM!
    Thanks for a great recipe! It’ll keep my husband, my 18 mth old, me, and the other baby-to-come healthy and happy!

  4. Sundried tomato sounds delish! You don’t need to use the whole cup, I use about half a cup and freeze or refrigerate the rest.

  5. would i be able to add sundried tomato in it? do u use the whole cup for the pasta for half cup? sorry never used pesto before.

  6. I made this for my 2 year old tonight and he loved it. I can always count on your recipes. My little guy eats them up! Thanks!

  7. This is perhaps our favorite pesto recipe now and we are pesto lovers. I have made so many variations from traditional basil to arugula and walnut to now this one. I have made it two weeks in a row. Its excellent with pasta, veggies and shrimp one night and the next night we have grilled mahi mahi or halibut with the pesto smeared on the fish for grilling. Seriously so yummy!! PS. can’t wait for your cookbook to come out. I look to your site for ideas for my kiddos ( age 2 1/2 and 8 months)and I think my husband and I end up loving the recipes more than my kiddos do!! Thanks for such an awesome website!

  8. I made this last night, was sooo yummy! We can’t do dairy in our house so replaced the Parmesan with sheep’s feta… Made it lovely and creamy!

  9. do you have to use parm or is there an alternative? my lil’ guy is gluten and dairy free and we are just learning the ropes to it all. thanks!

  10. These look delightful. The pithscaios are perfect. I think I might just make them with normal flour, as nutella really zeros out the need for wholemeal anyway…. Do you think they’d still be the same?

  11. We tried this out and while my 3 year old took two bites and said no way, I thought it was very tasty.

  12. I cannot wait to try this tonight. My daughter lives on pasta so anything that gets her a little more nutrients without a big fight at dinner is a really good thing in this house!

  13. I really want to try this. It sounds very good and I am looking for new recipes for my kids. I was just wondering if I have to use fresh Parmesan or can I use the Kraft Parmesan? Thanks!

  14. so bummed…i just did the same thing. not edible like this, but i can’t wait to try it again the right way!

  15. Just made a batch for dinner tonight. Tasty, but salty. Made the mistake of using salted pistacios. If you only have salted pistacios, I reccommend cutting the amount of salt.

  16. WOW, this was outstanding and could NOT have been any easier. I went to 4 stores looking for unsalted pistachios and could not find them. I used salted and then cut the salt in half. I also suggest that you make sure to use a pasta that has nooks to catch the small chunks of pesto! My husband loved it and asked where I found the EASY recipe. I told him all the other things we have made from this site and we realized we have loved them ALL. Thank you!

  17. DELICIOUS!!!! I made it with my kid and the process and product were both EXCELLENT. HIGHLY RECOMMEND

  18. I am assuming this would call for the raw/un-roasted variety. Am I right? I just bought a bag of yummy roasted pistachios and am wondering if I can use them for this recipe.

  19. I made this pesto last night for dinner and my 16 month old son devoured it. I used walnuts in place of pistachios. I love the color, so appetizing. Thanks!

  20. Just wondering if you used salted or unsalted pistachios? Love your website and your recipes. I have been telling all my friends about it.

  21. I just made this tonight! I put it on chicken, my husband and I loved it! Tomorrow, DD gets to try it, I’m hoping she loves it too. I love that I already had all of the ingredients in my kitchen.

  22. The recipe in the Parents Mag is this pistachio recipe ๐Ÿ™‚ We were featured in the magazine ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. Where did you get this recipe? It looks exactly like one that was published in the December 2010 issue of Parents. I tried it back then and loved it.

  24. Does this recipe use fresh spinach? I’m such a bad cook that I need to ask even the most obvious of questions or I manage to mess up the meal. Thanks!

  25. Nope, that’s the best part, you don’t have to cook the spinach, so it’s one less step. Just put all the ingredients in a food processor and whiz it up!

  26. Do you cook the spinach first? My 11 month old daughter loves the pecan-arugula pesto from Jack Bishop’s cookbook “A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen.” We use smaller noodles instead of the linguine.

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