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Vegan Spinach Parsley & Lemon Pesto

  • Yield: ~ 1 & 1/2 cups


I love summery pesto made with fresh basil from the garden but during these winter months, spinach becomes a perfect alternative, and actually keeps its bright green color much better than basil. I used sunflower seeds instead of traditional pinenuts, but you can really use any seeds or nuts you fancy. A generous squeeze of fresh lemon really opens up all of the greenylicious flavors happening here.


  • 4 cups packed baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup packed Italian parsley leaves
  • 2 scallions
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • kosher sea salt and ground black pepper to taste


  1. Place everything except olive oil into a food processor and pulse a few times to break down ingredients.
  2. Then with the processor running, slowly add the olive oil until mixture is smooth and creamy.


Serving Suggestions

  • Use as a sauce for pasta. I used jasmine red rice vermicelli pictured in this post. Tip: Place pesto into bottom of a mixing bowl and use some of the pasta water to loosen it up and turn it into a sauce consistency. Add cooked pasta and toss until well coated. Garnish with chopped scallion, parsley leaves, sunflower seeds and lemon zest. Serve immediately.
  • Use as a spread on sandwiches or bruschetta
  • Mix some of the pesto with labneh style vegan yogurt (tutorial coming soon to the blog) to make a spread for crackers or a dip for crudité.