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small bowl of parsley pesto on a grey backdrop with pine nuts and parsley leaves scattered around

5-Minute Parsley Pesto Sauce Recipe

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  • Author: Alex Aldeborgh
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: About 1 cup 1x
  • Category: sauces and dressings
  • Method: Food Processor
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegetarian


This parsley pesto sauce is packed with vibrant flavor and pairs perfectly with your favorite pasta, sandwiches, grain bowls, or more. It’s a versatile and easy recipe that takes just a few minutes to prepare.


  • 2 packed cups parsley
  • 1 cup packed baby spinach
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup raw pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil


  1. Add all the ingredients, except the olive oil, to the bowl of a food processor fitted with an S-blade.
  2. Pulse the food processor 5-10 times, or until the ingredients are well combined but some texture remains. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides if needed.
  3. With the food processor running, pour in the olive oil. Be careful not to overblend – you still want some texture to the pesto.
  4. Scoop out of the food processor and enjoy however you like to use pesto!


Ingredient and dietary restriction substitution suggestions

  • Walnuts or almonds are a good substitute for pine nuts in pesto.
  • Make it vegan and dairy free by using 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast in place of the parmesan cheese.
  • Make it nut free by using hemp seeds in place of pine nuts.
  • Spinach is optional, but it adds a boost of nutrition and you really cannot taste it.

Storing pesto sauce

You can store any leftover pesto sauce in an airtight container or jar in the fridge for up to one week.

Additionally, you can freeze pesto: Spoon pesto sauce into an ice cube tray. Freeze the ice cube tray for 3-4 hours, or until the pesto is frozen solid. Pop the frozen pesto out of the tray and put them in a tightly sealed baggie. Frozen pesto will keep well for 3-6 months.