Grilled Chicken with Fresh Spinach Pesto

I like this Fresh Spinach Pesto for a number of reasons;
it's milder than Basil Pesto so you can use it where Basil might overpower. It is simple to make and the big bonus; it can be made affordably, year round.

Plus, it adds another vegetable to the dish, and the bright green color is so appealing. Unlike cooked spinach, raw spinach has a more mild flavor, so many times it is more readily accepted by little ones.

This time I served it with plainly grilled chicken. Sometimes grilled boneless, skinless chicken breasts can be a bit dry but the spinach pesto really helps balance that issue.


It's also wonderful with most fish, or simply prepared pork chops too.


It goes together quickly in the food processor while the meat/fish is cooking. It can also be made a day or so ahead.


This time I served it with pasta and roasted butternut squash with Brown-Butter Walnut sauce.


Fresh Spinach Pesto
4 generous portions
This is just a general guideline;
adust the amounts to suit your taste

6 ounce bag baby spinach leaves
Olive Oil
Fresh Lemon juice & a little finely grated zest if you want
Freshly grated Parmesano Reggiano; a generous 1/2 cup or more, to your taste.
Salt (go easy until you taste, the cheese is salty)
Freshly ground Black Pepper
1 or 2 cloves fresh garlic
Optional, but not necessary:
a couple of tablespoons of toasted nuts of your choice~
Pinenuts, Walnuts, Almonds, etc.

With motor running, drop the garlic cloves into the work bowl until finely minced. Add half the spinach; pulse to chop, then add other half (and nuts, if using) until finely chopped.
Add lemon juice. With machine running slowly add the olive oil until desired consistency is reached.
Add Salt & Pepper to taste.

If you like a lighter flavored version, add a bit of water and blend again.
Best made right after you make it, but can be stored up to two days covered and stored in refrigerator.

Also makes a good sandwich spread for a cheese, or sliced chicken or turkey sandwich when blended with an equal amount of good quality mayonnaise.

I hope you enjoy!


  1. Mari...that just made me so hungry!
    As always just beautiful!
    L :*

  2. just beautiful mary, the colors and place setting just pop!

  3. I have made this pesto because of you:)

  4. Another set of lovely photos, Mari ... the blue background of your blog just makes everything POP.

    We love pesto but don't often have basil in the necessary quantities readily available. Spinach, I think, we could do. Thank you


Thank you for your comments, friends ~ they make my day!

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