Easy Cilantro Pesto Recipe with Spinach and Walnuts

  • 1 Minute Read
Martha M. Henze
Martha M. Henze, MPH, MS, RDN - Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Global Public Health Epidemiologist

Traditionally pesto recipes are made with two main ingredients of basil and pine nuts. Our Cilantro Pesto Recipe with Spinach and Walnuts adds a tasty and budget-friendly new twist to homemade pesto.

Cilantro Pesto Recipe

Cilantro Pesto Recipe?

Normally, the three main ingredients in pesto are fresh basil, pine nuts, and olive oil. However, instead of basil and pine nuts, this cilantro pesto recipe substitutes a combination of cilantro and spinach for the basil and walnuts for the pine nuts. One could even propose that this is a budget-friendly homemade pesto recipe as generally cilantro is less expensive than basil, and walnuts are less costly than pine nuts. Regardless, this recipe provides a delicious twist on pesto!

Nutritional Benefits of Cilantro

Cilantro is a fresh leafy green herb which is also called coriander or Chinese parsley.

Some of the nutritional benefits of cilantro are:

Recipe Options

If you want a thick mild pesto spread for a sandwich or a warm panini, follow the Cilantro Walnut Pesto Sauce recipe below precisely. However, if you want a thinner sauce for pasta, measure and add olive oil slowly to your desired texture. Note, if you log your food intake, remember to add this extra olive oil to obtain an accurate nutrient analysis.

Toppings: To enhance the taste experience even further, top pasta and pesto sauce with chopped walnuts and freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Cut the carbs: Use the pesto sauce on spaghetti squash or spiralized zucchini rather than pasta.

Freezing: Freeze pesto in an ice cube tray. When frozen, pop the cubes out and put them in a freezer container. When you need a quick meal, just thaw a cube or two for a delicious meal at a moment's notice.

Cilantro Walnut Pesto Sauce

Yield: 5 servings (1 serving = 2 Tablespoons)

Nutrition facts per serving (2 Tablespoons = 30 grams)

Calories: 138, 14 g fat, 2 g carbohydrate, 3 g protein, 1 g dietary fiber, 289 mg sodium



  1. Rinse and dry cilantro and spinach.
  2. Place cilantro, spinach, walnuts, olive oil, salt, and Parmesan cheese in a food processor and blend until very smooth.


Content was reviewed and updated by Brenda Braslow on March 17, 2022.

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Foods & Recipes->Fruit & Vegetables Foods & Recipes->Nuts & Seeds
Mar 18, 2022
Disclaimer: The information provided here does not constitute medical advice. If you are seeking medical advice, please visit your healthcare provider or medical professional.

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