If this pesto was a guy, it would be the sort you might take home to meet your parents. It’s wholesome thanks to the addition of spinach (eat yo greens, you guys), dependable and easygoing, with the bulk of the work taking place in the food processor.

Needing just 8 simple ingredients, and coming together in 7 minutes, this recipe can turn a pack of spaghetti into a balanced, easy peasy dinner. The nuts can be substituted for roasted almonds, pinenuts or brazil nuts. My original version is dairy-free, but I have given you the option to add some good aged parmesan, or any other hardstyle cheese you fancy.

This pesto will keep in the fridge for 7-10 days, or in the freezer for 3 months.

Make It A Meal:

  • Stir your pesto through a wholewheat pasta, saving a 1-2Tbsp pasta cooking water to add to the dish when you add the pesto (the starchy water will help the sauce stick to the pasta)
  • Add the pesto to boiled or roasted baby potatoes, for a moreish side dish
  • Swirl it through yoghurt, labneh or soft cheese, for an effortless dip
  • This pesto is fantastic spooned over grilled meats. Simply add aside
    • Meal prep: As this pesto has a great shelflife making it perfect for meal prepping. Whizz it together on a Sunday to swirl through roasted vegetables and grains, or add it to Buddha bowls, or sandwiches.


If you try this recipe, let us know how it goes! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag your photo #theculinarycartel on Instagram so we can see what you come up with. Happy cooking!

Macadamia And Greens Pesto

Makes roughly 1,5 cups of pesto

200g Baby Spinach or Swiss Chard

20g Fresh Basil

1 clove garlic, finely grated/chopped

1/3 cup Roasted Macadamias (replace for any nut you prefer)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1-2 Tbsp Lemon Juice, added to taste (about 1/2 a large lemon)

1/2 cup olive oil (choose a high quality fruity variety)

*2-3 Tbsp Grated Parmesan Cheese


In the bowl of a food processor or blender, add the spinach/chard, picked basil leaves and thinner stems, garlic, macadamias and salt, and pulse in bursts until chunky and roughly chopped. If you wish to add parmesan or hard cheese add it now. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while pulsing. Then add half the lemon juice and season the pesto with salt and pepper to taste. Taste the pesto again and add more lemon juice if needed. Greens such as chard do well with more acid, while baby spinach will need a bit less- do what suits your palate.

Store the pesto in the fridge until ready to use, or serve it in one of the ways suggested above. I love my pesto served swirled through pasta, with roasted almonds, and a wedge of lemon on the side.