Healthy Spinach Pesto (Oil-Free & Dairy-Free)


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This healthy spinach pesto recipe is the perfect alternative to traditional basil pesto! It’s affordable, delicious, oil-free, dairy-free, and vegan.

So, here’s the thing. I LOVE pesto. When I had a garden I made it all the time and it was amazing. Now that Shane and I are moving every few months, all the fresh herbs are something I only sometimes get. Where I currently am, enough basil for a full batch of pesto is legit expensive. So, I’ve started making this healthy spinach pesto instead.

Spinach pesto obviously doesn’t taste quite the same as traditional pesto, but it is DANG good in its own right. This recipe doesn’t use any oil, because I’m trying to balance out all the holiday baking and recipe testing I’m currently doing with some healthy food. You could definitely add  a swish of olive oil in if you want it to be more savory – and if you do please let me know how it goes!

Oil free vegan spinach pesto on pasta in a bowl.

How to make vegan spinach pesto:

Pesto is usually made with a lot of parmesan. The parmesan lends a salty and creamy taste to the sauce. This spinach pesto recipe uses almond milk to mimic the creaminess of traditional pesto. To mimic the salty flavor of parmesan, we’ve just added salt to the recipe. It’s a perfect flavorful and healthy alternative.

To make the sauce, all you have to do is combine all of the ingredients in a high speed blender or food processor. Blend everything until the sauce is completely smooth.

A note – Shane and I LOVE garlic, and we normally add tons extra to every recipe we make. We made the mistake of doing that initially with this recipe. Since this recipe has no notable source of fat, the garlic will have a strong and spicy aftertaste if you use too much (especially if you use high quality garlic).

If you’re like us and tend to use more garlic than a recipe call for, make this recipe and taste it first before adding additional garlic. Along the same lines, if your garlic clove is extra large, only use half.

Oil free vegan spinach pesto on pasta in a bowl.

If you love healthy versions of vegan junk food, be sure to check out my Healthy Vegan Mac and Cheese Sauce recipe! It’s nut-free, oil-free, kid approved, and the perfect way to sneak veggies into your kids diets.

Healthy mac and cheese on a plate.
Yield: 1 cup

Healthy Spinach Pesto

Oil free vegan spinach pesto on pasta in a bowl.

This healthy spinach pesto recipe is the perfect alternative to traditional basil pesto! It's affordable, delicious, oil-free, dairy-free, and vegan.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes


  • 2 Tablespoons packed fresh parsley (optional, depending on taste preference)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach (tightly packed)
  • Juice of 1/2 medium lemon
  • 1 medium clove garlic (see notes)
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt


  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until completely smooth.


Recipes like this are a great place to use up parsley stems since they'll be blended.  They contain the same flavor, so if you've got some lying around, feel free to use a combination of parsley stems and leaves.

If you're a garlic lover, try this recipe with only one clove before adding more.  Since there's no significant source of fat to balance out the garlic, too much garlic will definitely have a spicy aftertaste.

Nutrition Information:


4 servings

Serving Size:

1/4 cup

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 13Total Fat: .5gCarbohydrates: 2.1gFiber: .7gSugar: .4gProtein: .8g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.


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Let me know what you think of this recipe in the comments and on Instagram! @keytomylime #keytomylime

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Healthy spinach pesto on pasta in a bowl.

Looking for more healthy pasta sauces? Karissa’s Vegan Kitchen has a great Oil-Free Marinara Sauce recipe.

Make this Healthy Spinach Pesto as an affordable and healthy alternative!

Oil free vegan spinach pesto on pasta in a bowl.

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