Recipe: Italian Spinach Avocado Pesto (Gluten-Free)

Whether it’s atop pasta or enjoyed all on its own, pesto is an essential part of summer fare.

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Summer is here and it’s time to bring some of that vibrant energy into the kitchen.

Pesto is one of those absolutely perfect, extremely versatile foods that goes with almost anything. By using spinach instead of basil (for the most part), you can get even more mileage out of it, since the flavor is a bit milder. I could just eat this stuff by the spoonful but it’s also wonderful on the spiralized veggies of your choice, or as an accompaniment to fish or chicken. I like to make a big batch of pesto—minus the avocado—and freeze whatever I won’t use within a couple of days to make weeknight dinners a snap.

You can rest assured that you’re doing well by your body with this one, folks. Spinach has tons of iron and anti-oxidants along with potassium, magnesium, copper, and zinc. You’ll get a nice does of Vitamin K from the basil, and Vitamin C from the lemon and parsley. The olive oil and avocado in this recipe provide a healthy serving of monounsaturated fatty acids, and the pine nuts will give you an added protein boost.

Italian Spinach and Avocado Pesto


4 cups of spinach
2 cup of fresh basil leaves
1 cup fresh Italian parsley
8 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 avocado, peeled and pitted
Juice from 1 lemon (Meyer is best, if available)
2/3 cup of olive oil
1/2 cup of toasted pine nuts
2/3 cup of parmesan
2 tsp lemon zest
Salt and pepper to taste


Add garlic, parsley, and basil to a food processor and pulse.

Add lemon juice, zest, parmesan, pine nuts, and avocado. Pulse again.

Alternate adding a handful of spinach and a bit of olive oil and pulse until everything is well combined.

Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

Michaela is a certified holistic health and lifestyle coach through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, and a registered yoga teacher. She lives in Los Angeles, CA, where she works as a part of Wanderlust Media. In addition to her dedicated yoga practice, Michaela loves music, travel, cooking and eating healthy food (of course), and spending time with her family and friends.