Clean green pesto recipe - Image 1Be warned that this is another recipe which involves butternut squash noodles! I am a bit obsessed. Today I am serving them with clean green pesto for which I used spinach instead of traditional basil and sunflower seeds instead of pine nuts. Why? Because I can and because that’s what I could find in the cupboards. It was meant to happen because I actually like this clean green pesto recipe more than the usual traditional version.

Clean green pesto recipe - Image 2Clean green pesto recipe - Image 3What has been happening in your world ? With January coming to an end (already) I am surprised how much stuff I have managed to do. This evening I am off with my favourite foodie friend Lottie , who blogs and does amazing food reviews at Lottie Loves food, for a fancy supper at the Vanilla Black restaurant. I have heard so much about it and have been drooling over their menu for ages, so excitement levels are high.

Clean green pesto recipe - Image 4Clean green pesto recipe - Image 5Clean green pesto recipe - Image 6Clean green pesto recipe

Now back to this clean green pesto recipe and those amazing butternut squash noodles. You can make your own ones using a spiralizer or cheat like me and pop in to your local Marks and Spencer. Don’t worry if you can’t find them, you could always use courgette penne (I have amazing courgette penne recipe here) or traditional brown pasta. As with all my recipes this doesn’t take long and even the complete kitchen virgin will manage to re-create this dish easily. You just need a good blender or food processor.

Clean green pesto recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Lunch or dinner
  • 2 cups baby spinach (if you want traditional pesto use fresh basil)
  • ⅓ cup sunflower seeds (toasted are the best) or any other nuts or seeds
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, crushed (all depends on how strong you want the pesto to be, but I used 3 smaller cloves)
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast for all the vegans out there
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Start with the spinach and sunflower seeds by placing them in your food processor and pulse a few times
  2. Next add the garlic and pulse again. Make sure you scrape off all the goodness from the sides of the food processor.
  3. Time to add the parmesan or nutritional yeast.
  4. Now start slowly adding the olive oil in while the processor is running
  5. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper, taste and adjust the seasoning until the taste is just right.
  6. The pesto should have an oozy consistency
  7. All is left is to toss with the pasta and top up with some extra cheese, or maybe a few slices of red pepper and enjoy
This clean green pesto is bursting with flavour and tastes amazing on a grilled slice of my homemade bread. If you want to become a pesto pro read this amazing article

I hope you enjoy this recipe and while you’re here don’t forget to check my clean eating red pesto or Brussel sprout pesto!

Much love,

21 Comments on Clean green pesto recipe

  1. The Food Hunter
    January 21, 2016 at 3:17 pm (2 years ago)

    that pesto sounds wonderful I need to eat more butternut squash

  2. Linda @ Veganosity
    January 21, 2016 at 3:44 pm (2 years ago)

    Squash and pesto, what a great combination of clean food. Love it!

  3. Jenn
    January 21, 2016 at 7:23 pm (2 years ago)

    Yum! I can’t do pine nuts – they leave a crazy pine flavor in my mouth for days! I usually add pumpkin seeds to my pesto instead, but your version sounds wonderful too! And butternut squash noodles….had NO idea those were a thing! Need to try!!

  4. Sophia @veggies dont bite
    January 22, 2016 at 4:42 am (2 years ago)

    Yum! I love it! Pesto is a staple around here. I keep it in the freezer and pull it out for pasta, sandwiches, a dip. My kids love it and it’s such a good way to get in greens!

  5. Ginny McMeans
    January 22, 2016 at 3:21 pm (2 years ago)

    What an inventive recipe. It sounds delicious!

  6. The Vegan 8
    January 22, 2016 at 5:20 pm (2 years ago)

    Love pestos! I make them all the time! I make some with peas, kale, spinach and lots of garlic, lol! Looks awesome Hedi!

  7. Nicole
    January 22, 2016 at 6:50 pm (2 years ago)

    We can’t do any type of nut in our home and typically use sunflower as well, however, I never used spinach instead of basil. I’ll have to try that next time!

    • Hedi Hearts
      January 25, 2016 at 6:50 pm (2 years ago)

      They are lovely! I am addicted 🙂 Hedi xx

  8. Tish
    January 23, 2016 at 8:52 pm (2 years ago)

    Great idea for us vegans to sub nutritional yeast for cheese. Love it.

    • Hedi Hearts
      January 25, 2016 at 2:27 pm (2 years ago)

      I love being vegan, never looked back 🙂 Wish my whole family would follow me! 🙂 Hedi xxx

  9. Mel @
    January 24, 2016 at 5:04 am (2 years ago)

    This pesto sounds great and I love that you used butternut squash noodles instead of regular spaghetti. Another use for my spiralizer!
    I can’t believe that you can actually buy packets of ready made butternut noodles in good old M&S. It’s been a few years since I lived in England but there was never anything like that when I was there. I have never seen them here in the shops either. It’s great that veggie noodles have become so popular.

  10. Pragati
    January 24, 2016 at 1:46 pm (2 years ago)

    I made a spinach sunflower seed pesto earlier this year. Also added spinach to it. How cool that you get squash noodles in a packet!

    • Hedi Hearts
      January 25, 2016 at 2:23 pm (2 years ago)

      I know! Perfect for a lazy cook like me! 🙂 Hedi xx

  11. Gin
    January 26, 2016 at 3:40 am (2 years ago)

    I love how easy and healthy this is! I have to try this with pasta sometime.

  12. Kathy
    January 26, 2016 at 4:15 am (2 years ago)

    That’s a “pasta” dish you can be super proud of and eat as much as you want. I’ve never seen packaged veggie noodles before. I’ll be keeping an eye out for them.

  13. Sina @ Vegan Heaven
    January 26, 2016 at 5:27 pm (2 years ago)

    I love pesto! We have it at least once a week! 🙂 What a great recipe!

  14. Cris
    January 26, 2016 at 5:33 pm (2 years ago)

    This pesto sounds so tasty! Pinned it!!!

  15. Howie Fox
    January 26, 2016 at 8:58 pm (2 years ago)

    How awesome are these butternut noodles?? Woah, I’m stunned 😀


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