I’m less than 3 weeks away from our little girl’s due date.  I’m trying to stock the house with diapers and the freezer with easy, healthy meals.  I made up three varieties of pesto that we can just toss with pasta for a quick dinner.  Swiss chard with almonds, a spinach arugula mix with walnuts, and roasted pepper, tomato and garlic; each kind gave me 3 or 4 small jars worth for my freezer.

Pesto Chard

This is what I would call the winter pesto varieties.  With basil not being in season, it doesn’t make sense to make a bulk batch of the summer favorite.  Its a great way to eat the healthy greens you might not always reach for and the nuts add good protein.

Pesto arugula

In not much time, these 3 recipes gave me 10 jars of pesto, enough for 10 meals for our little family of almost 4, without taking up much room in my freezer.  Even if you’re not preparing to survive on no sleep, having a few of these jars is great on a busy weeknight.

Pesto Green Jars

Pesto is also great on a chicken or turkey panini, or as a sauce for homemade pizza.

Pesto Panini

The recipes are all basically the same, just the main ingredients varied, which means you can make up your own varieties quite easily, try different greens or veggies, different nuts, or different hard cheeses.

Pesto Roasted Veg

Pesto Red Pepper

Swiss Chard Pesto (with Arugula Spinach and Roasted Pepper Varieties below)

Prep Time: 35 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Servings: All three recipes yeilds 10 jars (4oz each)

Swiss Chard Pesto (with Arugula Spinach and Roasted Pepper Varieties below)


  • 1/3 c almonds
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 bunch swiss chard, washed and stems removed
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 10 grinds pepper
  • 1/2 lemon, juice and zest
  • 1/3 c Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/3 c olive oil
  • 1/3 c water


  1. In a food processor, add the nuts and garlic and pulse until roughly chopped
  2. Add all other ingredients except olive oil and water and process
  3. With food processor running, drizzle in the oil and water through the feed tube until combined
  4. Store in small jars and freeze or keep in the fridge for a couple days
  5. *ARUGULA SPINACH VARIETY, sub walnuts for almonds and a 5oz bag spinach arugula mix for the chard
  6. **ROASTED PEPPER VARIETY, on a baking tray, roast 1 red bell pepper, 2 roma tomatoes, and 3 cloves of garlic (don't peel), toss all with olive oil and a little salt and pepper at 425 for 25 minutes. When slightly cooled, peel the garlic and pepper, remove stem and seeds. Add walnuts, roasted veggies, salt, pepper, lemon juice (do a whole lemon), Parmesan, and process. Drizzle in 1/4 c olive oil, NO water until combined.

Pesto Variety Prep Day