Spinach Pesto

One of the hardest parts of the first phase of P90x (or any low-carb diet, for that matter) is that you end up missing complex flavors. Sauces tend to be the first thing to go. This pesto is the antidote to that!!

Ingredients for Pesto Sauce:

  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup white cooking wine
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan (or for vegans, nutritional yeast)

Heat skillet over medium heat. Brown pine nuts, then remove from pan. Cook mushrooms and chicken in skillet, moistening with chicken broth as necessary, until mushrooms are tender. Add spinach, basil, garlic, pine nuts, lemon juice, wine, broth, Parmesan, and salt to blender, pulsing until combined and smooth.

Pesto Add-Ins:

  • 6 oz. cooked chicken or turkey, diced
  • 3/4 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup cooked whole wheat pasta

Add pasta and 2 Tb. of pesto sauce to mushrooms and chicken, stirring until combined and heated through. Top with 1 oz. grated Parmesan. (There will be extra pesto.)

P90x Nutrition Plan Portions:

1 vegetable serving, 2 protein servings, 1 carb serving, 1 dairy serving, and 1 condiment serving.

P.S. This pesto is very versatile – stay tuned for future recipes that use the leftovers!

Need a way to keep track of your P90x diet and servings? Try my P90x nutrition plan food journal!


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  1. Nancy

    So happy to have stumbled upon your website! I made this for dinner tonight & made your chili yesterday. Both were delish! Even the hubby (Mr Junk Food Junkie) loved them!


    1. CJ =)

      Awesome, Nancy! Thanks so much for the feedback. So glad to hear that my recipes have passed the hubby test! =)
      – CJ =)

  2. Brooke

    I was wondering if the portion size was for the entire amount of chicken and pasta? My husband and I are starting p90x this week and I’m trying to get a menu planned out. It’s all still a little confusing! Thanks!

  3. Preston

    Hey CJ I love your website, do you have any recipes for a healthy lasagna?

    1. CJ =)

      Hey Preston!
      I haven’t come up with one yet, but I’ll tell you what I’d try if I were you. I would make a batch of my spaghetti sauce, cook up some lasagna noodles, then mix together cottage cheese, Parmesan, and low-fat Mozzarella. Maybe add in a layer of fresh basil if you have it. Layer them all in a pan, lightly salting and peppering each layer, cover the top with more Mozzarella, then bake it. Since all the ingredients would be cooked already, you could probably bake for just long enough to thoroughly heat it and melt the cheeses – maybe 25 min @ 375.

      That’d be my first attempt, then I might branch out from there! =)

      You could also try fellow P90xer Angela’s vegetable lasagna recipe. =)
      – CJ =)

  4. Kurt

    Hey CJ,

    I just want to say that these recipes are fantastic! I’ve been eating better food than I was before I started p90x! My wife thinks I’ve turned into a fantastic chef! Quick question about Carb servings though. I made the pesto kielbasa tonite, and when I was looking at this, it said one Carb serving was one cup cooked pasta, but the other recipe said one cup raw. Could you please clarify this for me?

    Thanks again, and keep the recipes coming!

    1. CJ =)

      Hi Kurt!
      Thanks so much for the feedback! It’s pretty cool to hear that your wife is enjoying the P90x food too! =D

      In answer to your question, pasta and rice both are measured after they are cooked. (I double-checked this on the Beachbody forums, and a Beachbody staff-member confirmed this there.) Thanks for pointing out the inconsistency – I’ve fixed that in the other pasta recipe!

      Additionally just as an aside, meat is measured raw, and veggies are measured cooked, except for leafy greens which are measured raw.
      I hope this helps, and thanks for taking the time to comment! =)
      – CJ =)

  1. Savory Spinach Pesto Recipe (Low-Fat, Oil-free, Vegan) | Other Ways Blog

    […] I discovered an easy, low-fat, oil-free pesto recipe from CJ of MyP90XNutritionPlan.com. I’ve modified her recipe here to substitute cheese for nutritional yeast, to keep it vegan, […]

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