Miso-Spinach Pesto Pasta with Lemony Breadcrumbs Recipe

Miso-Spinach Pesto Pasta with Lemony Breadcrumbs Recipe

At one point or another, you’ve probably enjoyed or even made some form of pesto. The standard starting lineup for most pesto recipes is typically pine nuts, parmesan, garlic, lots of fresh basil, olive oil and salt. In this rendition, we’re totally shaking things up using mellow white miso, spinach, cilantro (in addition to basil), lemon juice and soaked cashews in place of pine nuts (and of course oil and salt) to create a delicious and creamy miso-spinach pesto.

Miso-Spinach Pesto with Pasta & Lemony Breadcrumbs
Miso-Spinach Pesto with Pasta & Lemony Breadcrumbs

There’s a good chance that the ingredients for this pesto are already on your weekly grocery shopping list. Miso is probably the outlier, but it’s definitely an ingredient that I recommend keeping on hand. What is miso, exactly? It’s a fermented paste that is made with a cultured mix of soybeans, a grain (often rice or barley), salt and koji, which is a type of mold. The mixture is then fermented for as little as a few weeks and as long as a few years. It’s packed with umami and has a number of uses in the cooking world. Often, it is added to soups (hello, miso soup), marinades, sauces, dressings, and so on. Rollin’ oats carries Miso Master organic miso in mellow white, sweet, red and chickpea miso as well as Cold Mountain white miso. I always opt for Miso Master though, because it is organic. In this pesto recipe, miso adds a lovely savoriness that salt alone cannot provide.

I’ve included an optional homemade pasta recipe to pair with the beautiful and bright miso-spinach pesto. But if you do not have the equipment, patience or time for homemade pasta – simply opt for a quality store bought option. Rollin’ Oats has two great organic spaghetti options on their shelves that I like – one by Alessi and the other by Field Day.

For added crunch and texture, don’t skip out on the lemony breadcrumbs. You can absolutely use store bought panko (like Edward & Sons organic panko), but I recommend grating your own breadcrumbs with some sourdough bread and a course paddle microplane. I recommend using Gulf Coast Sourdough, which also can be found at Rollin’ Oats. To make the breadcrumbs, simply combine your grated bread with some lemon zest, olive oil and salt and pop into the oven until crisp and golden.

Plated pasta topped with the breadcrumbs

Miso-Spinach Pesto with Pasta & Lemony Breadcrumbs

Abby Allen-Leach
This umami-packed spin on pesto would be great for more than just pasta. It would be great with roasted or grilled vegetables or even on a sandwich.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 5 minutes
Course Condiment, Main Dish
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 4 people
Calories 516 kcal


  • 1 High Speed Blender Like a Vitamix. Food processor will work too, but the pesto will not be as creamy
  • Stand Mixer with Pasta Attachments This is if you plan to make the homemade pasta (optional)


Miso-Spinach Pesto

  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup cashews Raw and unsalted. Soaked for 2 hours with boiling water
  • 1/2 cup basil
  • 1/2 cup cilantro You could sub this out for another 1/2 cup of basil and vice versa
  • 2 tbsp mellow white miso
  • 2 garlic cloves Peeled
  • 1 lemon Juice only
  • 2 tsp salt Plus more to taste


  • 2 cups all purpose or 00 flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup semolina flour

Lemony Breadcrumbs

  • 1/2 cup sourdough breadcrumbs Grated with a course paddle microplane. You can also use store bought panko in place of this
  • 1 lemon Zest only
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt


Miso-Spinach Pesto

  • Pour enough boiling water over cashews to cover. Let sit for two hours to soften.
    Cashews soaking
  • After cashews soak, add all pesto ingredients to a high powered blender. Blend on high until pesto is creamy and well combined. Season with more salt to taste. Set pesto aside until ready to use.
    Miso-Spinach Pesto

Homemade Pasta

  • Add all purpose or 00 flour to the bowl of a stand mixer with eggs, olive oil and salt.
    Pasta ingredients
  • Using your hands or a fork, combine until a shaggy dough begins to form.
    Shaggy dough forming
  • Knead with a dough hook for about ten minutes, or until dough is smooth and elastic. Let rest in a covered bowl for one hour.
    Dough ready to rest
  • Add pasta sheet attachment to mixer and dust a clean counter with semolina flour. Divide dough into four equal sections.
    Sectioned pasta dough
  • One section at a time, flatten dough into a small disc and pass through lowest setting of a pasta sheet maker. Fold dough in half like a brochure and run it through the same setting two more times.
    Pasta folded into thirds
  • Turn knob to the next setting and run pasta sheet through. Repeat this process on each setting until dough is nearly paper thin. Cut the dough sheet in half to make it more manageable.
    Pasta sheets cut in half
  • Place dough sheets on prepared surface with semolina. Repeat steps with remaining three dough sections. By the end, you should have eight sheets.
    Pasta sheets
  • Add pasta attachment of choice to your mixer and run each sheet through to make your noodles - I opted for spaghetti.
    Spaghettin in the works
  • Place pasta noodles on a drying rack until you’re ready to cook and assemble your pasta.
    Noodles drying

Lemony Breadcrumbs

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine breadcrumbs, lemon zest, olive oil and salt, spread onto baking sheet in an even layer and bake at 375F for 6-8 minutes, or until breadcrumbs are golden and crisp.
    Lemony Breadcrumbs


  • Bring a pot of salted boiling water to a boil, add pasta and cook for 2-3 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water and strain the noodles. Add noodles back to the pot with pesto and a tablespoon or two of pasta water. Stir to combine, adding more pasta water as needed to thin out. Plate pasta, top with lemony breadcrumbs and serve.
    Plated pasta topped with the breadcrumbs
Nutrition Facts
Miso-Spinach Pesto with Pasta & Lemony Breadcrumbs
Amount Per Serving
Calories 516 Calories from Fat 378
% Daily Value*
Fat 42g65%
Saturated Fat 7g44%
Trans Fat 0.01g
Polyunsaturated Fat 5g
Monounsaturated Fat 28g
Cholesterol 123mg41%
Sodium 2401mg104%
Potassium 459mg13%
Carbohydrates 27g9%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 11g22%
Vitamin A 3297IU66%
Vitamin C 39mg47%
Calcium 83mg8%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


Calories: 516kcalCarbohydrates: 27gProtein: 11gFat: 42gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 28gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 123mgSodium: 2401mgPotassium: 459mgFiber: 4gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 3297IUVitamin C: 39mgCalcium: 83mgIron: 4mg
Keyword Miso-Spinach Pesto
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