A quick and easy kale pesto recipe that can be used in a myriad of dishes: spread it on crackers or sandwiches, serve it with fish, shrimp or chicken, use it as a pasta or pizza sauce. The options are endless! Whichever way you serve it, this pesto will enchant your taste buds.

Kale Pesto in a jar

Kale pesto is a variation of the classic basil pesto. It’s fresh, flavorful, ridiculously easy and ready in 8 minutes!

Kale is one of those foods that are really good for you. It has a high concentration of vitamins K, A, C, and antioxidants. With so many health benefits, who wouldn’t want to incorporate kale into as many meals as possible?

Blanching helps reduce the bitterness. To blanch kale, bring a large pot of water to the boil, and fill a large bowl with cold water and ice cubes. After removing the thick central stalk from the leaves, plunge the kale into the boiling water. Boil the leaves for about three minutes, then drain and plunge into the cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain again, place the kale on paper towels and blot away the moisture.

Nothing turns me off from pesto more than too much oil, so this pesto is on the dry side. Feel free to add more extra virgin olive oil to your liking. When I mix it into pasta I usually reserve some of the cooking water to thin it out.

You can easily make it vegan and paleo by leaving out the parmesan cheese. Also, feel free to substitute the pine nuts with pistachios, almonds or walnuts.

Store kale pesto in a jar or airtight container in the fridge for about a week or freeze it in ice cube trays then transfer them to a ziplock bag.

kale pesto in a jar

How To Make It: Kale Pesto Recipe

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Kale Pesto Recipe – easy, healthy, and delicious! Spread it on sandwiches, serve it with chicken or fish, use it as a pasta or pizza sauce. 


  • 10 kale leaves stem removed (I used curly kale)
  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts
  • ½ clove garlic roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • a large bowl of water
  • ice cubes


  • Fill a large bowl with ice and water and put it in the fridge.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and blanch the kale for about 3 minutes, remove, and place in the ice bath to stop the cooking process.
  • Drain, place the leaves on paper towels, and blot away the moisture.
  • In the bowl of a food processor, put the kale, pine nuts, garlic, parmesan, salt, and pulse until coarsely chopped.
  • Add the extra virgin olive oil and continue to pulse until the kale pesto reaches the desired consistency.
  • Taste and add more salt or extra virgin olive oil if necessary.
  • Store the kale pesto in a jar or airtight container in the fridge for about a week.


Serving: 2 tablespoons, Calories: 122 kcal, Carbohydrates: 3 g, Protein: 2 g, Fat: 13 g, Saturated Fat: 2 g, Cholesterol: 1 mg, Sodium: 2512 mg, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 1 g
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