Kale Pesto Recipe

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

kale pesto in a jar
5 from 7 votes
Kale Pesto Recipe
Prep Time:
8 mins
Total Time:
8 mins
Course: Condiment
Servings:4 4 servings, 1/2 cup, 2 tablespoons each
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
  • 1/2 clove garlic roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • a large bowl of water
  • ice cubes
  1. Fill a large bowl with ice and water and put it in the fridge.
  2. 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.

  3. Drain, place the leaves on paper towels, and blot away the moisture.

  4. In the bowl of a food processor, put the kale, pine nuts, garlic, parmesan, salt, and pulse until coarsely chopped.

  5. Add the extra virgin olive oil and continue to pulse until the kale pesto reaches the desired consistency.
  6. Taste and add more salt or extra virgin olive oil if necessary.
  7. Store the kale pesto in a jar or airtight container in the fridge for about a week.

Nutrition Information
Amount per serving (2 tablespoons) — Calories: 122, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 1mg, Sodium: 2512mg, Carbohydrates: 3g, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Protein: 2g

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27 comments on “Kale Pesto Recipe”

  1. I ADORE pesto, but usually prefer the non-basil kind. This sounds amazing!

  2. This sounds super yummy. I do love pesto, but often find basil a bit overwhelming, so kale solves this problem. Yum! Thanks for the recipe.

  3. I’ve been wanting to try a kale pesto, so thanks for the info. Can’t wait to try. Looks delicious!

  4. I’m really loving the idea of this, it’s superfood pesto. I have to try it.

  5. I can’t wait to try your pesto version. Kale is so healthful and your photo is fantastic.

  6. Love pesto and your photo is mouthwatering!

  7. Great idea to use kale for a pesto, I have to make this soon!!

  8. I love kale and this pesto sounds delicious.. Would be a wonderful addition to a chicken recipe..

  9. Delicious looking pesto! What a great idea! Pinned. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Oh wow! I love pesto and the idea of a kale pesto is very exciting! A must try.

  11. I have a kale recipe going in my book. I love it because it is so quick and easy.

  12. I made spinach pesto last week and it was not nearly as good as your recipe. This is a very delicious recipe and that green color is so vibrant. I cannot wait to try this recipe.

  13. I love pestos of all kinds! I have never tried a kale one but its color is so inviting and bright I would love to try it!

  14. What a beautiful way to use this wonderful super food. And gorgeous pics too.

  15. Kale pesto???? I love it. Kale is a favorite and love the idea of it i in a pesto. It will be easier for me to sneak it in my daughter’s food!

  16. I have a kale surplus so this recipe looks perfect. How long is the kale pesto safe to keep in the refrigerator?

    • Hi Veronica! You can store it 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 zip lock bag (it will last up to three months) ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Great recipe! I’ use pesto in pretty much everything. My favourite at the moment is pasta made with raw zucchini noodles and pesto. So simple and delicious!

  18. Can I make this kale pesto without blanching the kale? I feel you will lose all the nutrients of the kale in the water.

  19. I tried this recipe and loved it. I don’t have to worry about the calories because they are so low. I substituted a one pound bag of organic baby kale and spinach mix because it only cost a dollar at the 99 cent store. (No cooking needed) I used a whole clove of garlic.. It tasted great in my omelet, on crackers and on a toasted sandwich. Thanks for a great recipe.

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