Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links.
Kale Pesto is the ultimate sauce. It's made with kale, fresh basil, pine nuts, and of course garlic and pairs perfectly with pasta or pizza. It's so creamy, plus it's vegan-friendly!
This kale pesto might be my favorite yet!
It's creamy, dreamy, packed with garlicky, basil/kale flavor, and ready in 5 minutes! Oh, and did I mention it pairs perfectly with pasta (you must try my kale pesto pasta).
- The BEST way to utilize kale, especially if you have a little that you need to use up
- Pairs well with pasta, pizza or on top of a burger
- Made in a food processor, and ready in 5 minutes!
Kale: I used curly kale, but lacinato works too; make sure to remove the stems before adding it to your food processor
Basil: Fresh! No substitutions.
Garlic: The recipe calls for 2 garlic cloves, and if you can, I'd use two large garlic cloves -- because who doesn't love a garlicky pesto?!
Olive oil: No substitution; olive oil is a KEY ingredient in any good pesto recipe. Can you technically use avocado oil instead? Yes, but it won't taste the same.
Pine nuts: You can use any nuts you have on hand; pine nuts make this pesto very creamy, but they can be on the pricier side, so if you want to use almonds or walnuts instead you can.
Step 1: Add the kale, basil, garlic, and pine nuts to your food processor and pulse for 10 seconds or so.
Step 2: With the motor still running, pour the olive oil in through the top and pulse for 10-15 seconds. Then, add water 1 tbsp at a time until pesto forms (you'll probably need between 2-4 tablespoons).
Step 3: Taste test, then add salt as needed (1/4-1/2 teaspoon), along with lemon juice if you prefer. Enjoy!
Can I use a blender instead?
If you want to use a blender, I'd use a small-sized blender, like a NutriBullet.
Do I have to use kale and/or pine nuts?
No, but both of those ingredients are what make this kale pesto, well, kale pesto. If you want to substitute them, you may want to try my almond pesto instead.
- Refrigerator: Store pesto in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Freezer: Freezing pesto is very common and easy to do. Spoon pesto into an ice cube try, then store it that way in the freezer for up to 3 months. The Harvest Kitchen wrote a great article on how to freeze pesto.
More delicious kale recipes:
If you made this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and star rating below. Thanks!
- 2 garlic cloves
- 6 tbsp pine nuts
- 1 cup kale stems removed
- 2 cups fresh basil
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp water or more
- salt to taste
- 1 tbsp lemon juice optional
- Add the garlic, pine nuts, kale, and basil to your food processor and pulse for 10 seconds.
- Then, with the motor still running, pour the olive oil in through the top and pulse for 10 seconds. Add the water 1 tbsp at a time until pesto forms (you will need between 2-4 tbsp total). Taste test, then add salt. Last, add the lemon juice (optional). Enjoy!