Kale Pesto Recipe

Let’s sneak in some extra veggies with this tasty kale pesto recipe! It’s easy to make and ready in minutes.

Kale Pesto Recipe

Did y’all know kale is mostly a cool-weather crop? Oh yes!

Though you may see it frequently highlighted in salads, kale is best in the cooler Fall and Winter months.

The leaves are more crisp and fresh, the flavor is way better, and it’s actually BALLER in comfort food classics like pasta and casseroles!

It’s also straight up amazing transformed into pretty green pesto.

The kale leaves don’t brown like basil does, so you’re left with a vibrant-hued pesto that is ready to rock your plate!

Kale Pesto Recipe in Food Processor

I love using my kale pesto in super simple pasta dishes and also as a base for pizzas and flatbreads! It’s straight up amazing as a base for my Cheesy Broccoli Kale Pesto Pizza and it can even be slathered onto grilled cheese and paninis too.

Ready to get started? KALE YEAH!

Kale Pesto Recipe

This awesome kale pesto is crazy flavorful and a little goes a long way! It’s gloriously freezer-friendly and keeps for about 4 days in the fridge as well.

For this pesto feel free to use parmesan, romano or a parm-romano blend – just whatever you do, grate the cheese fresh for optimal flavor. Packaged parm tends to be seriously lacking!

Because the cheese is naturally salty, I highly suggest adding your salt after the cheese and tasting as you go. (Dive in with some fresh baguette and make a snack of it!) You can start with about 1/4-1/2 tsp and add extra as desired.

Kale Pesto Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Kale Pesto Recipe

Let's sneak in some extra veggies with this tasty kale pesto recipe! It's easy to make and ready in minutes.

Course sauce
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Kale Pesto Recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 178 kcal
Author Jenn Laughlin - Peas and Crayons


  • 1/4 cup walnuts, toasted
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups torn kale leaves (removed from stem)
  • 1 cup fresh spinach or basil (use what you have handy!)
  • 1/2 tsp salt plus extra to taste
  • 1 lemon, juiced (approx. 2 TBSP lemon juice)
  • 1/3-1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese to taste
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil


  1. First toast your walnuts! Heat your oven or toaster oven to 350°F and spread walnuts, spaced on a baking sheet. Roast for 5 to 10 minutes, shaking/tossing the pan occasionally to ensure even cooking.

  2. Add walnuts and garlic to your food processor. Pulse until both are minced.

  3. Next add kale, spinach (or basil), salt, juice of one lemon, and optional parmesan cheese. Blend well, adding the olive oil through the top of the processor towards the very end and gently blending to incorporate. 

  4. Since everyone's perfect pesto varies, feel free to adjust seasoning to taste as well as the liquid to veggie ratio, an extra drizzle or two of olive oil can thin the sauce as desired. I usually snag a piece of crusty bread and dunk as I taste test, it's glorious!

Recipe Notes

Try to choose an olive oil you love the taste of, a quality oil is key here!

See post for some tasty serving suggestions for kale pesto.

Nutrition Facts
Kale Pesto Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 178 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Fat 16g25%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 3mg1%
Sodium 296mg13%
Potassium 183mg5%
Carbohydrates 4g1%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 2745IU55%
Vitamin C 38mg46%
Calcium 116mg12%
Iron 0.8mg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

If you get a chance to try this tasty kale pesto recipe, let me know! Leave some love in the comment form below or tag your photos with @peasandcrayons on Instagram so I can happy dance over your creation!

crazy for kale?


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Recipe Rating


  • Marjory

    5 stars
    Love this recipe! Easy way to add extra veggies and flavors to burgers! I use it instead of ketchup!

    • Ohmygosh Brilliant! Love this new way to use it!

  • Lisalia

    5 stars
    Such a delicious and easy to make recipe! Thanks for this new way to enjoy KALE! yum.

  • Sue

    Sounds wonderful!! I can’t wait to show my husband (the guy who wanted to know where the carrots and peas blog was haha)

  • Helloooooo beautiful! I absolutely love kale pesto and find the walnut-kale combo to be so tasty! Definitely need to make this soon to drizzle on EVERYTHING! xx

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