This 'sneaky' kale pesto is ready in 5 minutes and surprisingly, does not taste like kale! This pesto works great to add a little boost of greens on pasta, a sandwich, or as a salad dressing.
Kale pesto. It's a thing, people, and a very glorious one at that!
If this kale pesto recipe looks familiar, that's because it was originally published waaaaay back in the fall of 2014. If you remember it, then wow! 👏 Can I give you a hug for sticking around after all these years?
I have retested and improved this recipe to make it easier and tastier, and am excited to discuss!
Don't forget to pin this post to save it for later!
Reasons you'll love this kale pesto
- it doesn't really taste like kale (thank you parmesan, pine nuts, garlic and lemon juice!), so it 'sneaks' some extra kale into your life 😉
- it can be ready in 5 minutes
- you can freeze leftovers, so it's perfect for stocking yo freezer when kale is in season
Ingredients you'll need
- kale (2 cups, packed; use any type of kale!)
- parmesan cheese (½ cup freshly grated)
- pine nuts (½ cup; swap with almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds or pretty much any nut or seed)
- garlic (minced)
- lemon juice (½ a lemon)
- olive oil (¼ cup, reserve for drizzling into the processor as it blends)
Let's make pesto!
- first, pulse the kale so it's in small bits
- add the other ingredients (except for olive oil)
- blend, drizzling oil through the chute until everything is nice and blended up
- scrape down sides if needed and blend again
Looking for ways to use it?
- on pasta- toss it up with some fresh cherry tomatoes and Perfect Grilled Chicken Breast and you've got yourself a delicious summery dinner
- on a sandwich- swap out mayo or other condiments for this kale pesto recipe. It would be great on these Healthy Chicken Quesadillas as well!
- as a salad dressing- use it on pasta salad (I bet it would work well on this Greek Chicken Pasta Salad) or on quinoa salad (like this Charred Corn Salad)
- on pizza- slather it on your pizza base in place of tomato sauce!
- on salmon- smear it over your salmon after cooking. See my fail proof method for How to Cook Salmon here!
Tips & equipment
Secretly Healthy Kale Pesto
- 2 cups kale (packed firmly; do not include stems)
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese (freshly grated)
- 2 garlic cloves (minced)
- ½ lemon (juiced; roughly 1.5 tablespoons)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup olive oil
- In the base of a 7 cup food processor fitted with a steel blade, add the kale. Pulse or process on low until all the kale is chopped up into small bits.
- Add the pine nuts, parmesan cheese, minced garlic, lemon juice and salt.
- Process on low, slowly drizzling the olive oil through the chute.
- Stop and scrape down the sides of the food processor if necessary, and re-blend.
- Store in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
- Freeze in an air tight container for up to 3 months. You can also freeze in ice cube trays, pop them out when frozen, and store in a reusable silicone bag or meal prep container.