Kale Pesto {5 Minute Recipe}

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This kale pesto may just become your new favorite go-to recipe for pasta, pizza, and sandwiches!

And because we’re using simple ingredients like walnuts, garlic, and grated parmesan cheese, you’re already likely going to have everything in your pantry. No kale on hand? Try our parsley pesto which is also fabulous.

Kale Pesto here served as a dip with gluten free sweet potato crackers.

I love how versatile this recipe is. You can use the kale pesto as a sandwich spread or even for dipping.

But my absolute favorite way of using the kale pesto is to combine it with spaghetti pasta. That and some additional freshly grated parmesan cheese and I am in pasta heaven.


Some ingredients can be swapped without any loss of flavor.

  • Kale
  • fresh Garlic
  • Walnuts or you can also use pine nuts)
  • grated Parmesan. Skip the grated Parmesan if you want to make this a vegan-friendly pesto. Instead, try adding some Nutritional Yeast instead.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (avocado oil will work, too)
  • Lemon Juice
  • Salt

How to make Kale Pesto

Food processor including green kale, walnuts, garlic, and parmesan cheese
  1. Wash the kale, and remove the leaves from the stem. Peel clove of garlic cloves.
  2. Add the kale leaves, fresh garlic cloves, grated parmesan cheese, and walnuts into your food processor. Blend until they are smooth.
  3. Season with salt and pepper and you’re ready to serve.

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How To Store Kale Pesto

And if you’re a fan of meal prep, you’re going to love this recipe. Once made, store the pesto in an air-tight container like this one.

How Long Does Pesto Last

The pesto should last in your fridge for about 7 days. Another advantage of making pesto is that it also freezes very well.

You should have no problem freezing the pesto cubes for about 6-8 months.

Tip: If you plan to freeze the kale, simply pour the pesto into an ice cube tray. Once frozen, transfer the cubes into a freezable ziplock bag.

More Easy Recipes

bowl of kale pesto with a sweet potato cracker for snacking

Kale Pesto

Kale and Walnut Pesto perfect for pasta dips, and spreads. 
Course: Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: American, Gluten-Free, Vegetarian
Keyword: gluten free snacks, make ahead appetizers, party appetizer
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
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  • Wash, and dry the kale. and tear the leaves into bite-sized pieces. 
  • Add kale, walnuts, garlic, parmesan, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper into a food processor. Blend until smooth. 
  • Serve and enjoy. 


Calories: 280kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 151mg | Potassium: 282mg | Vitamin A: 4525IU | Vitamin C: 58.5mg | Calcium: 178mg | Iron: 1.2mg
Pesto Recipe with Lacinato Kale
Updated: April 20, 2020

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Hi, friends. My name is Maike. Nice to meet you. I am the blogger behind the Cheerful Cook. A Comfort Food blog where we celebrate easy German American recipes all year long
About the AuthorMaike
Hi There, I'm Maike. Welcome to the Cheerful Cook, where we celebrate easy German and American comfort food all year long.
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3 thoughts on “Kale Pesto {5 Minute Recipe}”

    • Kale pesto is delicious. I’m obsessed with all things kale. You can also try different types of kale (kurly kale, lacinato kale, Russian kale …).