Similar to basil pesto, this Kale Pesto recipe is packed with healthy ingredients and loaded with amazing flavor! Simple, yet flavor-packed ingredients work together to make this irresistible pesto! It takes 5 minutes to make and you can eat it on anything! 
A small bowl full of fresh Kale Pesto.

 

Ingredients

This recipe doesn’t use a lot of ingredients, but the ingredients all contribute in a powerful way.

  •  Kale – you can use tuscan kale, curly kale, or baby kale (stems removed). I used curly kale.
  • Salt –  if the nuts you use are salted, reduce the amount of salt added.
  • Garlic clove – not too much, but just a enough to add that hint of garlic to the pesto.
  • Lemon juice
  • Pistachios – I used roasted pistachios. See “FAQ and tips” section for suggestions.
  • Olive oil
  • Parmesan cheese – could use Romano cheese for a more pungent flavor, but I like the subtly of the parmesan.
  • Red pepper flakes – (optional) for added heat.

A spoon holding up kale pesto.

How to make Kale Pesto

  1. Add the kale, salt, garlic, lemon juice, pistachios, and olive oil to the bowl of a food processor or blender. Overhead photo of a food processor full of kale pesto ingredients.
  2. Process until smooth.
  3. Serve with pasta, on sandwiches, on kale pizza… whatever you want! It’s so good you can even eat it with a spoon.

 

Kale pesto in a food processor.

FAQ and Tips

If using salted pistachios make sure to reduce the salt to 1/4 teaspoon.

Variations

If you don’t have pistachios you can substitute a different kind of nut such as walnuts, cashews, or almonds.

For a more pungent flavor use Romano cheese rather than parmesan.

If you don’t have red pepper flakes you can add jalapeño to the pesto for heat. Remove the jalapeño seeds for mild/medium, and keep the seeds for medium/hot.

Kale pesto on a silver spoon.

Related Recipes 

A small bowl full of fresh Kale Pesto.
Print Review
5 from 1 vote

Kale Pesto

You can use this pesto on anything! Sandwiches, pasta, or eat it plain. It's THAT good!
Prep Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 5 mins
Servings: 1 cup

Ingredients
 

  • 3 cups kale - stems removed, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup pistachios - see notes
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • pinch crushed red pepper flakes - optional. Add more for added heat

Instructions
 

  • Add the kale, salt, garlic, lemon juice, pistachios and olive oil to the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth. 
  • Serve with pasta, on sandwiches, on pizza. 

Notes

If pistachios are salted, reduce salt to 1/4 teaspoon.
If you don’t have pistachios you can substitute a different kind of nut such as walnuts, cashews, or almonds.
For a more pungent flavor use Romano cheese rather than parmesan.
If you don’t have red pepper flakes you can add jalapeño to the pesto for heat. Remove the jalapeño seeds for mild/medium, and keep the seeds for medium/hot.

Nutrition

Calories: 1336kcal (67%)Carbohydrates: 30g (10%)Protein: 24g (48%)Fat: 130g (200%)Saturated Fat: 21g (105%)Cholesterol: 17mg (6%)Sodium: 1643mg (68%)Potassium: 1302mg (37%)Fiber: 3g (12%)Sugar: 3g (3%)Vitamin A: 20403IU (408%)Vitamin C: 251mg (304%)Calcium: 641mg (64%)Iron: 5mg (28%)
Course: Appetizer, Seasoning, Snack
Cuisine: American
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A small bowl full of Kale pesto.