Easy Kale Pesto Recipe: It Goes With Just About Everything

Love Kale? Love Pesto? Then you’re going to be especially interested in what’s coming your way. This easy kale pesto recipe is going to be your best friend. Even if you don’t love kale but know you should be eating more, this is a great way to sneak it into your diet. (You can read all about the benefits of kale here.) You can slather the garlicky goodness on almost anything to intensify your meal. Pizza. Pasta. Smear it on your favorite sandwich. Lather it on baked chicken. Top it on eggs (trust). It can do no wrong.

Fun fact: The word pesto actually means ‘to crush’ in Genoese – which makes sense since classic pesto is crushed in a mortar and pestle.

Kale Pesto Recipe

What is pesto?

Traditionally, pesto is made with fresh basil leaves, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, garlic cloves and olive oil. Then, with a mortar and pestle, those ingredients are crushed together to make the sauce. Don’t get me wrong, I love the traditional stuff. However, we’re switching things up a bit here at Krisp with this easy kale pesto recipe.

Fun fact: The word pesto actually means ‘to crush’ in Genoese – which makes sense since given how traditional pesto is made.

Pesto ingredients

Instead of basil, we’re using tuscan kale. I happen to really love the way tuscan kale works for this recipe, but curly kale will be just fine. Instead of pine nuts, we’re using toasted walnuts and pistachios which really deepen the flavor of the pesto. And, since not many people own a mortar and pestle, a food processor would work just fine. I also highly recommend using fresh lemon juice (this really applies to all recipes) as sometimes the bottled lemon juice may contain preservatives. Plus, fresh is more authentic! And, last but certainly not least, the cheese. If you ask me, freshly grated Parmesan cheese makes everything wonderful.

fresh parmesan cheese

Pesto recipes

The most obvious choice when cooking with pesto, is pasta. The nuttiness of the pesto matches so perfectly with it. However, there are so many other uses that you just must try with this kale pesto recipe. Make a batch of it in the beginning of the week and use it with the following recipes:

  • Add a little more olive oil to make dressing for your favorite salad
  • Smear it on your favorite bread
  • Use it to top on chicken breasts
  • Toss it in a sauté pan with shrimp
  • Add some butter to slather it on skirt steak
  • Bake it on top of salmon
  • Toss it with veggies and roast
  • Add it to your favorite pizza crust
  • Mix with scrambled eggs, or top it on toast with a runny egg
Kale pesto

The options are endless with this recipe. And, the best part is it comes together in 10 minutes! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

When you make this recipe, please let me know what you think in the comments or tag me @KrispXKristin on Instagram. Happy Pesto-ing!

Kale Pesto Recipe

Easy Kale Pesto Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes


  • 1 medium bunch of tuscan kale, stems removed 
  • 1 small-medium garlic clove
  • 1/8 cup of walnuts 
  • 1/8 cup of pistachio nuts
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 1 tbsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Once at temperature, toast walnuts and pistachios on a sheet pan for 6-7 minutes.
  2. In a medium sized sauce pan, boil 4 cups of water.
  3. Once water is boiling, blanch the kale for about 1 minute.
  4. Strain kale, rinse with cold water, and wring out in clean towel. Pat dry.
  5. In a food processor, add kale, garlic, toasted walnuts & pistachios, grated Parmesan cheese. Pulse until coarsely chopped.
  6. While food processor is still spinning, slowly add your olive oil. Then, add lemon juice.
  7. Season with salt and pepper.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 317Total Fat: 33gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 26gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 719mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 4g

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