If you’re looking for a healthy and flavorful sauce, this kale pesto recipe is a winner!
Made with garlic, pine nuts, and parmesan cheese, kale pesto is loaded with fiber, vitamins, and minerals!
Make this easy kale pesto recipe and use it in everything from low carb pasta to mashed cauliflower potatoes!
Versatile Pesto Sauce!
- Superfood kale has been transformed into a rich and deliciously nutritious sauce. It’s the perfect substitute for regular pesto when fresh basil isn’t available.
- With very little prep and only 3 steps, this kale pesto recipe is so quick and easy. Just clean the food processor!
- Kale pesto makes a fresh and unique topping for for bread, pizza, veggies, fish, or grilled meats like chicken or pork.
- Double or triple the recipe and use it all week long or freeze it in zippered bags or ice cube trays to pop into soups, stews, or a stir fry!
Ingredients And Variations
Pesto only needs a few basic ingredients, but you can tailor them to create your own signature pesto recipe!
Kale – Any variety of kale will work for pesto as long as the tough, woody stems are removed. Curly kale is the most common and has a mildly bitter flavor and Lacinto kale (aka Tuscan or dinosaur) is sweeter and more mildly flavored. Be sure the leaves are rinsed clean and patted dry before using.
Nuts – Pine nuts offer a buttery, nutty flavor to pesto, but aren’t always available and can be pretty spendy. Feel free to use other nuts like walnuts, cashews, or even sunflower seeds.
Cheese – Parmesan cheese is a salty, dry cheese that pairs perfectly with the flavors of kale and pine nuts. Pecorino Romano, Asiago, or even crumbled goat cheese or feta will also bring that creamy, salty texture and flavor to pesto.
How to Make Kale Pesto
- Toast pine nuts (as directed in the recipe below).
- Process nuts, garlic, lemon juice, parmesan cheese, and salt in the bowl of a food processor until they are blended into a paste.
- Add kale and process. Slowly drizzle in oil to the proper consistency.
- Season with more salt, if desired.
Best Ways To Use Pesto
There is something for every appetite with kale pesto! Add kale pesto to softened butter to make a kale pesto compound butter that can be served on top of a grilled steak, or a salmon filet. Whip it into homemade tzatziki and serve with some keto crackers, or swirl it into zoodles for a healthy low-carb side dish.
- Lightly toast nuts in a sauté pan and cool completely before using them in recipes. This makes them extra crunchy and intensifies their flavor!
- Keep kale pesto in a mason jar or other container with a tight-fitting lid in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days.
- Or you can store it in the freezer for up to 6 months, so why not make a few batches to last all year?
Delicious Recipes For Pesto Sauce
Have you tried this Kale Pesto Recipe? Leave a comment and rating below!
Kale Pesto Recipe
- 3 cups kale finely chopped and packed
- ½ cup pine nuts may substitute walnuts or almonds
- ⅓ cup olive oil or more, up to ½ cup
- 1 clove garlic chopped or minced
- 2 ounces parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice fresh is preferable
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
- Heat the pine nuts in a frying pan over medium heat, stirring or shaking constantly until light golden brown, about 4 minutes. Cool.
- Place nuts, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and parmesan cheese in a food processor and pulse until combined.
- Add kale and continue pulsing and scraping sides until combined.
- With the processor running, drizzle in the olive oil until the desired consistency is reached. Season with salt to taste.
- Lightly toasted and cooled nuts are extra crunchy and have a more intense flavor.
- Kale pesto will keep in an airtight container or a mason jar in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
- Freeze in zip bags or freezer containers for up to 6 months.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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*Recipe from SpendWithPennies.