Kale pesto

Prep: 10 mins No cook


Makes enough for 10-12 servings
This leafy green cabbage-like vegetable is a genuine superfood - it's great whizzed up in place of basil in an Italian sauce

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Vegetarian
  • Healthy

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal195
  • fat20g
  • saturates4g
  • carbs1g
  • sugars0g
  • fibre0g
  • protein4g
  • salt0.1g
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  • 85g pine nut, toasted
  • 85g Parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), coarsely grated, plus extra to serve (optional)



    Parmesan is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…

  • 3 garlic clove
  • 75ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
  • 75ml olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 85g kale



    A member of the cabbage family, kale comes in two forms: kale, which has smooth leaves, and…

  • juice 1 lemon



    Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…

  • spaghetti or linguine, to serve


  1. Put the pine nuts, Parmesan, garlic, oils, kale and lemon juice in a food processor and whizz to a paste. Season to taste. Stir through hot pasta to serve, topping with extra Parmesan and olive oil, if you like.

  2. To store, put in a container or jar, cover the surface with a little more olive oil and keep in the fridge for a week, or freeze for up to a month.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Comments (13)

saschlet's picture

Yum! I used all ingredients mentioned but did 50g rather than 85g and also 1 small garlic clove not 3 - it still had a garlic flavour! I also added in a handful of frozen peas to pimp the protein a bit and will try adding a handful of spinach too next time. Use the first round on pasta and dollop leftovers onto a pizza and bake!

hollowl's picture

Delicious! I love all types of pesto. I do tend to add baked garlic instead of raw though, to mellow the flavour, so you don't get that raw taste in your mouth.

dentalfun's picture

Woah, garlic! This was okay stirred into pasta for lunch but the garlic overpowered a lot of the other flavours. The rest I'm going to use as a garlic dip for chips when I next make them!

anaruivo's picture

Delicious! Love this pesto!

bomba777's picture

Pesto was created long before the electric food processor so go original & make it in a big mortar and pestle . . . if you don't own one, shame on you, double so if you own an electric. You end up with far better texture & fuller flavor . . . mmmm, handmade pesto.

juliasusan's picture

I added a red chili for a bit of a kick. Gorgeous!

deesteve's picture

I'm a bit confused about the amount of oil in the ingredients list, is it really 2 lots of 75 mls of olive oil?

deesteve's picture

I'm a bit confused about the amount of oil in the ingredients list, is it really 2 lots of 75 mls of olive oil?

bluejay's picture

I added a few drops of roasted sesame oil to the mixture of olive oils when processing in the blender and also usually add either rocket or watercress to the kale if I have any to hand. Either way it is a quick and delicious supper for one with fresh linguine.

mariowynjones's picture

Try replacing the kale with a mix of watercress and rocket for a pesto with more 'bite'

bomba777's picture

No, no, no, don't start that, putting a completely different recipe as a 'tweak.' See them all the time, like under a recipe for Coffee & Walnut cake: "I swapped the coffee for spice & switched the walnuts for carrots, it was delish." Arrrrgggghhhh!!!!

arellegee's picture

That made me laugh. There are also the reviews where they substitute ingredients then give the recipe a poor rating because it didn't work out well..... Sigh!

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Tips (1)

flyingmum's picture

Absolutely delicious! I threw in the rest of a bag of spinach and rocket that was lurking in the fridge and cut back on the olive oil. Served with slow roasted cherry tomatoes and spaghetti and I've got two more helpings in the freezer.