Kale pesto

Kale pesto

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(34 ratings)

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 cloves
  • 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…

  • 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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29th Jan, 2020
I scale up and freeze portions, I add basil to ours and do half pine nuts half flaked almonds as pine nuts are so expensive. My kids always gobble it up
17th Nov, 2017
Delicious way to use kale, the vibrant green color was fantastic. I couldn't find pine nuts (we live in a tiny village) so I used walnuts as I had them in the cupboard and it turned out just as good. Even my husband, who is not the biggest kale fan, asked for seconds. Top recipe!
4th Oct, 2016
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!
TheEightHours's picture
24th Sep, 2015
Agreed, if you fancy a change from the usual Pesto go-to then try our Kale & Cannellini Pesto, as Kale is one of the most nutrient dense ingredients on the planet it's packed full of benefits (plus it's easy to make and so tasty) https://theeighthours.wordpress.com/2015/09/23/kale-cannellini-pesto/
hollowl's picture
10th Feb, 2015
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.
17th Jan, 2015
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!
14th Jan, 2015
Delicious! Love this pesto!
20th Sep, 2014
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.
12th Oct, 2013
I added a red chili for a bit of a kick. Gorgeous!
11th Mar, 2013
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?


13th Jan, 2019
How much is one serving? Many thanks.
goodfoodteam's picture
14th Jan, 2019
Thanks for your question. The nutritional figures will be for 12 and so you're looking at 1/ 12 of the mixture. However, if you're not too worried about the figures, we'd say stir through around 1/2 - 1 tbsp or more depending on taste.
18th May, 2016
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.
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