Kale Pesto

kale pesto recipe

Basil time is over, dudes, and there’s a dreary pall over the whole town it feels like. But that don’t mean we cain’t make pesto! This kale pesto with parsley and pecans will perk ya right up, homies. It’s bright and fresh and another great way to use this miracle green errybody’s going on and on about.

Feel free to use walnuts or pine nuts in place of pecans (though personally I love the sweetness that pecans bring to the table). If you have a nut allergy, sunflower seeds would also be tasty. And if you have a dairy allergy, replace the parmesan with some (drained) marinated artichoke hearts! Omit the salt and lemon juice in that case, though.

Kale Pesto Video

Kale Pesto Recipe – Printable!

5.0 from 3 reviews

Kale Pesto
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6
  • 1 cup packed kale leaves (or spinach leaves) stems removed
  • ½ cup packed parsley
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup toasted pecans
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1-2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • ½-2/3 cup olive oil
  • For serving:
  • 8 ounces spaghettini or spaghetti
  1. Combine the kale and pecans in a food chopper or processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add all other ingredients except oil and pulse until coarse paste forms.
  2. Add oil a little at a time until desired consistency is reached.
  3. Cook pasta as directed.
  4. Before draining, dip out about a cup of pasta cooking water and set aside.
  5. Drain pasta and put into a large bowl. Add pesto and ½ cup pasta water. Toss with tongs until coated, adding a little more water if necessary.

kale pesto


  1. I haven’t even watched this yet, and I’m SO on board!

  2. Okay, just watched and now I’m even more enthused. I’ve made pesto with spinach before, but never thought of using kale. You are so smart!

  3. Looks fabulous, Hilah! I knew your take on kale pesto would be unique and wonderful. Pecans! Great idea. Being vegan I love the heads up on the artichoke hearts instead of parm. I would never have thought of that idea! You are awesome.

  4. You make things so enjoyable. I tried raw kale but hadn’t a clue how to make it look better than steak.

  5. I do a lot of juicing and have used kale a lot lately. I really abhor throwing away all the pulp and was wondering if somehow it can be used in this recipe…. or any ideas on what i can use the pulp for.

    • Hi Nicoleta!
      I think kale pulp would work here, since there are so many other flavors and wet ingredients to make up for the dryness of the pulp. I’ve also heard of people using juicer pulp in muffins and quick breads. You could try using the pulp in place of zucchini in zucchini bread. Or add it to guacamole or salsa verde, maybe?
      I hope that helps!

  6. Hi Hilah, long time viewer, first time commenter. Just wanted to let you know I’m excited for your return to videos and am wishing you healing/rest/recovery and anything else you need during your break. Also wanted to let you know that this kale pesto is one of my favorite recipes from you–so simple and so delicious.
    Best, Brianna

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