How To Make Kale Pesto

kale pesto

Here’s what I love about making your own pesto. It’s fresh, it’s fast and it tastes like the bomb.  You can pop it onto kids pasta, or throw it onto a chicken breast and bake it, or whop it into a salad.

Since it’s not going to last as long as a store bought version I don’t tend to make a lot of these, however since my son was diagnosed as being allergic to dairy, I’ve had to make my own pesto to cut out the cheese. (This version isn’t dairy free though.)

In honesty, when I can I buy a nice store version to save time, but if you feeling oh-so-smug and want to enjoy kale (yes really.. or you can make this with spinach or parsley leaves) then here’s a great little recipe that’s a whizz in the blender.

A note on oils and pestos: portion sizes DO matter. It’s easy to drop on too much sauce and end up in a calorie overload without realising. I like to portion up my sauces and dips into those little pots you can buy for baby food, and then I can simply freeze or use and I know I’m not overdoing it. You still get all the flavour without the tight jeans.  Kale can be bitter so make sure you destem it and give the leaves a good massage in a bowl before you start this recipe.



  • 1 1⁄2 C kale or spinach destemmed, tightly packed
  • 3⁄4 C walnuts
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 1⁄2 T lemon juice
  • 1⁄2 C Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 1⁄3 C olive oil

Blanch kale in boiling, salted water for 30 seconds. Toast walnuts and garlic at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 5-10 minutes. Add kale, walnuts, lemon juice, cheese and 1 tbsp oil to blender; pulse, then blend at high speed. Makes 12 servings. Drizzle remaining olive oil while blending and add salt.

Per serving: 120 calories; 3 g protein; 2 g carbohydrates; 12 g total fat; 2 g saturated fat; 95 g sodium.

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