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Kale Basil Pesto

Get your greens on and enjoy this classic Italian sauce!  Kale basil pesto takes just a few minutes to make in the food processor and can be used right away or stored for later.  A little bit of lemon really makes this pesto pop!
Course Sauces
Cuisine Italian
Keyword easy kale pesto, kale basil pesto, Kale pesto, veggie pesto
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 2 cups
Calories 2207kcal
Author Lauren


  • 3 packed cups kale stems removed, roughly chopped
  • 3 large cloves garlic
  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • ½ cup grated parmesan
  • 2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil


  • Toast. Preheat the oven to 350°F. On a sheet tray, toast the pine nuts for 5 to 8 minutes until light brown and fragrant. Let cool slightly before using.  (This step can be skipped, but adds lots of flavor.)
  • Pulse. In a food processor, pulse the kale leaves until roughly chopped into small pieces. Add the garlic and basil and repeat.
  • Blend. Add the pine nuts and parmesan to the food processor. Run-on low for 30 to 60 seconds until chopped and starting to combine with the greens. Keep the food processor running and through the food chute, add the salt and lemon juice. Process for about 15 seconds. Once combined, very slowly stream in the olive oil with the food processor running. If needed, stop the food processor, scrape the sides and bottom, and run again until the pesto is smooth and combined into a sauce
  • Cook or store. Use right away or store in an airtight container for about 1 week in the refrigerator and 6 months in the freezer.


  • remove all the stems from your kale leaves
  • roughly tear or chop the kale leaves into large pieces and rinse with cold water (this will remove some of the natural bitterness from the kale!)
  • let the pine nuts cool slightly before using (if toasting)


Calories: 2207kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 224g | Saturated Fat: 35g | Cholesterol: 44mg | Sodium: 1999mg | Potassium: 1424mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 18802IU | Vitamin C: 217mg | Calcium: 884mg | Iron: 9mg