When it comes to power greens, it’s nearly impossible for me to pass by a table full of kale without grabbing at least one bunch, whether or not I know what I’m going to do with it when I get home. Sometimes it’ll end up in a salad, or a delicious breakfast skillet, but I’ll admit, lately all I want to do is stick my head in a bowl of pasta. I guess that’s what marathon training will do to a girl. So when that happens and there’s a week-old bunch of kale in the fridge, this, my friends, is the delicious outcome: pasta bathed in a kale pesto.
Toasted pine nuts, quality Parmesan and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice bring out the best of kale’s deep, earthy flavors. And let me tell you, this pesto is the perfect way to liven up any bowl of linguine, or add flavor to a crunchy crostini if you’re looking for a quick and easy appetizer idea.
Oh, and did I mention just one bunch of kale makes a double batch ?
After thoroughly coating my linguine with half of the raw kale pesto, I popped the rest into the freezer for the next time I crave a big bowl of comforting carbs.
And with another eight weeks to go until the San Francisco Marathon, I have a feeling that day isn’t too far off.Print
Easy Kale Pesto
- Prep Time: 20 min
- Cook Time: 0 min
- Total Time: 20 min
- Yield: 2 cups pesto 1x
Toasted pine nuts, quality Parmesan and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice bring out the best of kale’s deep, earthy flavors. This pesto is the perfect way to liven up any bowl of linguine, or add flavor to a crunchy crostini if you’re looking for a quick and easy appetizer idea.
- 8 cups coarsely chopped kale, stems removed (from 1 large bunch)
- 2 cups loosely packed fresh basil
- 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1/3 cup olive oil, more as needed
For the Pesto
- Working in small batches, run kale, basil, Parmesan, pine nuts, garlic and lemon juice through a food processor until very fine.
- While the food processor is running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until it is thick but smooth, and no longer cakes to the side of the bowl. Yours may require slightly less or more olive oil depending on the variety and amount of kale.
- Add more Parmesan or sea salt to taste if needed. Extra pesto freezes well – just store in a freezer bag and defrost for use within 6 months.
Adding to Pasta
- Cook 16 ounces pasta according to package directions, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water before draining. Drain and return pasta to pot over low heat.
- Add pesto, a good squeeze of lemon juice and just enough pasta water so the pesto spreads easily.
- Divide into bowls and top with a generous sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and a pinch of flaky sea salt.
- Category: Sauce
- Method: Food Processor
- Cuisine: Healthy
- Serving Size: 1/4 cup pesto
- Calories: 200
- Sugar: 2 g
- Sodium: 139 mg
- Fat: 17 g
- Saturated Fat: 3 g
- Unsaturated Fat: 14 g
- Trans Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 9 g
- Fiber: 3 g
- Protein: 6 g
- Cholesterol: 5 mg
Keywords: easy kale pesto
This looks delicious! Would i be able to substitute the linguine for spiralized veg? for low carb days
I know that spaghetti squash could be substituted as a low-calorie substitute for wheat pasta, but would the squash flavor and texture be acceptable to your dinner guests in this recipe? (by the way, butternut squash can be processed into strands that work like true spaghetti squash).
Spaghetti squash is definitely a little softer than al dente linguine but the flavor is pretty neutral so I think it would still be delicious!
I adore kale! Thank you for this :)
Here’s one you may also like:
I’ve been having pasta cravings this summer for some reason, so every new idea is welcome!
Gosh, I wish I would have had that infomration earlier!
Saturn boosters were made by NazisWerner von Braun belonged to the Nazi party because he had no choice and when he designed the Saturn rockets, he had been working for the U.S. military for years. He’s also one of the people who tried to convince the newly born NASA that humans could land on the Moon with the proper equipment and even set up bases there, way before Kennedy’s big speech. Hence, the blueprints for .Funny thing though, van Braun actually based quite a bit of his V2 , so you could say it was an unwittingly collaborative effort…
This looks delicious, Elle! Pesto is my favorite! What a great idea to use kale in it. :)
I agree with you! I sit in front of a computer all day long; but, I still can't get away from my paper calendar. I carry it with me everywhere I go. Plus, I have a family calendar hanging in my kitchen! 
I just found your blog and I cannot wait to try this recipe! I love any kind of pesto!
Kale is my absolute favorite, this looks fantastic. Good luck with the last 8 weeks of training, and thanks for sharing this recipe. Can’t wait to try it!
I have a huge bunch of kale currently in my fridge. They may have to be made! Mmm mmm mmm.
xoxo Sarah Grace, Fresh Fit N Healthy.
I love making kale pesto! I’ve tried a few recipes from the web. It’s also great to spread on homemade pizza, but I typically go for pasta too. It totally makes a big bowl of carbs more healthful and guiltless — it’s KALE after all!
Love that kale is included. Definitely have to try it out!
I love simple recipes that are full of flavour. Pesto and pasta are such a comfort food for me. I love the idea of adding kale for an extra nutrition boost.
Mmm this sounds great Elle! I’ve just started growing a little patio garden and kale and pesto are both in my planters. Soon I should have enough to make this pesto!
Love this recipe although I hate the taste of kale I want to find a recipe which will change my mind. Here’s hoping. Please read my blog I am looking for followers and cannot find the button for that tutorial, help.