Kale pesto

I originally posted this kale pesto recipe four years ago. I can’t believe the blog is so old and how long I’ve been a kale fan.

When I posted this recipe Santiago was 14 years old and he made the kale pesto on his own. This is the story. I asked Santiago, who was hanging around in the kitchen, to put a handful of kale in the container of the food processor (affiliate link). He was listening to music, playing with Miko and being super active, but he did it anyway.

kale pesto

I was secretly super happy, and kind of impressed he did it. So I continued asking him to add a bunch of walnuts, garlic, etc. And so gradually he placed each ingredient of the kale pesto in the container of the food processor  (one of my favorite kitchen devices). The truth is that Santiago was not that fan of cooking. He always had a class or soccer training and he was 14 years old. But now he loves it.

kale pesto

When he was done I just told him…”you just made pesto!”. He was in awe, he just couldn’t believe he just made dinner. He also wanted to learn how to cook pasta and he even served it to us. I still love this type of moments with my kids, and I think I will always enjoy them.

At my house in the kitchen, is were everything happens. Homeworks are made, friends sit to talk, I work from there… so you can imagine that every time one of my kids cook something I’m OVER THE MOON.

Here are some tips and tricks on how to do the best pesto:

  • always choose the best ingredients. The freshest kale and the most delicious walnuts.
  • also, when you choose your olive oil make sure you have one that’s 100% olive oil and cold press.
  • I like to add the kale leaves first with the garlic clove, walnuts, and salt to the container of the food processor (affiliate link). Then I give it a pulse until everything is finely chopped.
  • then I start the food processor (affiliate link) at a low speed and add the rest of the ingredients. Finally, I like to add the olive oil gradually.

So here is the recipe for the

kale pesto

and I hope you like it. If you make it, please share a picture on Instagram or FB… I love to see your creations! Or you could Pin it and save it for later.

Kale pesto

Kale and walnut pesto is delicious and very healthy. It is the perfect twist for the classic pesto recipe.
4.67 from 3 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6 people
Calories 205 kcal


  • Pasta 1 package of 454 grams. 1 lb.
  • 2 cups kale leaves torn into pieces
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 -3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon capers
  • black pepper
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil


  • Follow directions from the pasta package to cook it.
  • While the pasta is boiling, add to the container of a food processor all ingredients except olive oil. Cover and pulse repeatedly until everything is chopped.
  • Turn on the food processor and add the olive oil while the processor is running.
  • Check salt and pepper, adjust if necessary.
  • When the pasta is al dente, drain but keep a cup of water in which it was cooked.
  • Add tablespoon by tablespoon of pesto to the pasta until it is all covered. Then add the water you reserved, the water will absorb and the pasta will be creamier. Do not worry if it does not absorb immediately, it will absorb eventually.


Calories: 205kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 1gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 2gSodium: 12mgPotassium: 63mgVitamin A: 700IUVitamin C: 8.6mgCalcium: 17mgIron: 0.4mg
Keyword kale pesto, vegan pesto


Nutritional information of this recipe is only an estimate, the accuracy for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

Did you make this recipe?Tag @piloncilloyvainilla on Instagram and hashtag it #brownsugarandvanilla so we can all see your creations.
Kale pesto, easy delicious and nutritious.
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Ana Cristina Enríquez

5 stars
Definitely I love this recipe. I’m going to try it this week.


5 stars
This looks delicious Ale!! I love the walnuts in there.


Ale, This Kale Pesto looks incredible : D I like all of your recipes. So in love with Vegan food so thank you for sharing all your knowledge.


5 stars
This version of the traditional pesto is amazing! I would love to try the recipe soon!

Deliciosamente light

5 stars
Me parece una súper buena opción.

Blanca D

5 stars
I love pesto! Is so cool when the kids help jn the kitchen. And here is the same, almost everything happens in the kitchen.


5 stars
Love kale, love pesto, love orecchiette and love Brown Sugar and Vanilla!