Kale Pesto

Just to let you know, this post was written before I started the paleo diet to help ease my psoriasis. Nowadays I eat a more allergy-friendly diet, but leave these older, non-paleo posts up in case they are useful to readers, as I know not everyone eats the same as I do. Thanks for your understanding. 

Kale. We all know it's good for us, it's full of vitamin C to help keep our immune systems healthy, iron to make us strong and calcium, for our bones. It's a bit of a powerhouse of a veg. But lovely as it is, you can get bored of chopping it up and stir-frying or just boiling it in a pan. So for those days, I made some pesto. 

kale pesto on penne pasta

I was sent a couple of bags of kale to try, and I have to say, got through them both pretty quickly. The pesto didn't turn out quite right the first couple of times but I eventually got the right mixture in this recipe here. Just blend and stir through hot pasta, couscous or rice - or spread onto pieces of crusty bread when making bruschetta. If you have any leftover, scrape it into an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for 2-3 days. 


Kale Pesto
Makes enough for 4 servings
40g kale (two big handfuls), thick woody stems trimmed off
1 medium-sized garlic clove
30g pine nuts
4 x 15ml tbsp nice, peppery Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tbsp Grana Padano cheese, finely grated

Wash the kale and shake well to dry. Add to a processor with the peeled garlic clove, pine nuts, oil and the cheese and blitz until it forms a slightly creamy looking green paste. Keep it chunky if you like, or blitz until smooth if you prefer.

Taste and season with a little salt and pepper if needed, and stir through hot pasta. Serve with more Grana Padano grated over the top. 


  • You could spice this up with red chilli flakes if you wanted to, or add chopped and de-seeded red chilli into the mixture- not too much though, or it'll overpower the kale. 
  • I think bacon works incredibly well with kale, and so does chicken - so you could always add some chicken or bacon to your pasta - pan-fry in bite-sized chunks and add the cooked meat to the pasta before stirring in the pesto. 
  • This recipe is also suitable for those with gluten intolerances - just use your favourite gluten-free pasta. 

kale pesto

For more ideas on how to use kale, visit the Discover Kale website.