Easy Vegan Kale Pesto Recipe (2024)

Last modified: . Originally posted: By Sophia DeSantis

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This vegan kale pesto is as delicious and easy as it gets! Simply blend and serve with all of your favorite meals.

Easy Vegan Kale Pesto Recipe (1)

Easy Vegan Kale Pesto Recipe (2)

This post was originally published on June 22, 2015.

Getting greens into kids can be tricky sometimes, so I love easy recipe like this pesto that we can add to anything and everything!

Another great thing about pesto is that it's one of those recipes that you can customize in so many ways! I love to sneak extra nutrients in while mixing up the flavors for variety.


Just a few simple ingredients is all you need to make this flavorful pesto!

Easy Vegan Kale Pesto Recipe (3)

How To Make Kale Pesto

This vegan pesto recipe is so simple to make!

  1. Blend.Easy Vegan Kale Pesto Recipe (4)
  2. Serve!Easy Vegan Kale Pesto Recipe (5)

Serving suggestions

There are so many ways to eat this delicious pesto!

  • Mix into your favorite hot pasta dish.
  • Make a cold pesto pasta salad.
  • Spread on a sandwich, like a vegan BLT.
  • Incorporate it in veggie burgers.
  • Use it as a dip with fries or pita chips.
  • Toss roasted potatoes or veggies in it.
Easy Vegan Kale Pesto Recipe (6)

Flavor suggestions

  • The basil helps balance out the flavor, but you can always do all kale if you prefer.
  • I like baby kale for a softer flavor, but you can use any you like.
  • Use sea salt to taste, you may not need this if you make my Parmesan recipe so definitely try first before adding.
  • Add a bit of lemon juice or zest for an extra flavor kick.
  • You can also incorporate seeds or nuts like walnuts for more texture.

Preparation and storage tips

  • If you are oil free use more broth to get the consistency you want.
  • Blend the pesto all the way for a super smooth consistency, or pulse for a more textured result.
  • Either a blender or food processor will work for this recipe. A food processor will give you a little more control over the texture if you don't want it super smooth.
  • Store the pesto in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  • You can also freeze it! I like to portion it out in ice cube trays and freeze, then transfer to an airtight container that way you can grab however much you need. It will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Common Questions

What is kale pesto?

Kale pesto is similar to traditional pesto, but instead of all basil, it incorporates kale as well. This plant based version uses vegan parmesan and broth to get flavor and texture, making it healthier!

How do you make kale pesto less bitter?

Kale is naturally bitter, so if you don't like any bitterness at all, try a more traditional pesto like the one in this recipe for Vegan Pesto Pasta Salad. You can however tone it down a little by adjusting the other ingredients. Try adding a little more salt, basil, nuts, broth, lemon juice, or even vinegar.

How long does kale pesto keep?

Kale pesto will essentially keep for as long as fresh kale leaves do. I suggest no more than 3-4 days depending on how fresh of kale you started with.

More Pestos & Dips You Might Like:

  • Vegan SpinahTahini Pesto
  • Lemon Help Seed Pesto
  • Broccoli Spinach Pesto
  • Kale Arugula Radicchio Pesto
  • Healthy Spinach Artichoke Dip
  • Fully Loaded Guacamole Dip
  • Vegan Queso Blanco

Easy Vegan Kale Pesto Recipe (7)

Easy Vegan Kale Pesto Recipe (8)

Easy Vegan Kale Pesto Recipe

Sophia DeSantis

This vegan kale pesto is as delicious and easy as it gets! Simply blend and serve with all of your favorite meals.

5 from 1 vote

Print Recipe Pin Recipe Shop Ingredients

Course 30 Minutes or Less, Condiment, Sauce

Cuisine Italian

Servings 4

Calories 95 kcal


  • blender or food processor


  • 2 cups packed kale , I like baby kale for a softer flavor
  • 2 cups packed basil
  • ½ cup vegan Parmesan cheese , make my recipe or use store bought
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • ¼- ½ cup veggie broth , low sodium if needed (see note)
  • Drizzle of olive oil see note
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt , optional, you may not need this if you make my Parmesan recipe so taste first

Shop Ingredients on Jupiter


  • Place ingredients into a food processor or blender and blend until pureed. Blend all the way for super smooth, or pulse for a more textured result.

  • Serve over pasta or any other meal


  • The basil helps balance out the flavor, but you can always do all kale if you prefer.
  • If you are oil free use more broth to get the consistency you want. I liked the flavor and texture with using a drizzle of oil and then adding about ¼ cup broth to get the texture I wanted. Adjust the oil and broth for your specific needs/preference.
  • This makes about 1 cup, serving size is ¼ cup.
  • Nutrition facts use my Parmesan cheese and no extra salt.

Recipe by Veggies Don’t Bite, visit our site for more great plant-based recipes.


Calories: 95kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 4gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 138mgPotassium: 296mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 3980IUVitamin C: 44mgCalcium: 77mgIron: 6mg

Nutrition and metric information should be considered an estimate.

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  1. Jenny

    Do you think it would be ok using 4 cups of arugula only, or 2 cups arugula + 2 cups of spinach?


    • veggiesdontbite

      Hi Jenny! I'd definitely use a combo of arugula and spinach. On its own the arugula would probably be a tad to strong. The radicchio definitely helps balance the flavor in this. Let me know how it goes!


  2. Ryan @ Feed by Round Pond

    I've never thought about including radicchio in my pesto - love it! The new favorite is either an arugula or basil pesto on top of grilled veggies or stone fruits. This pesto would be a great addition to the lineup.


    • veggiesdontbite

      Thanks so much Ryan! We love pesto, such an easy and healthy way to feed the kids, so always coming up with new varieties. I actually have another one coming out soon! But this is my creamiest version, those pine nuts are just so buttery! Love arugula too, and on top of stone fruits? YUM! Peaches and nectarines are a huge favorite right now!


  3. The Vegan 8

    This looks soooo delicious! I love pesto as you know and I love the radicchio in it..what a great blend! And of course, I'm obsessed with pine nuts and know how creamy and buttery they are, so I can imagine how delicious this is. Super simple too! Love that beautiful green color. This would be sooo yummy on pasta!


    • veggiesdontbite

      Thanks Brandi! It goes great on pasta and on top of my new recipe coming tomorrow. All greens in the mix were an awesome addition because I wouldn't normally use them, but they turned out awesome!! And I love pine nuts too. I hadn't used them in some time but got back on the addiction train!


  4. Jenn

    This is my kind of sauce right here! Creamy, gorgeous, fresh, delicious! I can't wait to try this! And I love your little white serving bowl/cup. Cute!


    • veggiesdontbite

      Thank you Jenn! The cup was a wedding gift long time ago. Never thought it would only be used as a food blog prop! HAHA!


  5. Natalie @ Feasting on Fruit

    I love alternative non-basil pestos! Beautiful photos too, so creative with the spoon shots 🙂


    • veggiesdontbite

      Thanks so much Natalie!! We love pesto and eat it a lot so mixing it up is key!


  6. Nichole Kraft, Food Writing Copyeditor

    I see pesto-dressed pasta in my future. What an easy way to get those healthy greens! Thanks for sharing, and I can't wait to see that post you keep talking about. 🙂


    • veggiesdontbite

      Thanks Nichole! It's such a good pesto! I love it because if I feed my kids this with pasta, I know they are getting a balanced meal! Plus, super easy so win win. Final recipe coming Thursday!


  7. Linda @ Veganosity

    This couldn't get any healthier or be any simpler to make Sophia. Love it! Beautiful pictures too.


    • veggiesdontbite

      Yes! So easy to make. And I love that this plus pasta can be a well rounded dinner for the kids! Thanks so much, I had fun with these pictures!


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