Today is literally my favorite holiday. You guys know that I LOVE kale. I use in anything and everything from salads, to soups and smoothies, and now… pesto!

Ok, so quick story time before I get to the goods: I’ve never liked pesto, and I’m starting to realize that it’s because I don’t like basil, not necessarily pesto. Have you ever heard anyone say that if you really really despise a certain food that it might actually be a sign that you are slightly allergic to it? I’m kind of into this theory. I’ve noticed that every time I eat basil, my nose/sinuses get reallllyyy plugged up, so I think that “not liking pesto (or basil) has been my body telling me to avoid it. Weird? Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but my great uncle absolutely despised peanuts and peanut butter when he was younger, and well… it turned out that he had a severe allergy to them! Back to the point though, I’ve never liked basil pesto and always wanted to like it, so I came up with a pesto made from Baby Kale!

This recipe is so simple and easy to make. No cooking and minimal prep required! You can have fresh homemade Kale Pesto in a matter of minutes! My Kale Pesto is gluten-free, vegan, and loaded with healthy benefits.


Let’s get to know the main ingredient: KALE!

1. Kale is low in calorie, high in fiber and has zero fat. One cup of kale has only 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber and 0 grams of fat. It is great for aiding in digestion and elimination with its great fiber content. It’s also filled with so many nutrients, vitamins, folate and magnesium as well as those listed below.

2. Kale is high in iron. Per calorie, kale has more iron than beef. Iron is essential for good health, such as the formation of hemoglobin and enzymes, transporting oxygen to various parts of the body, cell growth, proper liver function and more.

3. Kale is high in Vitamin K. Eating a diet high in Vitamin K can help protect against various cancers. It is also necessary for a wide variety of bodily functions including normal bone health and blood clotting. Also increased levels of vitamin K can help people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

4. Kale is filled with powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants, such as carotenoids and flavonoids help protect against various cancers.

5. Kale is a great anti-inflammatory food. One cup of kale is filled with 10% of the RDA of omega-3 fatty acids, which help, fight against arthritis, asthma and autoimmune disorders.

6. Kale is great for cardiovascular support. Eating more kale can help lower cholesterol levels.

7. Kale is high in Vitamin A. Vitamin A is great for your vision, your skin as well as helping to prevent lung and oral cavity cancers.

8. Kale is high in Vitamin C. This is very helpful for your immune system, your metabolism and your hydration.

9. Kale is high in calcium. Per calorie, kale has more calcium than milk, which aids in preventing bone loss, preventing osteoporosis and maintaining a healthy metabolism. Vitamin C is also helpful to maintain cartilage and joint flexibility

10. Kale is a great detox food. Kale is filled with fiber and sulfur, both great for detoxifying your body and keeping your liver healthy.

Kale Pesto
Makes about 1 cup

2 cups DOLE Power Up Greens – Baby Kale
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup pistachios, shells removed
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1-2 cloves fresh garlic

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until well mixed.

Tip: I used roasted salted pistachios, so I did not add any additional salt. If you use unsalted pistachios, add a pinch of salt to the recipe!


In celebration of National Kale Day, I’m hosting a giveaway with Dole Salads!
One lucky RFFMBT reader will win:

  • A copy of “KALE: The Complete Guide to the World’s Most Powerful Superfood” by Stephanie Pedersen
  • Dole Coupons
  • Dole Tote Bag
  • Dole Tumbler
  • Dole Power Up Greens Yoga Mat
  • Dole Headphones

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Must use a valid email address to enter. Must be a US resident to enter.

Giveaway ends on Sunday, October 5th at 11:59 PM (PST).
1 winner will be randomly selected and announced on Monday, October 6th.

95 Comments on Kale Pesto + Giveaway

  1. Jen
    October 1, 2014 at 1:16 pm (10 years ago)

    Yum this sounds delicious! Can’t wait to try it. Kale day is a pretty top notch holiday in my book… LOVE Kale!!

  2. Sanna
    October 1, 2014 at 1:17 pm (10 years ago)

    I love any recipes that combine kale and sweet potatoes. I’m making a kale/sweet potato tart tonight!

  3. Rachel
    October 1, 2014 at 1:18 pm (10 years ago)

    Massaged kale salad is my FAVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Danielle
    October 1, 2014 at 1:19 pm (10 years ago)

    I love kale! Especially kale chips!

  5. Kaili
    October 1, 2014 at 1:20 pm (10 years ago)

    I love Kale!! Happy National Kale day 🙂 What a wonderful giveaway, thank you Catherine! hope to win!

  6. Jessica
    October 1, 2014 at 1:22 pm (10 years ago)

    Generic, but I love kale chips baked with nutritional yeast-yum!

  7. Danielle
    October 1, 2014 at 1:23 pm (10 years ago)

    This faux pesto looks so good. I’ve never tried nutritional yeast but I just picked some up – I might have found my first recipe to try it out! My favorite way to eat kale is simple: curly kale with lemon juice and olive oil, topped with pine nuts and chopped mango <3 My favorite!

  8. Monica
    October 1, 2014 at 1:28 pm (10 years ago)

    I love kale! I’ve been killing it with kale chips lately – so easy, such a wonderful munchie 🙂

  9. Joanna
    October 1, 2014 at 1:32 pm (10 years ago)

    I always put kale in smoothies so this looks like a really good and different recipe to try!

  10. Benazir
    October 1, 2014 at 1:34 pm (10 years ago)

    Kale Chips! Simple yet super tasty! 🙂

  11. Emily
    October 1, 2014 at 1:34 pm (10 years ago)

    Your kale pesto recipe sounds amazing! I plan to make it for sure. I love using kale in my salads or making kale chips with just a little bit of olive oil and salt.

  12. Becki @ Bites 'n Brews
    October 1, 2014 at 1:39 pm (10 years ago)

    I have a kale and quinoa salad recipe with candied pecans that is to die for!

  13. Jessica
    October 1, 2014 at 1:39 pm (10 years ago)

    I have been wanting to make a pistachio pesto for a while now! I do however love basil, maybe I will toss some of that in my pesto as well! Can’t wait to give this a whirl

    • Jessica
      October 1, 2014 at 1:41 pm (10 years ago)

      I love Kale, sweet potato and black bean burritos! My favorite fall comfort food

  14. Molly P
    October 1, 2014 at 1:45 pm (10 years ago)

    I LOVE putting Kale in my morning smoothie!

  15. Hannah Miller
    October 1, 2014 at 1:57 pm (10 years ago)

    I LOVE Kale! I can’t wait to try this recipe, I’ve been so hooked on kale chips recently! #kaleyeah!

  16. Lydia Claire
    October 1, 2014 at 2:10 pm (10 years ago)

    I like to add it to soups!

  17. Tricia
    October 1, 2014 at 2:21 pm (10 years ago)

    Hmm. I’ve never actually tried kale before, but I’ve heard many singing its praises! I’d like to give it a go, but I’m not sure where to start. Should I just try making some good ol’ kale chips?

  18. Aubrey
    October 1, 2014 at 2:25 pm (10 years ago)

    No matter what I’m juicing I always toss a couple kale leafs in the mix. What a beautiful color and flavor!

  19. Julie Wood
    October 1, 2014 at 2:28 pm (10 years ago)

    Love it! I put it in my smoothies, yummmm

  20. LisaS
    October 1, 2014 at 2:32 pm (10 years ago)

    Kale Chips! <3

  21. Natalie
    October 1, 2014 at 2:41 pm (10 years ago)

    Kale and sweet potatoes! Yum!

  22. Alena
    October 1, 2014 at 2:41 pm (10 years ago)

    Baked kale chips! I do like pesto though so I will be giving this a try!! 🙂

  23. Samm
    October 1, 2014 at 2:41 pm (10 years ago)

    Yummy!! I have a pizza recipe that has sweet potato and kale on it 🙂 two of my FAVORITES!

  24. emily
    October 1, 2014 at 2:43 pm (10 years ago)

    I eat kale in so many different ways, but today I had it in a stir-fry with meatless sausage and wild rice. Yum!!

  25. Drea
    October 1, 2014 at 2:49 pm (10 years ago)

    Yummy! I love pesto

  26. jennifer salinas
    October 1, 2014 at 2:58 pm (10 years ago)

    All hail Kale chips, kale smoothies KALE EVERYTHING

  27. Emily O
    October 1, 2014 at 3:24 pm (10 years ago)

    October 1st is my Birthday! I am a health foodie and am so excited that today is also national kale day!!!

  28. Allison
    October 1, 2014 at 3:32 pm (10 years ago)

    This looks sooo delicious!!

  29. Courtney M
    October 1, 2014 at 3:43 pm (10 years ago)

    Good ol kale chips. I also use kale in place of spinach for a meat free white lasagna

  30. Mackenzie
    October 1, 2014 at 4:02 pm (10 years ago)

    My favorite thing to do with kale is roast it until the edges get charred and crispy!

  31. Madison
    October 1, 2014 at 4:07 pm (10 years ago)

    Kale chips are my favorite! 🙂

  32. Merry
    October 1, 2014 at 4:26 pm (10 years ago)

    My favorite kale recipe is a potato and kale soup

  33. Holly r
    October 1, 2014 at 5:11 pm (10 years ago)

    My favorite is kale salad with apples, feta, sunflower seeds and cranberries

  34. Amber
    October 1, 2014 at 5:13 pm (10 years ago)

    I love kale smoothies and salads!

  35. Sofia
    October 1, 2014 at 5:14 pm (10 years ago)

    My favorite recipe is kale chips. Either with just a hint of olive oil and salt or with parmesan on top. Yum!

  36. Patricia
    October 1, 2014 at 5:15 pm (10 years ago)

    Kale white bean soup is my fave kale recipe! 🙂

  37. Jeanne
    October 1, 2014 at 5:18 pm (10 years ago)

    Love kale mixed with avocado and lemon juice!

  38. Ashley
    October 1, 2014 at 5:23 pm (10 years ago)

    I love to make kale salad with quinoa, colorful bell peppers, corn, and any other veggies I can find! Perfect for on the go lunch 🙂

  39. Mallory
    October 1, 2014 at 5:25 pm (10 years ago)

    I love adding kale into different soup recipes because it keeps some of its texture through the cooking.

  40. Paula
    October 1, 2014 at 5:41 pm (10 years ago)

    Yum, pistachios! Can’t wait to try them in pesto! 😉

  41. Courtney S
    October 1, 2014 at 5:56 pm (10 years ago)

    Kale sauteed in coconut oil and nutritional yeast!

  42. Valerie Darling
    October 1, 2014 at 6:28 pm (10 years ago)

    I love cooking kale with a bit of olive oil, garlic, red pepper, and some lemon zest until it wilts a bit and then adding in some pasta. It’s quick, easy, tasty, and filling!

  43. Sarah
    October 1, 2014 at 6:56 pm (10 years ago)

    I loooove my garlicky kale salad with nutritional yeast!

  44. Rebecca
    October 1, 2014 at 7:13 pm (10 years ago)

    I love to simply sauté my kale with some garlic – delicious!

  45. Liz
    October 1, 2014 at 7:24 pm (10 years ago)

    Kale + dried cranberries + walnuts + feta + balsamic and olive oil is my go to for easy lunch during the week!

  46. Analise Martinez
    October 1, 2014 at 9:55 pm (10 years ago)

    i love spicy kale chips and soup with kale, turkey and sweet potatoes! kale is the best!

  47. Valerie @EatableFood
    October 1, 2014 at 9:56 pm (10 years ago)

    I love making crispy kale chips with olive oil or coconut oil, and just salt and pepper. Simple, yet so addictive!

  48. Kristen
    October 2, 2014 at 12:33 am (10 years ago)

    Asian tofu kale soup!

  49. Victoria F.
    October 2, 2014 at 4:45 am (10 years ago)

    Love love love kale. I like making a homemade vinaigrette and “basting” the kale in that overnight. Add fresh cut veggies the next day and it does something simply amazing! #notyourordinarysalad

  50. Melissa
    October 2, 2014 at 5:25 am (10 years ago)

    Soups and salads with kale are my favorite! Yesterday I made a kale salad with blueberries, walnuts, and a lemony Greek yogurt dressing!

  51. Rhonda
    October 2, 2014 at 6:28 am (10 years ago)

    I love pesto but that looks really good. I’ll have to try it.
    My favorite thing to do with kale is to throw a bunch in a smoothie. They are soooo good for you.

  52. saniel
    October 2, 2014 at 8:07 am (10 years ago)

    lots of kale with hemp seeds, sliced pears,pecans, cranberries and white balsamic. super yum

  53. Leah
    October 2, 2014 at 8:23 am (10 years ago)

    I love kale chips too! They are so easy and what a healthy, tasty snack!

  54. Jackie
    October 2, 2014 at 8:45 am (10 years ago)

    mmmmmm I’m new to kale but I love it. You couldn’t find it in my area until a few months ago, even now you can only really get it mixed with spinach and chard in a bag. Huzzah for kale!

  55. Jackie
    October 2, 2014 at 8:46 am (10 years ago)

    oops, and fav recipe is kale with spinach and chard, cranberries, feta and chia seeds with italian dressing

  56. Charlotte
    October 2, 2014 at 9:34 am (10 years ago)

    I love kale chips. And massaged kale. And in my smoothies. Pretty much you name it, I like my kale that way.

  57. Hannah W.
    October 2, 2014 at 9:49 am (10 years ago)

    I love cooking kale with curried lentils and sweet potatoes! It’s my power meal for the winter 🙂

  58. Anastasia
    October 2, 2014 at 11:45 am (10 years ago)

    I love kale! So yummy(:

  59. Christine Presto
    October 2, 2014 at 11:46 am (10 years ago)

    Kale Chips! Just with a little sea salt. I’m still getting the hang of it and not burning them, but getting there!

  60. christina
    October 2, 2014 at 12:07 pm (10 years ago)

    kale chips!

  61. Lauren Q
    October 2, 2014 at 12:09 pm (10 years ago)

    I love my kale mixed with a raspberry vinaigrette and pecans. So yummy!

  62. Sarah
    October 2, 2014 at 12:35 pm (10 years ago)

    I like white bean kale soup – so delicious and warming during the winter!

  63. Lila
    October 2, 2014 at 1:40 pm (10 years ago)

    I just heard about your blog from the Spelt Right facebook page and I love it already! I’d love to win this as I’m pretty much kale obsessed and I’d love a little direction. Definitely making this kale pesto to use on pizza instead of tomato sauce.

  64. Ashley
    October 2, 2014 at 1:50 pm (10 years ago)

    Marinated kale inside a black bean burrito! We just made them the other night and they were delicious!

  65. Jenna
    October 2, 2014 at 2:26 pm (10 years ago)

    I love kale in smoothies and love spicy kale chips! I can’t wait to try it in pesto. Sounds delish!

  66. Grace
    October 2, 2014 at 2:37 pm (10 years ago)

    I saw a recipe for spinach pesto that said it stays green better than traditional basil pesto. I bet kale would work just as nicely.

  67. Alex
    October 2, 2014 at 2:51 pm (10 years ago)

    In chili! You can’t taste it and my hubby is none the wiser!

  68. Sarah
    October 2, 2014 at 4:13 pm (10 years ago)

    I absolutely love baby kale! It’s so tender and yummy, so I can eat it straight out of the bag as a salad!

  69. Lauren
    October 2, 2014 at 6:15 pm (10 years ago)

    Massaged kale salad with homemade peanut sauce. It’s to die for! So good!

  70. Kayla
    October 2, 2014 at 6:23 pm (10 years ago)

    Kale Chips, yumm!! :3

  71. shaunie
    October 2, 2014 at 9:49 pm (10 years ago)

    Love kale and chicken salads

  72. Catherine Jackson
    October 3, 2014 at 8:38 am (10 years ago)

    I love kale in just about everything! One of my favorite salads is massaged kale (just olive oil, lemon juice, and sea salt) topped with roasted veggies! A mix of sweet potatoes, winter squash, beets, and parsnips goes well with the kale. I also love the garlicky kale salad at Whole Foods.

  73. Olivia A
    October 3, 2014 at 8:55 am (10 years ago)

    Love kale juiced with apple, celery and cucumbers!

  74. Marissa
    October 3, 2014 at 1:49 pm (10 years ago)

    I’ve never cooked something myself with kale, but I’ve had it in a stew with other vegetables and chicken and it was delicious!

  75. Maria
    October 3, 2014 at 6:01 pm (10 years ago)

    I love sauteed kale! Simple- just oil, garlic, a little cayenne and salt! 🙂

  76. Bailey
    October 4, 2014 at 6:43 am (10 years ago)

    Kale crisps are my fav!

  77. Katie
    October 4, 2014 at 7:20 am (10 years ago)

    Kale is awesome and I’d love to use it more on a daily basis!

  78. Joyanna
    October 4, 2014 at 8:39 pm (10 years ago)

    Kale chips and smoothies are my current favorites. I will have to try this pesto!

  79. Chelsea Herzhaft
    October 5, 2014 at 12:57 am (10 years ago)

    Sounds yummy! Love kale, can’t wait to try!

  80. christine
    October 5, 2014 at 6:17 am (10 years ago)

    My fave is kale chips! But I also throw it in the blender with blueberries and coconut milk

  81. Lindsay
    October 5, 2014 at 10:24 am (10 years ago)

    I love the Thai Chickpea and Kale recipes. As well as making Kale Chips using infused olive oils, such as Chipotle Olive Oil!

  82. Molly
    October 5, 2014 at 10:50 am (10 years ago)

    I love kale chips!

  83. Heather Drain
    October 5, 2014 at 12:49 pm (10 years ago)

    I just tried this and am so amazed at how good this is. I actually love basil but was totally out, needed some pesto and happened to have some kale and fresh spring greens on hand. It’s so tasty. Thank you for the recipe!

  84. Catherine
    October 5, 2014 at 3:50 pm (10 years ago)

    I love kale chips with Greek seasoning!

  85. Dalores
    October 5, 2014 at 5:45 pm (10 years ago)

    I like kale in my smoothies.

  86. Cathy
    October 5, 2014 at 10:30 pm (10 years ago)

    Sounds super interesting.
    Gotta give it a try!
    But kale season isn’t in yet.


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