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Pasta al pesto on a white plate.

Vegan Kale Pesto

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Loaded with fresh ingredients, this Easy Vegan Kale Pesto is just right for adding a bit of brightness into your day!


  • 2 cups kale, thick stems removed
  • 1/3 cup raw pine nuts
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced (or more to taste)
  • 2 large cloves garlic (or 3 if you are a garlic lover like me!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup filtered water
  • optional: 1 handful fresh basil leaves


  1. Add fresh kale, pine nuts, lemon, garlic, and salt to a 7-cup food processor.  Turn on the motor and slowly stream in the oil while the motor is still running.  Next, add in the water while the motor is running.
  2. Remove top and taste.  Adjust flavor and texture to taste if desired.  You may want to add more lemon juice or garlic to balance out the flavor of the kale.  You can also add fresh basil to help mask the flavor of the kale if it is potent to you.
  3. Scrape down the sides to process again if needed.
  4. Use immediately overtop pasta, spaghetti squash, pizza or grilled or roasted veggies, in wraps or sandwiches, or stirred into soup!
  5. Store leftovers in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to one week.  Pesto sauce will thicken slightly after being stored.  Allow to sit at room temperature to allow the oil to liquify before using.  You can also freeze this pesto for up to 3 months (leaving room at the top of the airtight container for expansion).


When I add the pesto to pasta I reserve the pasta water and add that to the sauce to make the pesto sauce extra creamy.

  • Prep Time: 5
  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: Food Processor