Kale Pesto

Pesto is traditionally made with basil, giving it quite the distinctive flavor. The result is this green, dense paste you can use with pasta, pizza, and other meals. So what would happen if instead of basil you used a different green leafy ingredient? This is a possible result: kale pesto!

Of course, replacing the basil with kale will also give it a quite different flavor, and you can’t simply substitute the basil and use the rest of the recipe as is. Kale and basil fit better with different ingredients. Compare it with our pesto recipe, and you’ll see the differences in the ingredient list.

This recipe is perfect if you wish to give your pizza a different touch, but unlike the basil pesto, it may not be the best fit for pizzas where vegetables are the big selling point. It’s trickier to balance the kale pesto, but hey, the soul of pizzamaking is creativity. Don’t be afraid to experiment! Who knows, you may have a pleasant surprise.

Kale Pesto

Using kale instead of basil to make a tasty pesto!
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Sauce
Cuisine: savory
Keyword: homemade pesto, kale pesto, pesto recipe, pesto with other ingredients
Servings: 2 cups


  • Food processor / Blender


  • 2 cups kale chopped into small pieces
  • 1/4 almonds
  • 1/4 parmesan cheese shredded
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1/2 lemon
  • Olive oil


  • Make sure the kale and the parsley are fresh, nice and clean. If you just washed them, try to dry them as well as you can, to avoid getting water into the pesto.
  • Put the kale, almonds, parsley, garlic, and lemon juice into a food processor, and start grinding down the ingredients. Pay attention to the consistency of the mixture, and add olive oil little by little until the paste looks like it can be spread. Remember for pizza you should try to get a thick sauce, so you don't soak the crust.
  • Add the parmesan cheese into the pesto, and use the food processor for just a few seconds. The intention isn't to turn the cheese into mush, you're simply trying to integrate the cheese into the pesto.
  • Taste the pesto, and season with salt and pepper according to your tastes.