Fresh Kale Pesto

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Confession time. I’m cheap. But you already knew that if you’ve been reading here for a while. There aren’t many coupons out there for fresh foods like meat, dairy, or produce so I need to find ways to make up for that problem.

If I’m at the grocery store and I’m buying produce that you pay per item (like cucumbers), I’m going to pick out the biggest one I can find. Hey, gotta get my money’s worth! I figured out that kale is sold by the bunch instead of by the pound. Not sure how I missed this fact before but I never really noticed. So of course, last week I bought the most massive kale bunch ever. It was seriously huge!

Thankfully I have a kid who likes kale. Yep, be jealous. It’s true. 😉 Needless to say, I’ve been using kale in all kinds of recipes so that it doesn’t go bad. I had kale in salad, kale chips, kale dolmades, and I also tried it in a kale pesto! Yes-o, in a pesto.

I figured pesto is usually basil, olive oil, garlic, and pine nuts so why can’t it be kale, olive oil, garlic, and almonds. Note for you readers: It can, and it was. I tossed my pasta with the fresh kale pesto and I also made another batch to put in my sandwich at lunch.

Fresh Kale Pesto Fresh Kale Pesto

  • 1 cup (67g) chopped kale
  • 1 Tbsp (7g) almond flour
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Mix ingredients in a blender or Magic Bullet and blend until smooth. Toss with your favorite pasta, drizzle on a salad, or add to a wrap.

Makes 1 batch at approximately 193 calories – 4g protein, 9g carbs, and 18g fat.


  • Since The Kid can’t have parmesan, I used almond flour instead to mimic the texture of parmesan. You can use real parmesan or 7g of whole or sliced almonds instead if you don’t have almond flour.
  • You can use just about any oil in place of olive oil for a different variation of this pesto.
  • I’m not sure if it matters much since you are blending the ingredients, but I trimmed off the tough kale stems and only blended the frilly leaves. The blender most likely would have pureed them, but I wasn’t sure if it would alter the taste any.
  • You can also use chicken broth or vegetable broth instead of water to add more flavor. For once, I didn’t have any leftover broth in the fridge so I just used plain water.

How’s that for quick and easy pesto that takes almost no effort at all. You can change it up with lime juice instead of lemon, parmesan instead of almond flour, or another spice instead of the red pepper. If you’re looking for another version, check out the edamame cilantro pesto.

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