Vegan Kale and Basil Pesto

Homemade kale pesto

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Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 10 mins
Servings: 16 to 20 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
79 Calories
6g Fat
6g Carbs
2g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 16 to 20
Amount per serving
Calories 79
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 8%
Saturated Fat 1g 3%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 21mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Protein 2g
Calcium 99mg 8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Homemade pesto is just so much better than a storebought one. Fresh ingredients, just make all the difference. This kale and basil pesto is just fabulous and can be used in many different ways as a dip, tossed with pasta, stirred into rice, or put it over the vegetables of your choice. It's a great way to sneak a bit of healthy green kale into your pesto by using a half basil and half kale mix. You'll likely not even notice the difference. 

There are very few wrong ways to make pesto, so adjust the ingredients to your liking, and make your kale pesto as chunky or as smooth as you like.


  • 1 cup kale
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 2/3 cup pine nuts
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Fresh black pepper, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a blender or food processor, combine the kale, basil, garlic, nutritional yeast, and nuts, pulsing just until coarsely chopped.

  3. Slowly add olive oil, lemon juice, and plenty of salt and pepper, blending just until desired consistency is reached.

  4. For a thinner, saucier pesto, add more olive oil or other liquid.

  5. Serve and enjoy!


  • The pieces of kale and basil should be small and uniform in size for smoother blending.

Recipe Variations

  • If you have leftover steamed kale, you can also use that, but fresh is better.
  • While it is traditional to use pine nuts in this pesto, walnut and cashew nuts are nice for variety.
  • No nutritional yeast in the house? Use a vegan Parmesan cheese substitute in its place.
  • It is always best to use fresh lemon juice, but if you don't have any grab the bottle.

How to Use Kale Pesto

  • Not sure what to do with your kale pesto, now that you've got it? Try using it to make pesto and breadcrumb stuffed tomatoes.
  • Typically if want to use this pesto with pasta for one pound of pasta, you should use 2/3 cup of pesto.

How to Store and Freeze

  • Leftover pesto can be placed in an airtight container and kept in the refrigerator for up to three days. 
  • Pesto can also be frozen in a freezer safe container or bag and kept in the freezer for up to two months. 

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