Kale Pesto with Roasted Walnut Oil

ingredients for Kale Pesto with Roasted Walnut Oil

I’m pretty sure even the biggest ‘kale haters’ will be converted after tasting this recipe. It’s not as heavy as regular basil pesto, so you can really indulge! And the green, it’s truly a beautiful color, and we eat with our eyes!



One bunch (about 4 cups packed) dinosaur kale* leaves, stems removed

2 large cloves garlic

1/2 cup toasted walnuts or pecans

1 cup fresh basil (about a 1.25 oz package), stems and all (if they feel tender**)

1/2 bunch fresh parsley, stems and all (if they feel tender**)

34 tablespoons roasted walnut oil (affiliate link) (or good olive oil works great too) more if needed

1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes (0ptional)

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Kosher salt (affiliate link) and pepper to taste


  1. Remove stems from the kale and give the leaves a rough chop. With the food processor (affiliate link) running, drop the garlic cloves down the shoot, whiz around until they are chopped and stuck to the side of the processor bowl.
  2. Add the kale, walnuts, basil and parsley to the processor, whiz around until completely minced. Scrape down the sides of the processor bowl as needed.
  3. With processor running drizzle in the roasted walnut oil (affiliate link) and whiz until a nice paste forms. Add in the chili flakes and parm and pulse a few times to combine.
  4. Season with kosher salt (affiliate link) and freshly cracked pepper to taste. Done.
  5. No cooking needed, just be sure to save some pasta water to make this into a nice sauce if you are adding to cooked pasta.


*aka: Lacinato, Tuscan or Black Kale

**I’ve been using a lot of herbs stems lately, especially when they go into the food processor (affiliate link), as long as they are tender and not woody, don’t toss them out! Cilantro stems are especially good, just chop and throw into a stir-fry, treat it like a vegetable. You pay for them, you should use them too!

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