Kale Parsley Pesto

Toasted pine nuts, quality Parmesan, extra virgin olive oil and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice bring out the best of kale’s deep, earthy flavors in this Kale Parsley Pesto.

kale pesto in white bowl on white background with spoon

Can I admit something to you guys?

I rely on frozen pesto a lot.

Like when it’s 5pm and I’ve got two hungry toddlers and not planned a thing for dinner.

Frozen pesto!

Or when I’m solo parenting and need to keep things sweet and simple.

You guessed it! Frozen pesto.

Heck — when I just don’t feel like dirtying multiple pans and want dinner done and over with in 30 minutes.

Frozen pesto to the rescue!

ingredients for kale pesto in food processor

As you can see, homemade pesto is a staple in our house. I always make enough for at least two dinners and freeze a portion for those, uh emergency situations.

This quick Kale Parsley Pesto is one the tastiest ways to use up leftover parsley — or cilantro, or basil, or even mint. You know, like when you buy a whole bunch for a recipe that calls for two tablespoons? #petpeeve If you’ve got loads of extra parsley, make my favorite Mediterranean Quinoa Salad while you’re at it!

kale pesto in food processor with spoon

As for the kale, bagged or bunch makes no matter. When I’m tight on time, I use bagged since it’s already washed and chopped. I just tear out the thick stems before tossing it in the food processor.

Chopped kale with ribs torn out on marble background

This pesto is great on pasta, stirred into risotto (made in the Instant Pot!), or spooned on top of sautéed veggies or baked fish.

Grab your kale (wilted works too!) and whatever other fresh herbs you’ve got –– parsley, basil, cilantro or mint –– and give it a whirl.

kale pesto in a bowl with spoon and lemon on a white background
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Recipe

Kale Parsley Pesto

Toasted pine nuts, quality Parmesan, extra virgin olive oil and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice bring out the best of kale’s deep, earthy flavors in this quick Kale Parsley Pesto.

  • Prep Time:
    15 minutes
  • Total Time:
    15 minutes
  • Makes:
    2 cups 1x
  • Prep Time:
    15 minutes
  • Total Time:
    15 minutes
  • Makes:
    2 cups 1x
  • Ingredients

    • 8 cups coarsely chopped kale, no stems (about 4 ounces)
    • 2 cups fresh parsley or basil (about 1 ounce, some stems ok)
    • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
    • 1/2 lemon, juiced
    • 3 cloves garlic
    • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

    Instructions

    1. Add ingredients to food processor. Combine all ingredients in a food processor, starting with 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Work in two batches if you have a smaller food processor. 
    2. Process until very smooth. Process on HIGH until pesto is very smooth, adding more olive oil as needed to create desired texture. Use a spatula to scrape down the side of the bowl once or twice if necessary. 
    3. Season to taste. Season with additional lemon juice and/or salt, to taste.

    Notes

    Recipe Notes

    This recipe makes about 2 cups of pesto which is enough for 2 (16-ounce) packages of uncooked pasta. Freeze in 1 cup portions and defrost as needed for a fast, weeknight dinner. 

    Ingredient Notes

    This recipe works well with both parsley, basil, or even cilantro, so use whatever you prefer or have on hand.

    Nutrition

    • Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
    • Calories: 120
    • Sugar: 1 g
    • Sodium: 70 mg
    • Fat: 11 g
    • Saturated Fat: 2 g
    • Unsaturated Fat: 9 g
    • Trans Fat: 0 g
    • Carbohydrates: 4 g
    • Fiber: 1 g
    • Protein: 3 g
    • Cholesterol: 3 mg

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