Kale Walnut Pesto

I’ve had Chef Chloe’s 5- ingredient Vegan Pesto saved in recipes I’ve wanted to try, and decided to make it yesterday. I didn’t love the final product, so I added an additional cup of kale, as well as ingredients inspired by Easy 5- minute Vegan Pesto from the Minimalist Baker. Pesto is a good amount for 1 pound of Pasta, I used Trader Joes Gigli pasta. I was also able to make this recipe using raw walnuts because I have a high powered Braun FP3020 12 Cup Food Processor, but if you don’t, see notes below.


Kale Walnut Pesto


  • 5 cups (about 1 bunch) chopped curly kale leaves (I used destemmed kale from TJ’s)
  • ½ cup raw walnuts
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper* (optional)
  • Crushed red pepper flakes* (optional)


In a food processor, combine the kale, walnuts, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, and salt and process until smooth. Season with black pepper. Toss the pesto with the pasta. Portion onto plates and top each serving with a pinch of red pepper flakes, if desired.


If you do not have a highpowered blender or food processor, and nuts don’t blend well raw,  but if oak the nuts overnight or in boiling water for 10 minutes, then drain them before blending. This will soften them and ensure a silky-smooth cream once blended.

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