Vegan Kale Pesto

Hallowe’en has passed and I’ve been left with plenty of raw Curly Kale.  There is only so much Colcannon the kids will eat so I’ve made it into vegan kale pesto which will keep in fridge for up to a month in a sealed jar.

I’ve mentioned before that I have a problem processing dairy products since some surgery last year.  While many of my recipes do contain dairy products I can taste them for balance but that’s as far as it goes.  It can be very limiting, particularly as I love things such as cheese, yoghurt, milk and butter.  When I can come up with a recipe that substitutes something for the dairy that I enjoy, I will just make the dairy free alternative and we all eat the same ingredients.  I’m not a fan of making individual dinners for varying diets.  We all eat the same meals where possible.

Like any self respecting mother, I made the pesto then fed it to the children before telling them what was in it.  The 13 year old asked for seconds.  She’s a great grubber. The picky 4 year old said he loved garlic, spread it on his toast and ate a slice. A big achievement for such a particular eater.

In place of parmesan cheese in this recipe I’ve substituted raw almonds.  They are very good match for the texture.  Kale replaces basil, which is really a summer herb in Ireland anyway so it’s good to have a substitute.


  • 5 large fronds of clean raw kale including the stalks (I used curly but flat leaf is fine)
  • 5 medium cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 100g raw almonds (I used mine with the skin on for more texture)
  • 50ml sunflower oil
  • Zest & juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper


  • 1 handblender & blending cup OR 1 food processor
  • Sharp knife & chopping board


  1. Cut the Kale into chunks the size of the palm of your hand so that they will fit into the blender easier.
  2. Put all the ingredients together into the processor and pulse/blitz until you have the consistency you prefer for your pesto.  I’d recommend you make it quite fine though as larger chunks of Kale can be a bit of a surprise to the palate.

To Serve

  1. Cook your pasta until “al dente”, which means slightly undercooked.
  2. Turn the hob off and strain the pasta then return it to the hot pot.
  3. Add 1 tablespoon of pesto per adult and stir into the pasta and allow the mixture to warm through.
  4. Once warm, serve immediately.

8 thoughts on “Vegan Kale Pesto”

  1. Edible Ireland

    We grew kale this year and I made many batches of pesto with it. I have yet to tell my kids what it’s made from for fear that they won’t eat it the next time I make it! For now, they gobble it up – a case of what they don’t know not hurting them. 😉

    1. No actually neither of the older kids turned up their noses once they had tasted it. I really think some of the 4yo’s pickiness is down to texture rather than flavour. The 13yo eats anything anyway!

  2. Pingback: Kale Pesto Pasta with Shrimps « The Perks of Being a Foodie

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