Kale & Basil Pesto

Winter has nothing on this light and fresh meal. Try as it might, it cannot take away the summery burst of freshness in this kale and basil pesto served over zucchini noodles.

Have you tried zucchini noodles? They seem to be popping up all over Pinterest. I love them as a low carb alternative to pasta. I used to use a vegetable peeler to make long, wide noodles but my husband bought me a spiralizer and it makes it much easier.

Once you make the zucchini noodles you can serve them raw or quickly sauté them for a few seconds. If you want them to have a more spaghetti like texture, place them on paper towels and sprinkle with salt to draw out the extra moisture. I like to rinse and dry them too, otherwise they will be too salty.

We had an overabundance of kale a few weeks ago and I used it in all sorts of ways. This pesto was one of my favorite. It has a bright basil flavor that does not overwhelm you. I made such a large batch that I also spread it over chicken the next day and baked it. It is a delicious and easy way to make a quick weeknight meal.


Kale & Basil Pesto

Note: In this recipe I lightly blanched the kale for 15 seconds. You may use raw if preferred but may need to alter the amount of oil used to get the correct consistency. Alternately, you can use thawed kale from the freezer section of the grocery store.

2 cups blanched kale (or 6-8 stalks fresh)
¾ ounce fresh basil (about ½ cup loosely packed)
½ cup pine nuts
½ cup finely grated parmesan cheese (1 ounce)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil (more if preferred)

  1. To blanch kale, bring water to a boil with a pinch of salt. Add kale for 15 seconds, remove and immediately run under cold water (or place in an ice bath). Allow to drain and pat dry.
  2. Add kale, basil, pine nuts, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to the work bowl of a food processor.
  3. Pulse until broken down.
  4. While running on low, slowly drizzle in olive oil.
  5. Serve on hot vegetable noodles or pasta.
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8 Responses to Kale & Basil Pesto

  1. hipfoodiemom says:

    Jolena, I love my spiralizer and LOVE this kale basil pesto! I never make just plain basil pesto anymore. . this looks delicious!

  2. Hi Jolena, this looks lovely! I’ve been a big fan of zucchini noodles since my sister introduced me to them a couple of years back. I usually eat them with meatballs or pad thai style, but after seeing this, I know how I’ll be serving up my next plate. Thanks for sharing :)

  3. whiskandshout says:

    LOVE that first picture and this recipe. Pinned! :)

  4. Yum! This looks great, I love kale and this is a really unique and awesome way to use it!

  5. I love zucchini noodles, this pesto must be so delicious with them! Great recipe!

  6. Julia says:

    MMM MMM MMM You’re making my mouth water and it’s only breakfast time! I love zucchini noodles and kale pesto – what a nutritious and delicious meal!

  7. Winnie says:

    I’m a pesto-freak, so I loooooooove it
    I’d eat it with a teaspoon

  8. Baking In Pyjamas says:

    I love how healthy this is Jolena, it looks wonderful. Thanks for linking up to Sweet and Savoury Sunday, stop by and link up again. Have a great day!! Laura@Baking in Pyjamas

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