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The Best Vegan Kale Pesto

The Best Vegan Kale Pesto | Well and Full | #healthy #easy #plantbased #recipe

This is the Best Vegan Kale Pesto – it’s lemony, garlicky, and completely delicious!

I LOVE pesto. Not only is it super delicious, but it’s customizable, versatile, and nutritious. If I’m feeling like I’m not getting enough greens, I’ll make a pesto to put on whole wheat or chickpea noodles. I also love adding pesto to mashed avocado (with a dash of hot paprika) to make a deliciously flavorful avocado toast.

This is my best vegan kale pesto recipe – I make it a couple times a month, and it’s usually gone within a day or two! The recipe is well-balanced, with the savory and herby elements of garlic and basil, nuttiness from the pumpkin seeds, and earthiness from the kale. Plus, it only takes a few minutes to throw together! I love it when you can achieve big flavors with minimal effort.

Even though I’ve always loved pesto, I make it more often now because it’s my boyfriend’s favorite. In fact, for his birthday yesterday he requested my pumpkin gnocchi recipe with pesto. I made a variation of this pesto, but I swapped out kale for spinach and added in a dash of paprika. The result was AMAZINGLY delicious (see it here). It made me so happy to create something tasty and nourishing for him, because my boyfriend does so much for me. I know he gets a decent amount of air time here, but he deserves so much recognition for all that he does. Even though we’ve been dating for almost a year, I’m still constantly surprised by how giving and thoughtful a person can be. I feel like (in fact, I know) you don’t come around people like him that often. He’s unlike any other person I’ve ever met. Sometimes I just sit down and wonder how I got so unbelievably lucky!!

So it makes me really glad to be able to create these recipes for him. I’ve always been the type of person who likes to take care of someone else, and cooking is the absolute best way to do that. There’s nothing like saying “I love you” by making a delicious meal for the person that you care about! :)

The Best Vegan Kale Pesto | Well and Full | #healthy #easy #plantbased #recipe

The Best Vegan Kale Pesto

This is the best vegan kale pesto - it's lemony, garlicky, and just a hint of spicy! Perfect for pasta, pizza, or avocado toast.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings 3


  • 3 Cups Kale packed
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • Juice from 1/2 Lemon
  • 2 Tsp Dried Basil
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • Black Pepper to taste
  • Red Pepper Flakes to taste
  • 1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Pepitas (Pumpkin Seeds)
  • 2-3 Tbs Water


  1. In a food processor, add all ingredients. Process on high until the pesto reaches the desired consistency (i.e. blend longer for a smoother pesto).

  2. Serve with pasta, on top of pizza, or with mashed avocado for a delicious avocado toast!

  3. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

For a "cheesy" flavor in the pesto, add 1-2 Tbs nutritional yeast.

The Best Vegan Kale Pesto | Well and Full | #healthy #easy #plantbased #recipe


If you make this recipe and post it on Instagram, be sure to tag me @wellandfull and #wellandfull so I can see! I love seeing your takes on my recipes :)


  • Reply
    Jess @choosingchia
    September 18, 2018 at 11:03 am

    I can’t believe Ive never made pesto with kale still! Thinking I have too after this post. Also love the addition of pumpkin seeds :)

    • Reply
      September 19, 2018 at 10:27 pm

      Girl you are missing out! But it’s probably because you’re too busy making deliciously sweet treats over there :)

  • Reply
    Traci | Vanilla And Bean
    September 25, 2018 at 12:06 pm

    One of the things I love most about pesto… the vast array of varieties there are to enjoy! And I adore pepitas in any form. They are so nourishing! Sounds like you need to hold on to your BF forever, Sarah. Seriously. After being married for 28 years, he is still the love of my life and in part, for the same reasons you feel too. Any relationship is a two way street… but when it really works, that is rare. So happy for you Sarah!

    • Reply
      September 25, 2018 at 3:53 pm

      I appreciate your kind words, Traci <3 I definitely plan on holding onto him forever!!

  • Reply
    October 31, 2018 at 10:34 am

    Do you think I could substitute sunflower seeds for pumpkin?

    • Reply
      October 31, 2018 at 12:26 pm

      Absolutely! Sunflower seeds would taste great in here! :)

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