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The Best Vegan Kale Pesto

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

5 from 1 vote
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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

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  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

P.S.

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 :)

22 Comments

  • 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
      Sarah
      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
      Sarah
      September 25, 2018 at 3:53 pm

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

  • Reply
    Maddy
    October 31, 2018 at 10:34 am

    Do you think I could substitute sunflower seeds for pumpkin?

    • Reply
      Sarah
      October 31, 2018 at 12:26 pm

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

  • Reply
    Brandi
    December 13, 2018 at 3:19 pm


    I made this last night and it was really good! I especially loved the lemon juice aspect, that was really delicious!

    Definitely will make this again!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      December 13, 2018 at 3:20 pm

      Hi Brandi, I’m so glad you liked the recipe!! This is one of my favorites :) Thanks so much for leaving a note!!

  • Reply
    R.H.
    December 27, 2018 at 1:03 pm


    This is the best pesto I’ve ever tried. Thank you so much for the recipe!

  • Reply
    Pasta, Rice & Pizza Recipes – The De La Mora Blog
    January 19, 2019 at 3:34 am

    […] Homemade Spaghetti A La Carbonara Zucchini A La Carbonara Chickpea Meatballs with Pesto Spaghetti Vegan Kale Pesto Butternut Sauce Over Pasta With […]

  • Reply
    Jes
    March 18, 2019 at 7:07 pm


    Made this tonight and tossed with spring greens and Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi! SO DELICIOUS! Best pesto ever – thank you for sharing with all of us!!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      March 20, 2019 at 10:12 am

      I’m so glad you liked the recipe Jes!! I’ve had this pesto with the TJ’s cauliflower gnocchi too and I loved it :) Thanks so much for leaving a note!

  • Reply
    Mallory
    April 15, 2019 at 5:09 pm


    Just made this and it’s DELICIOUS! How long do you think it will keep in the fridge?

    • Reply
      Sarah
      April 15, 2019 at 6:37 pm

      I’m so glad you liked it! I think this would be best 2-3 days in the fridge :)

  • Reply
    Sagrario
    April 24, 2019 at 10:41 am

    Hi, Can you make this pesto with pine nuts?

    • Reply
      Sarah
      April 24, 2019 at 3:29 pm

      Hi Sagrario, pine nuts would be delicious in this recipe! Let me know how you like it :)

  • Reply
    Bee
    April 24, 2019 at 11:49 am


    I love ALL kinds of pasta. This looks healthy and satisfying. Even meat eaters should enjoy this tasty dish.

    • Reply
      Sarah
      April 24, 2019 at 3:30 pm

      Thank you so much for your kind note! :)

  • Reply
    sheenam | thetwincookingproject
    May 11, 2019 at 5:38 am

    Oh this looks perfectt!!!!!!! Trying it super soon.

    • Reply
      Sarah
      May 11, 2019 at 7:36 am

      Thank you!! :)

  • Reply
    Katie
    May 28, 2019 at 1:30 am


    The title of the recipe couldn’t be any more fitting. ” Best Vegan Kale Pesto” it is delicious.
    I haven’t tried it with the nutritional yeast, but will next time.
    The flavour is mouth watering. I have used it tosted through buckwheat pasta, spread on toast and over baked veggie chips.
    Would recommend if you havent tried it yet x

    • Reply
      Sarah
      May 28, 2019 at 7:42 am

      Hi Katie, I’m so glad to hear you liked this recipe!! Thanks so much for leaving a review :)

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