Easy Walnut Kale Pesto Recipe

Epic Easy Walnut Kale Pesto Recipe that is ready in 15 minutes time. Perfect as dip, spread or added in salads and pasta. This wonderful Mediterranean-style kale pesto recipe is light, gut-friendly and vegan too.

Epic Easy Kale Pesto Recipe with walnuts, green olives and lemon juice

Whenever kale is in season in Europe, I make sure to include this mighty vegetable into our family’s meals.This epic kale pesto recipe is a family favorite, especially in spring/fall time. Ever since giving birth with C-section, my gut has become exceptionally sensitive, thus I am careful with the types of foods I eat. What I love about this kale pesto is that the cooking method (blanching the leaves) is easier for digestion and in additions takes away from the slightly bitter, preppy taste of raw kale.

Blanching inevitably diminishes some of kale’s nutrients, so if you prefer to keep all the goodies in, this recipe can easily be made with raw kale leaves as well. Simply omit the blanching step and place washed, raw kale leaves in food processor with remaining ingredients.


Making this kale pesto is easy – we need only a few ingredients:

  • Fresh Kale Leaves – if stems feel to rough (as they are to me), save them for another meal (like a soup)
  • Walnuts – walnuts add a gentle nutty flavor to the kale pesto. If preferred, switch to cashews (or cashew butter), almonds or even tahini paste.
  • Olive oil – preferably extra virgin, adding oil to the pesto homogenizes it’s structure and creates creaminess.
  • Green olives – the pitted green olives we usually get (at Lidl or the local Greek market) are salted, which means no additional salt is needed.
  • Lemon juice – freshly squeezed lemon juice goes well in any pesto, don’t you think?
  • Garlic – for sharper flavor, can omit if served to kids.
  • Salt – optional


Wash kale leaves and remove stems. Blanch in boiling water for a few minutes and let cool completely.

Then add blanched kale leaves to a food processor, add walnuts, olive oil and remaining ingredients. Pulse until smooth and creamy. Test taste and add more of the ingredients if needed. There’s always room for experimentation.

If you add this vegan kale pesto to pasta, make sure to double or even triple the ingredients depending on the amount of pasta used.

How to make epic walnut kale pesto recipe at home
Epic Walnut Kale Pesto Recipe - how to make Mediterranean style kale pesto


Epic Walnut Kale Pesto Recipe - how to make Mediterranean style kale pesto

Epic Walnut Kale Pesto Recipe

The European Dish
Healthy kale pesto that is gut-friendly and extra delicious at the same time. Requires only 6 ingredients (all pantry-staples). Perfect on slice of dark bread or even mixed with Italian pasta of choice.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American, European, Mediterranean
Servings 4 people


  • 3 cups kale (1 bunch) stems removed
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2/3 cup green olives pitted
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice approx. ½ regular
  • 1-3 cloves garlic peeled
  • Pinch of salt optional
  • Water for boiling


  • Wash kale leaves under cold water. Remove stems and add to boiling water. Let kale leaves blanch for 5-10 min, then remove from water and strain well. Leave to cool completely.
  • Then, place blanched kale leaves, walnuts, olive oil, lemon juice, green olives and garlic in food processor and pulse until desired consistency is reached. Transfer to serving dish of choice.
  • Spread over slice of dark bread or add to pasta and enjoy!


Before transferring to serving dish, I recommend checking consistency and taste. If desired, you can add more garlic, olive oil, (salt) and/or walnuts to boost pesto’s taste even further.
Keyword gut-friendly, kale, pesto, walnuts
Did you make this recipe?Mention @theeuropeandish on Instagram or tag us so we can see what you’ve made #theeuropeandish!

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