This Easy Kale Pesto recipe is a perfect way to make a healthy and flavorful pesto using pantry and freezer ingredients. This is a budget-friendly pesto because it is not made with fresh basil or pine nuts.
Use this Easy Kale Pesto recipe to make a Budget Friendly Pesto
This is certainly not your traditional Italian pesto. I came up with this recipe when I was in college and living on a budget. I loved the flavor of pesto, but buying things like fresh herbs and pine nuts were just out of the question.
You can cut down on cost by using some bright green kale to give your pesto a vibrant color. Then, use dried basil instead of traditional fresh basil leaves. Sure fresh basil is ideal, but the dried stuff does a pretty good job! Finally, swap out those pricey pine nuts for some almond slices.
How should I eat this kale pesto recipe?
The obvious choice for this pesto is to enjoy it on some pasta. I had it on some brown rice and quinoa pasta from Trader Joe’s. It is the perfect condiment to add to many meals.
I had some on eggs, sweet potatoes and roasted chicken as well. As I type this I am thinking that it would be heavenly spread on a piece of crunchy sourdough toast and with a poached egg on top.
What ingredients do I need to make this pantry pesto?
- Frozen chopped kale
- Grated parmesan cheese
- Dried basil
- Extra virgin olive oil
This kale pesto can be modified and changed based on the ingredients that you have available in your pantry, fridge or freezer. You can sub the frozen kale for fresh or frozen spinach. If you are using fresh, use 4 cups and do not cook first. In place of the almonds you can use walnuts or pine nuts if you have those instead. I did not add any garlic to this dish, but if you would like you can add some ground garlic or chopped fresh cloves.
What kitchen tools do I need to male this healthy Italian inspired sauce?
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Liquid measuring cup
- Food processor
Let’s make some Easy Kale Pesto!
To begin, heat frozen kale in a non-stick pan over medium heat until just defrosted – about 5 minutes. Then, add defrosted chopped kale, parmesan cheese, almonds, dried basil and salt to a food processor.
Next, process mixture until ingredients are fully combined and an even mixture remains. Then, turn the food processor on to low speed and slowly stream in olive oil through the spout on the food processor.
Finally, continue processing until a smooth, even mixture remains. Store pesto in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week!
How should I store this pesto?
Once prepared, store your pesto in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. You may need to give the pesto a stir each time you use it.
If you’re looking for a classic pesto recipe, try this homemade walnut pesto.
Keep reading to find the full, detailed recipe. If you make this recipe, please let me know on Instagram or with a rating and review below!
- 3 cups frozen chopped kale
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 1 tbsp dried basil leaves
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Heat frozen kale in a non-stick pan over medium heat until just defrosted – about 5 minutes
- Add defrosted chopped kale, parmesan cheese, almonds, dried basil and salt to a food processor
- Process until ingredients are fully combined and an even mixture remains
- Turn the food processor on to low speed and slowly stream in olive oil through the spout on the food processor
- Continue processing until a smooth, even mixture remains
- Store pesto in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week!