This kale pesto pizza is an easy vegan pizza recipe with double the greens and loads of flavor! It has a garlicky kale pesto base baked under plant-based mozzarella, tomatoes, and crispy kale chips.

Kale pesto pizza on wooden cutting board

I can never say no to pizza. Whether it’s grilled pizza with peaches in the summer, a hearty vegan chickpea pizza, or pizza bites as an appetizer… show me a pizza, and I will gladly eat it! Fridays are usually pizza nights around here, and it’s the best way to enjoy all my favorite ingredients and flavors in one go. This kale pesto pizza packs in double the greens, so it’s practically like eating a salad, right? The combination of the garlicky kale pesto, crispy kale chips, vegan cheese, farm-fresh tomatoes, and homemade dough is a real show-stopper.

Why You’ll Love This Vegan Pesto Pizza With Kale

  • Fresh ingredients. This is a fun spin on my favorite vegan pizza recipe with a double dose of daily greens! It has plenty of tender kale, juicy tomatoes, strings of melty plant-based mozzarella, and a crispy crust.
  • Homemade. Whether you make it semi-homemade with a store-bought crust, or go all the way with homemade pizza dough (highly recommend!), a pizza made at home is way better than a frozen pizza from a box, if you ask me.
  • Make it yours. Of course, you have total flexibility when it comes to this pesto pizza. Add more kale or less tomatoes. Amp up the garlic and scatter whole roasted garlic cloves over the top, layer on sliced portobello mushrooms for some meatiness, or swap the tomatoes for roasted red peppers. You can’t go wrong.
Overhead view of kale pizza on wood cutting board

Notes on Ingredients

Here are some quick ingredient notes to get you started. Scroll for the printable recipe with amounts and details in the recipe card below the post.

  • Pizza dough – Use your favorite store-bought vegan pizza crust, or make vegan pizza dough from scratch (it’s easier than you think!).
  • Vegan mozzarella – Either freshly shredded vegan mozzarella or you can use the pre-packaged kind.
  • Tomato – Use thin tomato slices or halved grape tomatoes.
  • Kale – You’ll find kale in the produce aisle next to the other fresh greens. You can use any variety you like.
  • Pesto – I blend some of the kale with pecans, olive oil, and roasted garlic to make a simple and delicious homemade kale pesto. You can also use ingredients like pistachios (try this pistachio kale pesto), or classic basil pesto if you prefer.
  • Optional toppings – I sometimes add crispy chickpeas, grated vegan Parmesan, olives, mushrooms, and roasted red peppers to this pizza, or I’ll sprinkle on some red pepper flakes. Get creative!
Overhead view of sliced kale pizza

How to Make a Kale Pesto Pizza

I love making this kale pesto pizza on weekends because the leftovers store well for easy lunches and dinners during the week. It’s super quick, especially if you have your pizza dough or crust set to go. First, you’ll make a quick batch of kale pesto to spread over the prepared pizza dough (see below).

Then, all you do is add your toppings: mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, chopped kale, and a little drizzle of olive oil. Bake in a hot 500ºF/260°C oven for 8-12 minutes. The cheese should be bubbly, the kale should be crisp, and the pizza dough should be cooked through. Finally, slice and serve!

Easy Homemade Kale Pesto

This is the BEST kale pesto, and I usually have leftovers after assembling the pizza. If you find yourself in the same position, save it! Homemade pesto is just as great in a Caprese sandwich or pesto pasta, or I’ll freeze it for later.

To make the kale pesto you’ll use for the base, first, add fresh kale and pecans to a food processor and pulse until they’re combined. Next, add olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Blend for another 2-3 minutes until the pesto is smooth.

Closeup of kale pizza slices on wood board

Tips for Success

  • No vegan cheese? No worries, assemble and bake your pesto pizza without the cheese. Instead, make a batch of cashew cream and drizzle it over the pizza after baking.
  • Customize the pesto. Use more nuts for a thicker pesto, or add more oil for a smoother consistency. Just don’t add TOO much oil, or your pizza will end up very oily! 
  • Watch the pizza closely. The kale chips can go from crispy to burnt quickly, so keep an eye on the pizza while it’s in the oven. If you notice that the kale is browning quicker than the pizza base is cooking, try covering the top of the pizza with foil while it bakes.
  • More toppings. As mentioned, you can make this pesto pizza your own with any toppings you’d like. Add veggies like garlicky sauteed mushrooms, onions, and bell peppers, or change things up with crispy chickpeas, goat cheese, or sweet potato, like this sweet potato and kale pizza.

Serving Suggestions

Pizza makes a great light meal on its own, just mix up a pitcher of sweet tea to wash it down! I also love this kale pesto pizza with a side of Mediterranean chickpea salad or grilled zucchini in the summertime. Or, it’s great alongside a vegan charcuterie board or crudites dipped in tzatziki when we entertain friends.

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container or wrapped in foil. Kale pizza will last for 3 to 4 days in the fridge. I recommend reheating the pizza in the oven rather than the microwave, which will help re-crisp the kale. A temperature of 400ºF is high enough to get the kale crispy, without burning the crust.

More Vegan Pizza Recipes

Enjoy friends! If you make this kale pesto pizza recipe, please snap a photo and tag #jessicainthekitchen on Instagram! We’d also love it if you would leave a comment below, and give the recipe a rating! Thanks so much!

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Top down shot of kale pesto pizza slices on a board.

Garlicky Kale Pesto Pizza

This vegan kale pesto pizza has a garlicky pesto base topped with juicy tomatoes, kale chips, and melty plant-based mozzarella cheese. It's a double dose of greens baked over a crispy homemade crust!
5 (from 4 ratings)


For the Kale Pesto

  • 2 cups kale, washed and de-stemmed
  • 1/2 cup pecans , OR de-shelled pistachios or walnuts or pine nuts (if you can't find de-shelled you can do them yourself)
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves roasted garlic , or regular garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

For the Pizza

  • 1 pizza dough, gluten free or otherwise
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups vegan mozzarella cheese shreds
  • 1 large tomato, sliced
  • 1 cup of roughly chopped kale, washed and stems removed
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil


  • Extra toppings
  • crushed red peppers


Kale Pesto

  • Add kale and nuts to a food processor or high speed blender and pulse until combined, scraping down the sides after a each pulses, for about 2 minutes.
  • Add the olive oil, roasted garlic, salt and pepper next and continue to pulse until combined, for about 2-3 more minutes. Feel free to add more olive oil if you want a more runny consistency, or more nuts if you want a thicker pesto.

Kale Pizza

  • Preheat oven to 500°F/260°C.
  • Place the pizza on a pizza stone (preferred) or baking sheet with a silicone mat.
  • On the pizza dough, spread the kale pesto over the pizza. You may have extra, which you can put on anything from sandwiches, to flatbreads to pastas.
  • Top with the mozzarella cheese, the tomato slices, and then the chopped kale. They can overlap the edges of the crust if you’d like, or you can leave it bare for a solid crust edge.
  • Drizzle olive oil over the top.
  • Place in the oven and bake for 8-12 minutes, until cheese is bubbling, kale is crisp, and the dough is ready. Check to ensure it isn’t burning after the 8 minute mark.
  • Remove, let cool slightly, and enjoy! I like to sprinkle a little salt on top sometimes too on the finished product!


This recipe has vegan and gluten free options. I recommend using fresh, organic ingredients for the best result.
How to store: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container or wrapped in foil for 3 to 4 days. I recommend reheating in a 400ºF oven, which will help re-crisp the kale. 
Calories: 252kcal, Carbohydrates: 27g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Sodium: 764mg, Potassium: 127mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 1769IU, Vitamin C: 22mg, Calcium: 54mg, Iron: 2mg

Disclaimer: Although attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.