Kale and Pistachio Pesto is the best pesto I have ever had! It’s so creamy and flavourful, made with roasted garlic and perfect for a dip, your pasta or on anything! Kale and Pistachio Pesto is the best pesto I have ever had! It's so creamy and flavourful, and perfect for a dip, your pasta or on anything! #pesto #vegetarian #vegan #kale #pistachios

To say it’s been an eventful week would be the understatement of the year for me. First off, thank you to everyone for your well wishes, like, really, thank you. I’ve read every single one and I’m getting to replying – but it’s like I can’t catch a break since I’ve been engaged! You may have noticed I didn’t post a food post on Friday or Saturday, and while I could be honest and say I’ve been too busy staring at my hand to look up, I will say I just really really busy with life.

Let’s go with that.

 Kale and Pistachio Pesto is the best pesto I have ever had! It's so creamy and flavourful, and perfect for a dip, your pasta or on anything! #pesto #vegetarian #vegan #kale #pistachios

If you’ve been here for a while, you know I love pesto. The issue is I don’t post as many pesto recipes as I make but I realised that if I loved them you may love them too! Pesto is this kind of green magical sauce that makes everything it touches ten times better. Living in Jamaica, I tend to opt for pestos without basil (unless I buy it pre made) since basil is imported and doesn’t grow here, meaning it’s a wee bit more expensive. No bueno. Plus, I love using the freshest ingredients I can in anything I make and kale is always an option. When I break pesto down, it’s greens, nuts, olive oil and seasoning of your choice – you realise the world of possibilities that are available?!

For this pesto I wanted something different from my usual pine nuts and greens, and the pack of pistachios was just screaming at me. Okay, not literally. Whoa.

Kale and Pistachio Pesto is the best pesto I have ever had! It's so creamy and flavourful, and perfect for a dip, your pasta or on anything! #pesto #vegetarian #vegan #kale #pistachios

I was attracted to the pistachios because of the green-on-green concept, and trust me, it worked out perfectly. I have never had a pesto I’ve loved so much – so much that after writing this I’m going to make more to put on some pasta (yummmm.) It’s creamy of course, the natural oil in the nuts plus the olive oil helps with that. But then the flavour is out of this world (could this possibly be my most favourite phrase?) I can eat a bag of pistachios like a champ but creamed up?? Why have I never thought of this! All the flavours seem to marry together SO well and you’re left with a pesto that’s all up to your imagination and that you want to put on everything, which is exactly what I did.

I have to touch on the “elephant” in the room, the roasted garlic. Mr. Bakes and I were making roasted potato cubes and were going garlic to the pesto and thought hey, why not roast the garlic? 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes creates this masterpiece, then we went back and roasted an entire garlic head the next day after falling in love with the flavour. I didn’t include this in the making time because you don’t have to do it, but it enhances the flavour so much. It can also be done from the day before, then added to the pesto. I honestly think this is why it was the best pesto ever.

What’s on your agenda this Monday? I’m trying to make the world a better place by eating more greens aka more pesto for days. Aren’t I kind?

Kale and Pistachio Pesto is the best pesto I have ever had! It's so creamy and flavourful, and perfect for a dip, your pasta or on anything! #pesto #vegetarian #vegan #kale #pistachios

 If you loved this kale and pistachio pesto, you’ll definitely love my parsley pesto!

Parsley Pesto

Why not try pesto in this caprese sandwich!

Caprese Sandwich with Parsley Pesto-2

Want more spreads and dips? Check out my recipe index for more!

Kale and Pistachio Pesto is the best pesto I have ever had! It's so creamy and flavourful, and perfect for a dip, your pasta or on anything! #pesto #vegetarian #vegan #kale #pistachios

Kale and Pistachio Pesto

Kale and Pistachio Pesto

Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Total Time:
Serves: 1
Category: Jams, Sauces, Dips & Spreads
  • 2 cups kale, washed and de-stemmed
  • 1/4 cup de-skinned pistachios (if you can't find de-shelled you can do them yourself)
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves roasted garlic or regular garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Add kale, pine nuts, and pistachios to a food processor 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
Tags: Gluten Free, Kale, Vegan, Vegetarian Gluten Free, Kale, Vegan, Vegetarian
by Jessica

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  1. Isadora says:

    Oh yum! How have I never made kale pesto before?! I love kale and pesto so much that it only makes sense that they would go together! I love this!

  2. I love this twist on pesto – awesome. I am obsessed with pistachios at the moment, so this is perfect for me.

  3. Johlene says:

    wow super healthy idea.. love mediterranean style food.
    ps. congrats on your engagement, saw the photos!! beautiful ring!! so exciting………. 🙂

  4. Zainab says:

    I love your love for pesto. This is such an amazing twist!!

  5. Pam says:

    I’ve never thought to add kale to pesto – great idea!

    I stared at my ring for the first month of my engagement all the time…. what an exciting time for you.

  6. Never had kale pesto, that must change. It sounds really good.

  7. [email protected] The Gastronomic Bong says:

    What a fab idea. . I have never tried kale pesto before.. this looks delicious.. Can’t wait to try this.. 🙂

  8. Ashley says:

    Yay for pistachios!! I’ve never made pesto with them before and now I am kicking myself! This sounds awesome!

    • Jessica says:

      Thanks Ashley! You’ve got to try them, I know you love pistachios 😀

  9. This looks really good! I love pistachios, so I really love this version of pesto!

  10. Joanne says:

    Sometimes I need a break from basil pesto, so I love having alternatives like this one around! Plus, kale is my favorite. 🙂

  11. Wow what a great pesto recipe, Jess! I am in love with this recipe. So flavourful!

  12. I love kale pesto!! I actually make this more than basil pesto!

  13. marcie says:

    I can’t get enough of pesto, and love experimenting with new flavors. This combination sounds so delicious! 🙂

  14. Your pesto recipe is an inspiration… and I’ve never tried kale pesto!? Whaaaa? How did that happen? So, I’ll be putting this one on my list! The pesto Caprese really had my eyes poppin! Beautiful photos! Thank you, Jessica!

  15. Girl don’t you worry too much about your blog, you got a wedding to plan in BEAUTIFUL Jamaica! This looks fabulous LOVE the combo of flavor and I LOVE roasted garlic!

  16. Ooooh love this, Jessica! Pesto is one of our favorites, and I love kale and pistachios (I seriously can plow through a bag in no time). I can’t wait to try this!

  17. Congratulations! I love this kale and pistachio combo. I haven’t roasted garlic in long time, but I don’t know why – thanks for reminding me how awesome it is – what a great idea to put it in pesto, yum!

  18. Fabulous post, Jessica! I could feel your happiness eminating through it! You must feel like you’re walking on air right now! The pesto looks and sounds incredible. I’ve just sort of ‘rediscovered’ homemade pesto – I find it so exciting that it’s almost too easy to make, but so healthy and tasty. 🙂

  19. Jess, take as much time as you need to enjoy life and being a newly engaged lady. We’ll always be here waiting for your next post! This one is awesome – I love pesto so much and you’re right about how easily adaptable it is. I don’t think it’s possible to make a bad batch of pesto! I’m salivating over how delicious this kale-pistachio-roasted garlic version must be!

  20. Kelly says:

    Haha, love that you can’t stop staring at your hand, so happy for you again girl : ) Really really love this kale pesto too, the pistachios is such a great idea!

  21. Jessica, this looks so wonderful and sounds quite healthy! Congrats on your engagement!!! What a happy and exciting time for you (:

  22. Keely says:

    Just made this and it was fabulous! I made it minus the pine nuts and added it to spaghetti squash. So tasty! Thank you:)

  23. Amber says:

    I need to try this ASAP! I’ve made pesto with basil and spinach but never kale. I usually make big batches and then freeze some in ice cube trays to pop out and use later. Pesto is one of my sure-fire ways to get my preschooler to eat greens (I tell her it’s Leprechaun sauce! haha). Thanks for the inspiration!!

  24. laurie allen says:

    Thanks Jessica. Made today and it is delish!!! I added a little nutritional yeast out of pesto making habit. It is so yummy. I too do large batches and use a couple ice cube trays for later. Works and tastes great!! Thanks!

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