Kale Pesto with Garlic and Walnuts

I took a leap of faith and we seriously loved this Kale Pesto with Garlic and Walnuts. A great way to eat healthy nutrients with delicious flavor.

Kale Pesto with Crackers Served on a White Plat 

I know…more Kale. Kale, kale, kale. It’s everywhere in the blogosphere and it’s everywhere to the point that my reaction was…enough already! I’m funny in that if it’s trendy; I’m not interested. It gets boring hearing everyone exalt the same thing. Kale chips, kale smoothies, I missed it but bet there is a kale cake somewhere.

So…what the heck am I doing with something made with Kale? No one is more surprised than ME!

I was recently invited to a cooking demonstration at Whole Foods that was a combined effort of Whole Foods Market – Tamarac and Cancer Treatment Centers of America®. Staff from CTCA were in town prior to Denver’s Susan G. Komen annual Race for the Cure and they designed a pre-race nutrition event called Food Run Denver; sharing with us some of the nutritional foods that they prepare for their patients.

Guests included Komen Denver Race for the Cure participants as well as health and food enthusiasts. The event featured Sharon Day, RD, CSO, CNSC, Director of Nutrition at CTCA’s Western Regional Medical Center and Traci Carpenter, healthy eating specialist at Whole Foods Market – Tamarac.

Our group enjoyed a cooking demonstration, samples and a special Race for the Cure “Food Run Denver” shopping tour accompanied by both Sharon and Traci. Among the samples that our hosts prepared? Kale Pesto.

I know this. I’m certain I rolled my eyes. I’m sure I was thinking, ”Seriously? Kale? I’m so over kale and I’ve not even tried it!’ Our hosts discussed the health benefits of the ingredients they were using for the dishes they were putting together and the next two dishes included a combination of grains and fruits.

Similar to the kale pesto they were filled with ingredients especially beneficial to those dealing with the issues they see in their patients. (Including this amazing Red Quinoa Chipotle Lime Salad with Roasted Corn and Avocado!)

Nutrition is such an important part of our daily lives, and especially so for those who are battling cancer or are cancer survivors. In fact, many cancer patients show signs and symptoms of malnutrition.

According to Sharon, as little as a 5 percent weight loss in one month can decrease someone’s tolerance to treatment, or can alter their treatment plan altogether. I was impressed with Sharon’s passion for developing not just ‘good for you’ but also ‘good tasting’ foods for their patients.

Kale Pesto with Crackers Served on a White Plate

We were each served a plate with samples to taste. What can I say? I was humbled by the pesto! Now to be fair the other ingredients were toasted walnuts which I recently professed I would marry, garlic and olive oil…not too shabby partners for sure but the kale was there in abundance and it was seriously fabulous!

I’ve enjoyed it the same way we were served it at the event, on small toast crackers but I also loved it as a topping for pasta with some additional toasted nuts and Parmesan cheese.

I’m still not dying to make kale chips any time soon but this will make a steady appearance at our home; I love having a pesto with such great flavor to fill in for basil pesto which I only make during the summer when basil is abundant in my garden. See…you really can teach an old dog new tricks!

How to Peel Garlic

Just for fun…I wanted to show you how I remove the skin from whole garlic cloves. I recently saw a video that required water and soaking…trust me this is easy and quick and it REALLY works. Garlic in bowl; cover with another bowl; hold them together and shake hard. That’s it. Any not done? Shake a bit more. Garlic skin is sort of  vacuum packed onto the clove…break that seal and it doesn’t hold…now how is that for a scientific explanation?!!

Making Kale Pesto

Maybe you’ve noticed I’ve been using a Blendtec Blender lately? They are an amazing machine! Like you I figured if it could blend a cell phone, a football and magnets that kale, walnuts and garlic would be a cinch right? Wrong…but wait, there is a story of course but first check out this video; this guy is a hoot!!

Let’s hope you don’t really try blending your phone but after my first experience I admit, I was a bit uncertain. I had to tamp that kale down several times to get it to blend into the final mix that you see so I can’t deny, maybe a bit wary? I know they are revered far and wide for ‘smoothies’ and these units have been used commercially for just that purpose so I wasn’t going to give up!

I tried again the other day when I made apple cider for a Caramel Apple Cider Cocktail for my @FridayCocktail series and things did not start well. I decided to use the button for smoothies thinking apple into apple cider would qualify.

Things started with a slow speed I could never imagine working so I hit the button to speed it up…which made it stop. I tried again, same thing. But then…a miracle happened. I READ THE DIRECTIONS!!!

Yes, I’m bad…I never do that. I just jump right in. Computer, camera, video…you name it, I just do it. (Nike says so right?).

Well, I discovered a very important feature. Those buttons are pre-programmed for the function on them. So, yes, the juice one started show. Then sped up. Slow again. Faster still. And lo and behold…I had my cider and I didn’t have to stop and tamp and fiddle at all. Didn’t I tell you? It’s a MIRACLE!

I should have read the directions first, huh?

Blend Cycles
The Total Blender Classic Series comes with our exclusive Smart-Touch Tec-nology© which means when a cycle button is pushed, the Total Blender Classic Series automatically speeds up and slows down, then shuts off when the cycle is complete, so recipes turn out perfect every time.

In addition to the blender itself I received their Twister Jar. Made especially for some of those smaller jobs it’s perfect for pesto, hummus, baby food, grinding nuts and more. I’ve used what I now call my ‘baby Blendtec’ every day. I’ve used a blender more in the past week than I have in 2 years…it really can do more than you can imagine.

PIN IT! ‘Kale Pesto with Garlic and Pine Nuts’

Kale Pesto Appetizer on Melba Toast Served on White Plate

Kale Pesto Appetizer on Melba Toast

Kale Pesto with Crackers Served on a White Plat

Kale Pesto with Garlic and Walnuts

Creative Culinary
A great option to the standard basil and pine nut pesto, this Kale Pesto with Garlic and Walnuts is excellent.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Salads, Dressings, Marinades and Sauces
Calories 204 kcal


  • 2 oz toasted walnuts
  • 6 garlic cloves I used big cloves; we could have cut that back a bit
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups Kale leaves I just used all of one medium size bunch with the ends trimmed off
  • ½ to 1 tsp salt I would have liked a bit less salt than the 1 tsp in the recipe so taste yours and correct as necessary


  • Mix all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth.
  • Keep refrigerated.
  • Serve as an appetizer with chips or cracker, as a sandwich spread, in a salad dressing or over warm pasta. I've done them all!


Nutrition Facts
Kale Pesto with Garlic and Walnuts
Serving Size
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
Polyunsaturated Fat
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

I was provided with a Blendtec for the purpose of this post however all commentary is my own.

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  1. I’m sorry that I got so far behind in my e-mail that I missed out on this opportunity. 🙁

    I had to laugh though, you sound like me – I have yet to make a macaron, and the mere mention of a cake pop at this point makes my eyes roll reflexively.

    And I do love Kale Pesto, but I usually make it with almonds. I like walnuts by themselves, but not normally in other things for some reason … definitely not in my cookies!

    1. I made the macaron because I couldn’t believe it was so difficult and the results were only ‘meh.’ So…I decided to try my hand at a different flavor profile, one promised to be fabulous and guess what? Same result. I even had some at a super swanky local restaurant and…you know what I’m going to say right? Meh. Seems I’m more the macaroon type…those I love! Don’t even get me started on cake pops; we could do our eye rolling together? 🙂

      I’ll try almonds too Chris but if you’re not already, try toasting those walnuts; made all the difference for me!

      1. I haven’t made any yet, but I’m definitely with you in the Macaroon camp. I looooooooooooooove those! Actually, I pretty much gravitate toward anything that involves coconut … or almonds … or lemon … or … 🙂

  2. Awesome recipe for the Kale pesto! I have been making one very similar for a while and I prefer it over the standard basil/pinenut pesto. As for the Blendtec site, where do I start? I’m a vegetarian and I see lots of options starting with the avocado soup and moving onto the butternut squash soup. The brown rice burgers sound interesting too.

  3. If I won this beautiful blender, the first thing I would make is the Banana Spice Muffins. They look delicious. Thanks.

  4. Mmm! I would try the Almond Butter first and maybe the Avocadi soup with fresh cilantro leaves
    and a serrano chile!

  5. I’d make the almond butter. I’ve tried before but my blender just didn’t have the power to handle it.

  6. The first thing I would make is the Cilantro Chili Sauce! I love making Spring Rolls, and just like the Blendtec site says, it should go with it perfectly 🙂

  7. The first thing I would make would be the banana soft serve. I love banana flavored things–smoothies and ice cream being the top of the list! I would love to add vanilla extract or hazelnut butter to make this desert more flavorful and special.

  8. I subscribe to your emails too – thanks so much as my home could definitely use a new blender for the holidays!

  9. I would make The Garden Green Giant juice. It looks very tasty and nutritious too and would be great for breakfast first thing in the morning!

  10. I like creative culinary on fb.

    I also agree, when too many people talk about a food trend I am not interested in it anymore. Good thing my dislike was unhealthy bacon. I’m so tired of hearing about it. I think that trend may be passing.

  11. I would so make almond butter for my husband. I’ve always wanted to make it but I have a horrible blender that will be thrown away soon. I thought I was going to get a vitamix, but I’m very intrigued by this brand, which I’ve never heardof…

  12. I have visited the Blendtec web-site and looked at all of the great recipes. My favorite recipe that I’d like to make with a Blentec blender is the Tomato Basil Soup (under warm soups) since it’s starting to get chilly enough here to enjoy soup once again!


  13. I now follow you via email as requested, but I have been following you via your RSS feed too for some time now. Thanks for such a great giveaway!


  14. Hi, I’ve already been a follower of your Tweets and now have just begun following Blendtec.

    I just tweeted the message about your wonderful giveaway as well.

    Thank you for this awesome chance to win a Blendtec blender. SWEET!!


  15. I know it was one of the first things up there, but I hadn’t thought of it would totally make it right away – almond butter! I didn’t realize you could make that with a blender, and I’ve been thinking about making my own for a while.

  16. I would love to try the Berry infused buttercream waffles! They sound so delicious! But that is just a start! I have not had a really great blender so I would probably go nuts with it!

  17. Oh my gosh, so many awesome recipes… I think I’d make the Chinese Chill beverage, but making my own coconut milk is an intriguing thought. And I’d save that peach syrup recipe for the summer… YUM!!!

  18. I would love to win, I’ve had my eye on this awesome machine for awhile now 🙂 I’d love to try the Creamy Spinach Dip, the Ginegr Dressing, and the Almond Butter. Thanks!

  19. I went to the Blendtec website to seek out a great soup recipe, but then I saw the Herbed Vegetable Broth Powder recipe – what a great idea!

  20. I’d actually try the Aloe Cucumber Freshener first. That would be great for the winter and for a substitute for diaper cream!

  21. Your pasta looks amazing; you take beautiful snaps. 🙂 I would definitely give the blender Mayo a go. I would love to start making my own homemade version! Thanks for the great giveaway!

  22. Great giveaway! Like you I’m always weary when things are trendy, but I’ve loved kale since before it was trendy so was just excited to see this leafy green get its due 🙂 Kale pesto with walnuts sounds amazing!!!!!!! I think the first thing I would make would be almond butter – I’ve always wanted to make my own nut butters.

  23. I would try the Chinese Chill first, then the frozen mojitos, then the ginger dressing! It all sounds amazingly fresh, natural and oh so yummy! I can’t wait to try them all!

  24. VERY difficult choice–I am pretty certain tho, that my first recipe would be the Chinese Chill…and maybe add a little somehting something to it. 🙂

  25. I have a friend who makes almond butter (with her Blendtec!) and I’ve always wanted to make my own. But a Fudgesicle Frosty? I’m in!!

  26. There’s no doubt in my mind what I would make first…avocado soup! I can use almond milk and it will dairy-free!!!!! What a great giveaway!

  27. Ola sweet lady. ♥ the kale {maybe purslane next? LOL}. So intrigued by the idea of a kale pesto and love the brilliant green. It does look absolutely yum. Not sure if I qualify, but I would love to make the mocha frappe or melon berry sipper … or the exfoliating face mask … so much choice! I like the idea of a whole food meet. NICE!

  28. I would love to win one of these, oh the sauces, the nut butters, the smoothies. i would make an almond butter firsts

  29. I’m also an email subscriber! Thank you so much and the Red Blendtec looks so festive for the upcoming holidays! Love it!

  30. Kale Pesto and Butternut Squash Soup sound divinely delicious! I think I’d make the Kale Pesto for an appetizer too and definitely would try the Butternut Squash secondly when the cold winter weather arrives!