Kale and Walnut Pesto

I took a leap of faith and we seriously loved this Kale and Walnut Pesto. 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. And then I made Kale and Walnut Pesto at an event and I was sold!

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

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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? This 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, I’ve never much loved it but now I’m tired of hearing about 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?!!

I hope you’ll try this, it was a revelation and now it’s something I always want to have in my refrigerator.

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

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
Cuisine American
Servings 10 Servings
Calories 240 kcal


  • 2 ounces walnuts toasted
  • 6 cloves garlic 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 teaspoon 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
1 Serving
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Keyword kale, olive oil, Parmesan, pesto, walnuts
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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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!

  31. I haven’t jumped on the kale bandwagon just yet but you’ve totally inspired me to give it a try! And what an awesome giveaway. This has been on my wishlist for so long! The first thing I’d make is the mango mustard – YUM!

  32. I would make the Tortilla Soup first. My Mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s two years ago and my Dad recently passed away after suffering a stroke two years ago. Because of all this I have taken on an additional role in my life as a care giver for my Mom. As a result I prepare meals for her quite often. Fortunately I have some training in the culinary arts but a Blendtec would really be helpful….anyway… I would make the Tortilla Soup as that is one of my Mom’s favorite dishes.. (-:

  33. Honestly, I’d use it mostly to make smoothies (That Pumpkin Pie Smoothie looks delicious), but the Mango Mustard sounds intriguing….

  34. I just went to the market and picked up my first butternut squash, so I would definitely make the butternut squash soup

  35. Okay I have so much to say – I’ve never tried kale and yes, it’s everywhere on practically every blog right now. Enough. But this is great and new. I’ve seen the garlic trick too but have yet to try it. Cool to know it works! Directions? What are those? lol And what recipe would I make… Caesar dressing! I’ve never made one from scratch but I really want to. It’s been on my list for aaaages.

  36. Not entering Barb but as much as I’ve heard of Kale, I don’t think I’ve ever seen Kale pesto until now. Like you, I haven’t tried kale in any form as yet and now I’m wondering if I’ll enjoy it as much as you did.

  37. I would love to try this recipe, I think green smoothies are a great way to get all sorts of nutrition from fruits and veggies we don’t normally eat.
    Green Pineapple Paradise

  38. I can’t tell you how much I want this! While lots of recipes look good, the one that really got my mouth watering was the basic guacamole.

  39. Tomato Basil Soup! How cool is it that all you have to do is pick some great ingredients, push a button and then you have a warm soup ready to eat. There is nothing like a good tomato soup during the Fall.

  40. Kale is good stuff. I shy away from the trendy, too, but it has so much flavor I’ll put up with a bit of trendiness in order to enjoy its great flavor. I haven’t made kale pesto, but I have made it with Swiss chard – good stuff. Great idea – I’ll try the kale version, too. Thanks.

  41. I would make the Almond Butter first from their recipes, but when I got it, the first thing that I would make is HUMMUS. Lots and lots of yummy Hummus!


  42. I subscribe to Creative Culinary’s email updates as well! Thank you for this fabulous giveaway – my fingers are crossed! 🙂

  43. I definitely would make the yummy Butternut Squash Soup recipe first as I LOVE butternut squash! This Blendtec is amazing and I’m in desperate need of a new high-powered blender – LOVE the RED one too!

  44. wow, I’m not nuts enough to blend cell phones in blender :D. But, for the kale recipe, it is really simple :), I can use this for my health diet menus.

  45. I would make the THE GARDEN GREEN GIANT JUICE first!!! I’m @crazy4kale and I would LOVE a Blentec to make Kale Pesto, smoothies, pasta, etc. I would use it in good health and spread the word!

  46. The Chinese Chill coffee drinks sounds delicious. I’d love to sip on one of those while dreaming up the next ways I’d use a new Blendtec! 🙂

  47. I’m the same way about kale. I broke down and bought some and it was so bitter I nearly cried. I was about to give up when a friend shared some pesto she’d made and some kale chips. It was pretty good. I had to admit that all my complaining was for nothing. 🙂

  48. Basil Pistachio Pesto looks scrumptious on Blendtec’s recipe page! Yum! I also would love to make hummus and pesto sauces too! Thank you!

  49. I am a fanatic for Bloody Mary’s – virgin or “un” -virgin. So, the minute I saw the Bloody Mary Salad dressing, I knew exactly what I would make first. Gotta go back and browse more recipes! Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

  50. Oh, lord. Now I’m going to have to give kale another try. I’ve done some soups and things with it and it was just okay. Which was surprising because I adore all the other leafy greens. I think it was the fibrous texture that I didn’t care for, so using it in this way – a pesto – would get around that. Okay, talked myself into it. Giving kale another go!

  51. I would love to try the Almond Butter. I fell in love with this spread the first time I had it. I love the taste but most of all the gritty texture!

  52. I would LOVE this blender!!! Let’s count on my husband not getting me one for my upcoming birthday, right? –hooray for your giveaway! I would first use Blendtec’s recipe to make butternut squash soup.

  53. Liked creative culinary on facebook! Love the recipe! Would love to get creative with a new Blendtec blender!

  54. P.S. I’ve followed you and Blendtec on twitter and tweeted from The5DHousewives… and added both on facebook (Joie Iacono)

  55. I think the first thing I would make is the Green Pineapple Paradise Smoothie… I’m Raw Vegan and live off of smoothies. I have one or two a day… the Green Pineapple Paradise particularly sounds like heaven… and I imagine coming from a Blendtec it would be so perfect…. Oh who am I kidding?! I’d make the the Frozen Mojito Recipe to celebrate the fact that I just won a Blendtec Blender!! A little Rum never hurt anybody 🙂

  56. I would love to make the Mocha Frappe recipe on the Blend Tech website. This blender looks amazing. I have never owned anything even close to this! I plan to check the Blend Tech site often for recipes. I already follow Creative Culinary.

  57. I would love to make the Butternut Soup recipe on the Blend Tech website. This blender looks amazing. I have never owned anything even close to this! I plan to check the Blend Tech site often for recipes. I already follow Creative Culinary. I don’t tweet, but hope this e-mail counts as an entry to the Blend Tech giveaway!