Kale, Spinach and Basil Pesto
Oh my gosh, this kale, spinach and basil pesto is SO tasty, fresh and chunky that it’s seriously bowl licking and spoon licking good (yep, Zoe and I licked our bowls clean)! I’ve made this pesto up twice already and Zoe and I couldn’t keep our spoons out of the jar. We kept opening the jar taking a spoonful, closing the jar and then sneaking back for another spoonful, you get the picture… We were totally digging this pesto.
This pesto is chunky in texture from the roasted almonds and SO vibrant in color and flavor. It’s kid approved and can be paired with virtually anything, or even just eaten by the spoonful, because it’s that good. Since making this pesto, we’ve never buy store bought anymore. You can make it dairy-free and vegan by omitting the parmesan cheese. It tastes amazing ,and is my new go-to way of making it since I’m dairy-free now!
kale, spinach and basil pesto:
recipe slightly adapted from Pinch of Yum
makes 2 heaping cups
Note: I always make up the pesto a few days ahead of time, as the flavors meld, and it saves me a step come dinner time. I usually make 2 batches and freeze the other one for a later date.
- 2 cups spinach, lightly packed
- 1 cup kale, rinsed and de-stemed, lightly packed – roughly 2 large leaves or 3 small leaves
- 1 cup basil, lightly packed – roughly 14-15 basil leaves, feel free to add a few more leaves if you love basil
- 3/4 cup unsalted raw whole almonds, lightly toasted – I show you how to toast them below. Toasted almonds add tons of flavor and a chunky texture to the pesto.
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 3 large cloves garlic, peeled
- 3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
- OPTIONAL – 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
First off, let’s toast up the almonds. You can do this ahead of time to save a step. If you’re toasting them up at the same time you’re making the pesto, then you will want to give them at least 10-15 minutes to cool down, so they don’t heat up the pesto. I usually toast up the almonds ahead of time and then reserve them in a covered glass container till I need them.
Set a dry (no oil here) skillet over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the almonds and stir frequently until they start to brown and smell toasted. Remove them from the heat and the skillet, (as they will continue to cook in the skillet) and let them cool. Don’t let them burn, you just want them to be lightly toasted and lightly browned.
Get out a food processor, mini prep or blender.
Place the ingredients into the food processor. If you have a mini-prep then you may have to spilt the ingredients into 2 batches.
Process until slightly smooth.
You will have to use a spatula once or twice during the process to make sure that everything gets combined! The pesto will not be entirely smooth, but somewhat chunky in texture from the almonds. Chunky in a good way though!
Transfer the pesto to a small sealed container, pack it down into the container (it’s best to keep the pesto all compact in a small container) and store it in the fridge if not using a right away. This pesto will keep for several days in the fridge.
I always use my Ball Canning Regular Mouth Half Pint Canning Jar 8 oz. 12-Count8-ounce mason jars to store my pesto. They’re cheap, and make for the perfect storage containers, as well as great drinking glasses. I also bought these Ball Wide-Mouth Plastic Storage Caps, 8-Countawesome plastic lids to use with my jars, as the metal lids the jars come with tend to rust over time.
Make this pesto today and pair it with your favorite pasta, or slather it on your favorite sandwich or burger. I love mixing it with brown rice or quinoa.
I have a few recipes on my blog that you can use this pesto for…
Pesto-yogurt roasted chicken drumsticks. My friend Yvonne and her family love these drumsticks!
I even think this pesto would pair amazingly well with these lentil meatballs.
Here’s an easy 30-minute meatless, one-pot pasta recipe that incorporates this pesto. It’s super easy, and one of our favorite weeknight pastas that makes enough for lunch leftovers! Yippee!