easy kale pesto

If you’ve been entertained by my sourdough starter saga on Instagram while you’ve been sheltering at home then you’ll love this weeks episode of hot for food on YouTube! I used up a “failed” loaf to make sourdough crostini, whipped together an easy kale pesto and a simple bruschetta too.

kale pesto crostini

This easy kale pesto is great to make in a pinch when you want pesto but don’t have tons (or any) fresh basil! This idea came from a recent episode of #hotforfoodtakeover! Have you seen my weekly IG Live show where I RECIPE?! with different guests each week in their kitchen? So far I’ve cooked with Jann Arden and Lance Bass!

On episode #2 I helped Becca in Brooklyn make something delicious for dinner during quarantine and it was a variation of this very kale pesto. She served it over some premade cauliflower gnocchi, but now you can use it in your life for whatever you’re craving! Maybe it’s pasta or maybe it’s spread thicc on a sourdough crostini like this. Whatever your pesto pleasure I’m sure you’re going to love this version using kale as the base.

kale pesto recipe
kale pesto crostini_hot for food
4.34 from 3 votes
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kale pesto

You can make the kale pesto for whatever you're craving or use it as a spread for the sourdough crostini.

Course Appetizer, dip, sauces
Cuisine Italian
Keyword kale, pesto, pesto dip
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings 1 cup
Author Lauren Toyota


kale pesto

  • 5 leaves lacinato kale, large bottom stems removed
  • 1/3 C extra virgin olive oil
  • 2/3 C sliced almonds (or ⅓ cup raw or roasted whole almonds, soaked in hot water for 20 minutes)
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 3 to 3 1/2 tbsp lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp flaked sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper


  1. Put all ingredients into a small food processor and pulse on high until well mixed. It should be slightly textured and not completely smooth.

Recipe Notes

Store in the fridge and consume within 4 to 5 days. 

Me being me, I couldn’t ONLY make kale pesto! The idea of making a crunchy cheesy crostini and not putting some fresh tomato bruschetta on top seemed wrong. So here’s the simple recipes laid out for you below…

If you have any leftover bruschetta I’d throw it on top of a simple garlic and olive oil pasta.

I just thought of another idea too! Take my zucchini carbonara and mix it with this easy kale pesto for an extra kick.

kale pesto vegan
bruschetta_hot for food
5 from 2 votes
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sourdough crostini & bruschetta

You can't go wrong with crunchy, cheesy crostini and garlicky tomato bruschetta!

Course Appetizer
Cuisine Italian
Keyword bread, roasted garlic, sourdough, tomato
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 5 to 6 pieces
Author Lauren Toyota



  • 3/4 C finely diced grape / cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp finely minced shallot
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp flaked sea salt, crushed
  • fresh cracked black pepper, to taste

sourdough crostini

  • 5 pieces thinly sliced stale sourdough
  • 1/4 C extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 C shredded vegan parmesan


  1. For the bruschetta, combine the ingredients in a dish. This would be best made at least an hour in advance, but it's still tasty if eaten immediately.

  2. Preheat oven to 425°F.

  3. For the crostini, mix olive oil, garlic powder, and nutmeg together in a bowl. Place slices of bread onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
  4. Brush oil mixture onto all sides of the bread generously. Top with shredded parmesan cheese. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown or until desired crunchiness is achieved and the cheese is melted.

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9 thoughts on “easy kale pesto”

    1. glad you liked it! I realized just now I forgot to list the 2 tbsp nutritional yeast on this recipe, whereas I did it in my YouTube video 😀

  1. In the video you used nutritional yeast but it’s not in the written recipe! Did you do it on purpose? Or should I be adding it

  2. What do you think would be a good substitute for kale, if anything? I usually have spinach and arugula laying around, I’m wondering if those could work instead. Thanks for the awesome recipe!

  3. OH MY GOODNESS. this is delicious. I’m thinking why didn’t I know about this sooner?!?! Kale is cheaper & is kale so I feel healthy eating this! I added a little water & made it into a pasta sauce. Delicious 😋

  4. Looks like the perfect spread for a summer day. The sourdough just makes it that much better so excited to try this and share it with all my friends and family.

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