Last updated on August 19th, 2022 at 12:33 pm
Ready in 10 minutes flat, this simple vegan kale pesto is a lovely twist on the traditional basil variety. Made with raws cashews and a bucket of kale, it's simple, healthy and so addictive.
I am not a big fan of basil pesto. Maybe my tastebuds are a little immature but I find basil pesto bitter. Needless to say I was pretty chuffed to find Toby Puttock's kale pesto in his new cookbook Super Natural.
While Toby's recipe is vegan, as is the entire Super Natural cookbook, I have made a few tweaks. I can't help it - I have never met a recipe I haven't felt the need to tweak. Perhaps it's the control freak in me. Don't judge.
With Toby's original recipe firmly in mind, I have kept true to the kale and cashew ratios however here, I deviate. I prefer a little less oil in my pesto than the original recipes calls for so I have reduced it down, I also added nutritional yeast and lemon zest to boost the already lemon freshness.
The result is a vibrant, fresh and slightly citrus pesto with no basil bitterness but a tonne of kale goodness. The beauty of pesto is that you can adjust the seasonings to suit your taste buds. I added lemon zest but you could omit it. Add as much salt as you need and it's awesome with a good crack of black pepper. If you prefer more umami add another half spoon of the nutritional yeast. Simples.
Perfect atop a green pizza or tossed through roast vegetables - like I had for dinner last night - this vegan kale pesto is wonderfully versatile. Ready in no time, it's a trusty back-pocket recipe for unexpected guests or something for your next party. Did someone say party? I have 35 Vegan Party Food Recipes you're going to love. But I digress -you can make this pesto ahead and it will store for up to a week in the fridge. Enjoy, x.
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Simple Vegan Kale and Cashew Pesto
- 3 cups fresh kale, washed and roughly torn packed cups
- ½ cup raw cashews
- 2 garlic cloves or more to taste
- 1 ¼ cups olive oil up to 1 ½ cups
- juice of 1 lemon
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- sea salt to taste
- Place the kale, cashews and garlic in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
- Add the olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, nutritional yeast and a good pinch of salt and pulse again until combined.
- Taste and add more lemon or salt to your taste.
- Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to a week.
Excited to try this recipe, do the cashews need to be soaked before putting in the food processor?
Hi Lola, no the cashews don't need to be soaked - we want the texture. It's very similar to making a traditional pesto with pine nuts and basil. 🙂 I hope you enjoy it!
Thanks so much for the quick response, I'm glad I asked!
No worries! 😉
I made the recipe for my family and we love it! How long is it good for in the refrigerator before I need to freeze it? Thank you
Hey Karen, I am so happy you guys like the pesto. Me too! It will keep in the fridge for 4 - 5 days. For best results I would either freeze some straight away or around the 3-day mark. I freeze my pesto flat in a ziplock bag for a month r so. I haven't frozen it for longer. Have an awesome day. x
Wonderful! Thank you so much. I made a double batch, but I don't think this family will have a problem going through it in a month 🙂
Perveen Usmani says
Hi Amanda, I love this pesto. I put some extra garlic but it was too garlicy so I adjusted the other things accordingly, like you said. Thanks you1
Fantastic Perveen! I am so glad you like it.
Hmm so tasty
Renae Beck says
Not a great pesto flavor. I much prefer a basil. Which I added and made it taste better to me
Hi Renae, It's a personal thing. I don't love basil pesto so this is a nice alternative to basil. Thanks for the feedback.