Kid-Friendly Recipes/ Pasta Dishes/ Sauces

EASY Kale and Spinach Pesto Sauce

Kale and spinach pesto sauce is loaded with fresh healthy greens ( kale, spinach, and basil) and blended with some garlic, grated Parmesan cheese, cayenne pepper, and extra-virgin olive oil and the flavor is to die for! This is a non-cooking, quick and easy pesto sauce with a twist!

I wanted to make some pesto sauce, yes – pesto sauce is not always for summer! We love it all year round! When I realized I didn’t have enough basil, and while everything was already sitting in my blender ready to go, I realized I had to think out of the box and improvise. So, I added in a handful of fresh baby spinach and fresh baby kale (which I had on hand- thank goodness!) to make up for the difference. I had no clue if it would work or turn out to be a mistake in the sauce. But, it worked!

No need to embellish with any nuts with this recipe.
After one taste, I knew it was good to go!

With freezing temperatures lately you can understand why it may be difficult to find fresh basil.  In fact, you may have to hunt for it, literally walking through 3 to 4 markets before you can find some.

And if you’re lucky, it’s probably a sad, wilting little basil plant that doesn’t even amount to filling one cup.  Which is how I came to making this totally new pesto sauce with kale and spinach. We LOVE it!

To my surprise, this kale and spinach pesto sauce turned out better than I expected.  In fact, this concoction turned out to be very similar to the spinach and kale bites we frequently made. The kale in this pesto sauce is once again completely hidden!  No one ever noticed and they too loved the taste!  This is a healthy upgrade to the simple basil pesto sauce we usually make during the summer.

We love it best served with spaghetti (as in the photo).  But what if you don’t want carbs?
How about a clever alternative for spaghetti?  You bet!  Zucchini noodles!!

I quickly made some spiralized zucchini noodles and added some kale and spinach pesto sauce to it and it tasted AMAZING ! As you already may know, zucchini noodles have fewer calories, more nutrients and are gluten-free.

Serve this kale and spinach pesto sauce with your favorite pasta, risotto or zucchini noodles, then maybe add a couple of grilled shrimps, chicken or tofu on top, and dinner is DONE!   Just add more grated parmesan cheese on top!

ENJOY!
   

EASY Kale and Spinach Pesto Sauce

  • 1 cup (packed) fresh greens – basil, baby kale, and baby spinach
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil, and extra if needed
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • fresh cracked pepper and salt to taste 

In a blender or a food processor, add the olive oil, garlic, and fresh greens.
Pulse or blend until smooth, scraping down the sides occasionally with a spatula.

Add in the grated cheese and cayenne pepper.  Blend on high speed for a few seconds.  Taste and add fresh black pepper and salt to taste.

If the pesto is too thick, add some extra olive oil (drizzle slowly while it’s on low speed) until you reach a smooth and creamy consistency.

Pour into a mason jar or into an air-tight container and refrigerate.
Store in the fridge up to 1 month.

Yields: about 2 cups
 

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18 Comments

  • Reply
    Roz Corieri Paige
    February 25, 2015 at 2:08 am

    Hi Liz and Anna, is it really cold in Charleston too? Well this recipe is certainly comfort food! I've got to try more kale recipes and I must certainly use my spriralizer more! Great recipe that is so healthy too!
    Stay warm my friends,
    Roz

    • Reply
      annaliz
      February 25, 2015 at 2:26 am

      Hi Roz! It's so cold in Charleston but even colder in NY and I pray for warmer weather for everyone!
      Thanks for stopping by! Enjoy!

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
    February 25, 2015 at 2:53 pm

    Welcome back! I love how simple this is and am here to confirm that basil is very hard to find. I went to three stores before finding some at BJ's (like Costco and Sam's) for my tomato soup. This is so lovely and yes I want a spiralizer too! Yummy πŸ™‚

    • Reply
      annaliz
      February 26, 2015 at 4:49 am

      The spiralizer is so much fun and very easy to turn veggies into pretty noodles. You have to get one!

    • Reply
      annaliz
      February 26, 2015 at 1:10 pm

      Thank you Tricia! It's good to be back!

  • Reply
    Abbe@This is How I Cook
    February 26, 2015 at 4:18 am

    What a nice pesto and I like that the kale is hidden, too. That way I can slip it past hubby!

    • Reply
      annaliz
      February 26, 2015 at 4:52 am

      You bet Abbe ! I prefer not to tell them about the kale either. Enjoy !

  • Reply
    Joanne
    February 26, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    love this nutrient-stuffed pesto!!

  • Reply
    Betty
    February 26, 2015 at 10:44 pm

    What a great idea to use spinach and kale, which are both tasty and readily available! This looks so good- I'm always craving fresh "green" flavors. πŸ™‚

    • Reply
      annaliz
      March 1, 2015 at 7:19 pm

      Thank you Betty – so are we! Thanks for stopping by!

  • Reply
    Lily Lau
    February 27, 2015 at 3:39 pm

    What a lovely pesto, seems so healthy and so tasty at the same time πŸ˜€

    • Reply
      annaliz
      March 1, 2015 at 7:24 pm

      Thank you Lily and welcome to our blog! It's nice to meet you! Thanks for stopping by.

  • Reply
    SavoringTime in the Kitchen
    February 27, 2015 at 8:27 pm

    What a brilliant idea! Kudos to you for improvising and coming up with something so healthy and tasty.

    • Reply
      annaliz
      March 1, 2015 at 7:23 pm

      It was out of desperation of " now what? " moment! Then it turned out pretty cool- so I decided to post it.

  • Reply
    nicole nadel
    February 28, 2015 at 11:11 pm

    Looks AMAZING!! Cant wait to try!!

    • Reply
      annaliz
      March 1, 2015 at 7:18 pm

      thank you Nicole!! I think this will be the new pesto sauce in our house from now on. Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

  • Reply
    michaelswoodcraft
    March 1, 2015 at 6:34 pm

    Welcome back!! It looks really delicious and would great on a day like today!! It's cold here and comfort food is on our menu later today too!! Pesto is really hard to find in our area too. Enjoy your Sunday!

    • Reply
      annaliz
      March 1, 2015 at 7:20 pm

      I hear ya Mike! It's freezing cold and raining here. You too – enjoy the day!

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