Pumpkin Seed Pesto with Kale

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A fall twist on a classic favorite, pumpkin seed pesto combines the nutty flavor of pumpkin seeds with the earthy taste of fresh kale for a zesty addition that will take any dish up a notch.

mortar and pestle pumpkin seed pesto kale

Pesto is one of my favorite condiments, garnishes, toppings, mix-ins, sauces, whatever you want to call it. At our house we use pesto on pizza, pasta, gnocchi and toasted French bread, as well as in soups and spaghetti sauce. It can also be used on chicken, fish, eggs and really anything you can dream up!

Watch Video: Pumpkin Seed Pesto

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What is Pesto?

Pesto is a sauce that originated in Genoa, Italy. Traditionally, it consists of crushed garlic, European pine nuts, coarse salt, basil leaves, and hard cheese such as Parmesan, all blended with olive oil.(source)

What’s So Great About Pesto?

It’s so flexible! You can make numerous types of pesto using the same basic recipe but swapping out ingredients.

  • Ideas for greens: fresh basil, parsley, oregano, spinach, kale, arugula, sage, cilantro, chard, mint
  • Ideas for nuts: pine nuts, walnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, almonds, pistachios, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, sunflower seeds
  • Any hard, salty cheese can be used in place of Parmesan
  • You can even make pesto without cheese and just add a tablespoon of nutritional yeast instead
mortar and pestle pumpkin seeds pesto kale

How to Store Pumpkin Seed Pesto

  • Store leftover pesto in the fridge, covered in a layer of olive oil.
  • For longer-term storage, freeze pesto in ice cube trays. Once solid, transfer cubes into ziploc bags.
  • You can also freeze pesto in small plastic or glass containers and then thaw in the fridge before using.
  • Or, if you don’t have any containers, line a baking sheet with waxed paper and add dollops of pesto on top. Finally, put in freezer until pesto is solid, then remove dollops and transfer into ziploc bags.

How to Make Pumpkin Seed Pesto

Tools You Will Need

Food Processor

Small Glass Containers with Lids

Ingredients

1 cup pumpkin seeds

3 Tbsp minced garlic (9 cloves)

1 Tbsp lemon juice

3 cups rinsed kale, stems removed, packed

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

3/4 tsp kosher salt (1/4 tsp if pumpkin seeds are salted)

1 1/2 cups olive oil

1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Place the pumpkin seeds and garlic in a food processor bowl with the steel blade. Process for 30 seconds.
  2. Add the kale, salt, lemon juice, and pepper.
  3. Next, turn the processor on and pour the olive oil into the feed tube until the pesto is pureed.
  4. Add the parmesan and puree for 1 minute.
  5. Pour pesto into desired containers.

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If you make this recipe and love it, I would love if you gave it 5 stars! Tag me on Instagram @littlehouseonlaurel with your delicious creation.

Pumpkin Seed Pesto

Pumpkin Seed Pesto

Yield: 4 cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

A fall twist on a classic favorite, pumpkin seed pesto combines the nutty flavor of pumpkin seeds with the earthy taste of fresh kale for a zesty flavor that will take any dish up a notch.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 3 Tbsp minced garlic (9 cloves)
  • 3 cups rinsed kale, stems removed, packed
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt (1/4 tsp if using salted pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups olive oil
  • 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Instructions

    1. Place the pumpkin seeds and garlic in a food processor bowl with the steel blade. Process for 30 seconds.

    2. Add the kale, salt, lemon juice, and pepper.

    3. Turn the processor on and pour the olive oil into the feed tube until the pesto is pureed.

    4. Add the parmesan and puree for 1 minute.

    5. Pour pesto into desired containers.

Pin It For Later

pumpkin seeds fresh kale fall pesto mortar and pestle

8 Comments

  1. I love pesto & kale. Great tips too. Thanks for sharing. I will save this for when I make it!

  2. This looks so delicious! I would love this on salmon or even chicken. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Great ideas! Those would make great fall meals with this pesto 🙂

  3. I love everything about this recipe! Especially all that kale included! It’s always great to get more greens in

    1. For sure! Kale is a superfood so when I can sneak it in to a recipe I’m extra happy!

  4. Our kids like to have “dips” for their food, and this would make an incredible, healthy dip for them to use. Thank you for sharing, we can’t wait to try this recipe.

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