This vegan Spicy Kale Pesto and zucchini noodle recipe has been a favorite of mine the last couple days. It’s a simple meal that’s light, refreshing and tastes so good! Plus, it’s fairly quick to make and great for to-go lunches as well.
After making these raw zucchini wraps with kale pesto a few weeks ago, kale pesto has become a regular habit. I did the pesto in this recipe a little differently, adding red pepper flakes for heat and a bit of nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor.
Kale is king of the leafy greens and the more we can incorporate it into our meal plans the better. I hope to inspire others to join in on this nutritional powerhouse green, in a way that tastes amazing!
How To Make Vegan Kale Pesto
Making vegan kale pesto is surprisingly easy. Simply add the ingredients, including kale, almonds, garlic, olive oil, lemon, red pepper flakes, salt and optional nutritional yeast into a food processor or blender. Blend until fairly smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed.
Kale blends up into a thick paste and can be used in a variety of ways. Toss it with your favorite pasta or spiralized vegetable noodles. Use it as a condiment and spread on sandwiches, burgers, or grilled bread. It’s also fantastic as a dip for fresh and roasted veggies!
What type of kale is best? When making kale pesto, all types of kale work well. Use curly, lacinato, black or any variety that is available in your area.
Looking to make your kale pesto nut free? To make kale pesto nut free, in place of almonds, sub in 1/4 – 1/3 cup of pepitas, sunflower seeds. Or add a few tablespoons of tahini for creaminess.
Have you ever tried spiralized ‘noodles’? They are so light, refreshing and delicious! I could eat them everyday with different sauces and add-ins. For making these curly spiralized noodles, my favorite tool is this Spirilizer (<affiliate link). It works great and has a few extra sized blades for different thickness of noodles.
Zucchini is a great vegetable to spiralize, but it’s not the only one you can use. Try spiralizing a yellow summer squash, cucumber, sweet potato, or beet. All are fantastic, healthy and a nice way to eat noodles that are low fat, low calories and nutrient dense.
More recipes you’ll love
- Raw Zucchini Wraps + Vegan Kale Pesto
- Creamy Zucchini Pesto + ‘Noodles’
- Cilantro Pepita Pesto + Carrot & Zucchini Ribbons
- Basil Walnut Pesto
If you try this spicy kale pesto recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.Print
SPICY KALE PESTO + ZUCCHINI NOODLES
Vegan spicy kale pesto and spiralized zucchini noodles makes a great light lunch, dinner or to-go meal.
- Prep Time: 15 min
- Total Time: 15 min
- Yield: Serves 3
- Category: Entree, Condiment
- Cuisine: Vegan
- 3 large zucchini (1 per person), give or take, spiralized or julienned
- grape tomatoes, sliced in half
- almond parmesan, for topping
- salt & cracked pepper
- 1 bunch kale, about 4 cups or 10 medium-large leaves, stems removed and roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup almonds
- 3 – 4 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, more as needed
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 – 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast, optional
- himalayan salt, to taste
- generous pinch red pepper flakes
- juice of 1 small lemon
Pesto: Place ingredients in food processor and blend until desired consistency. Add more olive oil (or water) if desired and taste for seasoning, set aside.
Zucchini Noodles: I use a spiralizer to get my curly noodle effect. You can also use a julienne tool or julienne them by hand creating a straight noodle.
To Serve: Combine the kale, tomatoes and noodles together in a medium size bowl and transfer to individual serving dishes. Top with a dusting of almond parmesan and enjoy!
To make the kale pesto nut free, in place of almonds, sub in 1/4 – 1/3 cup of pepitas, sunflower seeds. Or add a few tablespoons of tahini for creaminess.
For the noodles, try spiralizing a yellow summer squash, sweet potato, or yellow/red beet.
RECOMMENDED EQUIPMENT: I love my Spiralizer, to create curly veggie noodles but this julienne tool works great creating straight noodles (affiliate links)! For more of my favorite cooking tools, shop my kitchen essentials.