Tuscan Kale Pesto Pasta

 This vegan Tuscan kale pesto recipe is so good. A truly sensational seasonal kale pesto recipe that will become a staple in your kitchen! Made with black kale, almonds, and the best high quality extra virgin olive oil, it’s a staple in Tuscan cuisine. 

Tuscan Kale Pesto Pasta

I always considered pesto as a summer dish, with fragrant basil because the star.

But, hey, I was wrong! There are loads of incredible variations of this Italian dish.

And this Tuscan kale pesto is no exception!

It’s so good it’s now a weekly dish throughout autumn and wintertime in my kitchen.

The first time I tried this Tuscan kale pesto, I was in beautiful Florence. I was celebrating New Year’s Eve with my household in a single of many most beautiful metropolis on Earth…but right here is the thing:

There is nothing in Florence fairly spectacular because the meals you can style in each corner.

We had so many amazing meals within the three days we spent there, however the factor I loved the most was a fairly easy Pasta al Pesto di Cavolo Nero.


Black kale (cavolo nero) is a staple in Tuscan cuisine, which might be why it is additionally known as Tuscan kale.

I have to admit, it wasn’t an ingredient I used fairly often earlier than this trip, however I am now a big fan.

This is why I love touring so much:

You uncover beautiful places, meet incredible people, and discover new flavors you didn’t know before. And these tastes become a half of your on a regular basis meals.

As quickly as I got again home, I experimented with different recipe variations, and I got here up with my very personal version, and I am proud to say it tastes as good, if not higher than the kale pesto I had in Florence.

Plus, this recipe is additionally vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free!

You can, of course, add a little bit of parmesan to the ingredients if you like. But I do love the simplicity of this recipe because it is.

How to make Tuscan kale pesto

There are solely 6 ingredients, and that is all you want to make this particular kale pesto:

  • Tuscan kale (also known as black kale or lacinato kale)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Almonds
  • Water
  • A pinch of salt

All you want to do is take away the hard light inexperienced stems from the Tuscan kale, boil it to melt it for three to five minutes, then add it to a meals processor or blender with the remainder of the ingredients, and also you are done.

Yes, it’s that simple!

How to meal prep

This Tuscan kale pesto is ideal for meal prep.

You can put together it in advance and both keep it within the fridge for as a lot as three days or freeze it for as a lot as 2-3 months.  Simply add it to a jar as quickly as blended, and retailer it away.

Fridge: If you retain it within the refrigerator, when you are prepared to eat it, heat it up in a pan, add 4-5 tablespoons of cooking water from the pasta pot to make it extra creamy, and stir away.

Freezer: If you choose to freeze it, take away it a few hours in advance and let it thaw at room temperature. Then heat it up and as quickly as extra add a little bit of water to make it a bit much less dense.

Tips, additions, and substitutions 

Tuscan kale

Tuscan kale is additionally known as black kale or lacinato kale. It’s a milder model of kale however nonetheless has all of the incredible advantages of cruciferous vegetables. You can substitute Tuscan kale with regular kale on this recipe, and it'll nonetheless be delicious.

Extra virgin olive oil

I usually add one tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil to this pesto. But you can add extra if you like. Just remember that though extra-virgin olive oil has some benefits, it’s a lot extra wholesome to reduce the quantity of fats you eat.


Garlic gives a little bit of a pungent style to this pesto. Plus, it can assist to spice up your immune system. But if you aren't a fan, you can omit it entirely. Or go for roasted garlic for a milder flavor.


I use almonds on this recipe, however any different nut will work. I used walnuts, cashew nuts, or pine nuts successfully.

Other issues you can add:

I love this pesto because it is, however when you wish so as to add a bit extra of a kick, you can add chili flakes, a tablespoon of dietary yeast for a tacky flavor, and even 1/3 cup of grated parmesan cheese or pecorino cheese if you aren't vegan or dairy intolerant.

Why I love this Tuscan kale pesto

  • It’s fast and easy to make
  • It’s extremely wholesome and a nice winter alternative to basil pesto
  • It’s easy to meal prep in advance and retailer for a fast dinner
  • Vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free

Tuscan Kale Pesto (Black Kale Pesto)

This vegan Tuscan kale pesto recipe is so good. A truly sensational seasonal kale pesto recipe that will become a staple in your kitchen! Made with black kale, almonds, and the best high quality extra virgin olive oil, it is a staple in Tuscan cuisine. 
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 421kcal
Author: Sara @ Gathering Dreams


  • Food Processor

For the black kale pesto

  • 4 cups Tuscan kale leaves - (also known as black kale or lacinato kale)
  • 1-2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon salt - (to taste)
  • cup raw almonds
  • ¼ cup water

For the black kale pesto pasta

  • 12 oz bucatini pasta - (or any different pasta of your choice)


  • Remove the hard stem from the Tuscan kale leaves and wash them under running water.
  • Bring a pan full of salted water to a boil, and add the chopped Tuscan kale leaves with out stems. Let them simmer for 3-5 minutes and drain.
  • Place the kale, garlic, almonds, salt, and olive oil in a meals processor and pulse till smooth. Add the water a bit at a time till you attain a creamy consistency.
  • Cook the pasta in salted boiling water for 8-10 minutes or longer till cooked through (follow the package cooking instruction), then drain. Save a few of the cooking water so as to add to the pesto if it is nonetheless a bit dense.
  • Stir the Tuscan kale pesto through the pasta, including a little bit of cooking water to make it extra creamy, if necessary.
  • Enjoy!


Make it creamy: Remember so as to add 2-3 tablespoons of cooking water from the pasta to make it creamier.

How to eat: You can serve this kale pesto with any pasta, however additionally with potato gnocchi, crackers, oatcakes, in sandwiches, salads, etc.

How to store: You can keep the pesto within the fridge for 2-3 days. You can additionally freeze this Tuscan kale pesto. Just take away it from the freezer a few hours earlier than use, and it'll nonetheless be tremendous delicious!


Calories: 421kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 155mg | Potassium: 325mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1049IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 2mg

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