Spicy Kale & Lemon Pesto | Once Upon A Pumpkin

Spicy Kale & Lemon Pesto

Spicy Kale & Lemon Pesto

Spread more nutrition onto every bite of your food with this spicy kale & lemon pesto! Perfect for pasta, on bread, or mixed into quinoa, this pesto packs the nutrition from the 3 cups of kale packed into the recipe. Traditional pesto is made with basil, and although I’m all for that as well, swapping it for kale created a slightly different texture with a hint of bitter sweetness.

This blog post is in partnership with Nature’s Greens®, but all opinions are my own.

Make a batch of this spicy kale & lemon pesto at the beginning of the week and use it all week long as a nutrition enhancer on your different foods! It would even pair wonderfully with this spaghetti squash recipe! I mixed it in with pasta, and stuffed it into a ball jar below for a quick lunch on-the go. A great meal prep option, plus the ball jar provides a sensible serving size!


Top pasta salad with pumpkin seeds, microgreens and shredded carrot for an added crunch.




kale lemon pesto

Spicy Kale & Lemon Pesto

  • Author: Once Upon A Pumpkin


Spice up your foods and add more nutrition to each bite with this spicy lemon kale pesto! The lemon complements the kale and increases your absorption of vitamin C!


  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 cups Nature’s Greens® kale
  • ½ cup hemp seeds
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • ¾ teaspoon pink himalayan  sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. walnut oil (optional)
  • ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese


In a food processor, add the peeled garlic cloves and process until the garlic is minced. Add the kale, hemp seeds, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Turn on the food processor and drizzle in the oil. Process until the pesto reaches your desired consistency, stopping to scrape down the sides as necessary. Taste and add more lemon, salt or pepper if necessary.



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