Kale, Garlic Scape and Walnut Pesto

This kale, garlic scape and walnut pesto is a great way to use up leafy greens! Great anywhere normal pesto is used. Ready in 20 minutes. Vegan, gluten-free, oil-free, sugar-free recipe.

Course sauces, spreads
Cuisine gluten-free, grain-free, soy-free, sugar-free, vegan, vegetarian
Keyword garlic scape walnut pesto, kale garlic scape pesto
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Total Yield 2 cups
Calories Per Serving 96 kcal
Author Yup, it's Vegan


  • 1 bunch curly kale (approximately 8 oz., but precision is not required), stems removed, roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch garlic scapes roughly chopped
  • 1 and 1/2 cups toasted walnuts
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (optional)


  1. Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Stir in the chopped kale and cook for approximately 4 minutes, or until the kale has softened and turned bright green. Immediately transfer the kale to a colander and thoroughly rinse it with cold water, then let drain.
  2. Dry the blanched kale thoroughly, using towels or a salad spinner.
  3. Add the garlic scapes to a food processor, and pulse until finely chopped. Add the walnuts and continue to pulse until no large pieces of walnuts remain (do not blend completely).
  4. Add the lemon juice, blanched kale, optional nutritional yeast, and sea salt, and continue to pulse until the kale is finely chopped, stopping to scrape down the sides and gently stir the mixture as needed.
  5. If using the olive oil, slowly stream it in while blending. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  6. Leftover pesto will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week, and also freezes well.

Recipe Notes

If you don't have garlic scapes, you can try substituting 1 clove of minced garlic.

Nutrition Facts
Kale, Garlic Scape and Walnut Pesto
Amount Per Serving (2 tablespoons)
Calories 96 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 12%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Polyunsaturated Fat 5g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Sodium 62mg 3%
Potassium 118mg 3%
Total Carbohydrates 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 1g
Protein 3g 6%
Vitamin A 28%
Vitamin C 33%
Calcium 3%
Iron 3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.