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Kale Pecan Pesto Salad

These days I am pesto crazy! It’s my absolute favorite thing to add to grains, roast veggies, steamed veggies, pizza, and pasta. I love it so much because 1.) it is incredibly easy to whip up in a food processor, 2.) the possibilities are endless (check out my arugula pesto, walnut basil pesto, and dandelion pepita pesto), and 3.) eating pesto is the easiest way to get more greens on your plate.

Today I’m excited to share my newest creation with you; Kale Pecan Pesto. The combination of toasted buttery pecans, earthy kale, and spicy garlic is too much to resist. I like to buy the packs of pre-washed baby kale from Whole Foods which makes this vegan pesto almost prep-free!

Follow my recipe and enjoy this pesto with roasted sweet potatoes, cauliflower, carrots, and more greens. Or, go wild with all of the delicious pesto-y possibilities! If you want to start eating a clean diet, but don’t want to spend a ton of time in the kitchen, vegan pesto should always be around. It turns humble toast, simple veggies, 8-minute pasta, and leftover grains into a flavorful and healthy meal.

Already hip to the joys of pesto? What’s your favorite variety?

{the beautiful photo above was taken by my friend Sidney Bensimon}

5 from 1 vote

Kale Pecan Pesto Salad

By: Jenné
To bulk this salad up add white beans, lentils, chickpeas, or grains (farro, quinoa, wild rice, etc).
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

  • 1 head cauliflower, florets chopped
  • 2 sweet potatoes, cubed
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 3 tbsp grapeseed or canola oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 cups kale, lacinato or baby kale, not for pesto
  • ¼ cup toasted pecans, not for pesto

Pesto

  • 6 cups baby kale or lacinato kale
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • ¾ cup toasted pecans, toasted in oven at 350° for 6 minutes
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp chili powder

Instructions 

Roast Veggies

  • Preheat oven to 350° and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Toss the cauliflower, potatoes, and carrots with oil, and spread evenly onto the baking sheets. They'll most likely have to be divided between sheets. If so, separate the cauliflower from the others.
  • Sprinkle some sea salt over the veggies, then roast for 40 minutes, or until tender.
  • Place the 2 cups of kale in a bowl, and set aside.

Pesto

  • Place all ingredients, except the olive oil, in a food processor, and blend until combined.
  • Pour in the olive oil while the food processor is still blending, and continue to blend another few 30 seconds, or until combined, and not too smooth/pureed.

Assemble

  • Toss the roasted veggies and about half of the pesto in the bowl with the loose kale.
  • Add more pesto to taste. Any leftovers can be kept fresh in the fridge for a week.
  • Season with more sea salt to taste.
  • Serve with toasted pecans.
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

About Jenne

I’m a Georgia Peach living in Los Angeles (by way of NYC), with an insatiable love of sweet potatoes, travel, animals, and cooking. On Sweet Potato Soul you’ll discover hundreds of delicious and easy-to-make vegan recipes.

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3 Comments

  1. I made this as a side for dinner tonight and it was very satisfying. Lots of Kale both in the pesto and as base of the salad. I added some extra lime juice and chili for a little heat. I’d make it again 🙂