Recipe: Roasted kale pesto

It’s been a bit of a hectic Saturday around here, but I’ve been somewhat lacking on the posts lately, so amidst errand running, actual running, baby showering (which we are running late to as I write this — sorry Em!) and mountain biking expeditions, here is a quick post of one of the recipes I created for Full Circle Farms’ Good Food Life blog a few weeks ago. (By the way, we’re still still receiving our Full Circle shipments, and they continue to impress. This week’s delivery: kale, zucchini, carrots, apples, and pears  — all beautiful and all organic.)

Make this simple and hearty kale dish for supper tonight — but first, get out there and make the most of this beautiful day! (Speaking for Northern Californians, here…if you are elsewhere and the weather is not so pleasant, please accept my apologies and my sincerest invitation to get yo butt to CA!)

roasted kale pestoRoasted Kale Pesto with Almonds and Cranberries

Cooking time: 20 mins | Serves: 2-3 (great for doubling!)

Note: This recipe is the epitome of simple. Ten minutes in the oven is all the time it takes for the kale to take on a robust, nutty flavor that’s a perfect transition to the slightly cooler weather. With the addition of almonds and cranberries, it’s pesto-goes-Pacific Northwest.


  • 1 large bunch kale, pulled from stems
  • ¼ cup raw almonds, sliced or roughly chopped + extra
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • ½ cup dried cranberries +plus extra
  • good olive oil
  • ½ lb whole wheat penne pasta, cooked according to package directions
  • ¼ cup reserved pasta water
  • salt


Preheat oven to 400F. Toss kale generously with olive oil until well coated; sprinkle with salt. Arrange on a rimmed baking pan and roast in preheated oven for 10 minutes or until kale becomes fragrant and toasted in spots.

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to directions. When kale is roasted, add to food processor with almonds, garlic, and cranberries. Pulse until combined and roughly chopped, then stream in olive oil with processor running until mixture becomes a thick paste.  Salt to taste.

Toss hot pasta with kale pesto, adding reserved pasta water as needed to thin pesto. Top with additional cranberries and almonds.

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4 Comments on “Recipe: Roasted kale pesto”

    1. Thanks! Simple and great for fall. And on a beautiful night like tonight, it only requires heating up your oven for 10 mins. Enjoy!

  1. So I tried the the original recipe with homemade focaccia and it was a fantastic combo. Though I think a wheat focaccia would match better. However, I took the recipe up a notch due to a craving (damn food tv) and use the pasta to make a mac and cheese with bacon, canadian bacon, mexican creme, and white cheese for quesadilla…whoa that was good..

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