Vegan Kale Pesto with Zucchini Noodles Cherry Tomatoes & Olives

By August 11, 2013 July 16th, 2020 Dinner, Gluten Free, greens, Main Dish, Paleo, Raw, Recipes, Seasonal, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

 This is a raw vegan dish perfect for summer, fresh and light.  When the weather is hot having a raw “pasta” dish is a great alternative to a heavier pasta.  To make raw “noodles” from zucchini all you need a is a spiralizer or julienne tool.

This Kale pesto is made without any cheese but I put in some nutritional yeast to give it a cheesy flavor.

Hemp seed provide protein. Pine nuts give it a rich flavor but you can use all cashews if you prefer.  Either way it is delicious.

If you are worried about goitrogens blanch the kale for 15 seconds first.

You can make this dish with any type of pasta instead of the zucchini “noodles”. It won’t be raw but that’s OK too!

The cherry tomatoes and a bright sweet taste to the noodles. I love salty umami taste the olives provide.

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Vegan Kale Pesto with Raw Zucchini ‘Noodles’

  • Author: Ingrid DeHart
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 2-4 servings 1x



Kale Pesto

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 cups packed baby kale (regular kale, stems removed) coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup hemp seeds or cashews
  • ½ cup pine nuts or cashews
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon Celtic sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons flaxseed oil or extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


  • 5 cups zucchini, spiralized or julienned (23 zucchini)
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
  • ¼ cup oil cured black olives, pitted and sliced
  • Vegan parmesan, for topping  (optional)
  • Celtic sea salt & fresh pepper


Prepare Kale Pesto

  1. In a food processor, add the peeled garlic cloves and process until the garlic is minced.
  2. Add the kale, hemp seeds, pine nuts, lemon juice, salt and pepper and process until everything is just chopped up.
  3. Add nutritional yeast, process to combine.
  4. Turn on the food processor and drizzle in the oil.
  5. Process until the pesto reaches your desired consistency, stopping to scrape down the sides as necessary.
  6. Taste and add more lemon, salt or pepper if necessary.

Prepare the Noodles

  1. Use a spiralizer to get a curly “noodle” or a julienne tool which will give you a straight “noodle”.  Put into a medium bowl.
  2. Combine the zucchini with the pesto sauce. Mix to coat all the “noodles”.
  3. Add the tomatoes and olives. Mix thoroughly. Taste for salt and pepper.
  4. Put onto individual serving plates.
  5. Top with vegan parmesan and garnished with a basil sprig. Serve immediately.


Nutrition information is per serving using 1/2 the pesto to make 2 portions of noodles.

Store leftover kale pesto in the refrigerator for 4 days.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Cuisine: Paleo, Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Whole30

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