We created this Kale Pesto Dip recipe to share as part of a Sunday Supper group’s focus on Easy Football Food. The kale pesto provides zesty flavor to this dish, with more nutrition than your typical football game appetizer. Read ahead for details, or click here to jump down to the recipe.
Well, it’s September, so that mean football season is kicking off. Lots of us will be gathering with family and friends to cheer on our favorite team (go Patriots!) and looking for some easy food to nibble on while watching.
We all have our go to game day snacks–this Spicy Green Onion Dip is one for me–but it’s nice to expand the playbook. I decided to combine what has become my favorite pesto recipe of late with some other dip ingredients to make this Kale Pesto Dip.
I first made this Kale Pesto Dip for a summer party when football exhibition games were just getting underway. We scored a touchdown with the zesty, creamy flavor of this kale pesto dip! I brought pita chips to serve with the dip, and that is certainly a tasty combo. But I also noticed that people at this gathering were grabbing some cut veggies from a nearby tray to scoop the kale pesto dip, and seemed to enjoy it.
With the cheese involved here, this kale pesto dip probably wouldn’t make Tom Brady’s training table (our favorite QB has some interesting eating habits). But I’d say this recipe is probably healthier than most things that get consumed during football games. You get some good nutrients from the kale, and I use light cream cheese. Scoop the kale pesto dip with veggies and I’d say you are doing pretty well on the health front.
If you like this kale pesto recipe, I’ve got an ever growing roundup of ways to use kale pesto that you should check out–and let me know if you have suggestions for it!
Pairings for Kale Pesto Dip
As much as I enjoy wine, I realize beer tends to be the adult beverage of choice for watching football. I enjoyed this dip with an IPA style beer. Hoppy IPAs tend to fair pretty well with foods that have some kick, so not a surprise that the combo worked. I haven’t tried the kale pesto with wine yet, but I would suspect the best option would be some sparkling wine. The bubbles work well with creamy foods like this dip. If you try this and come up with a pairing you like, let me know!
Kale Pesto Dip
Zesty kale pesto and light cream cheese combine for a fairly healthy snack to nibble on while you watch the game or get ready for dinner.
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 8 1x
- Category: Appetizer
- Method: food processor
- Cuisine: American
- FOR THE KALE PESTO
- 4 cups tightly packed kale leaves, stems removed
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds, lightly toasted (pine nuts or walnuts would work, too)
- generous pinch red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- ⅔ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ADDITIONAL INGREDIENTS
- 1 extra clove garlic
- 8 ozs light cream cheese, taken out of fridge for at least ½ hour to soften it a bit
- 1 tbsp lime juice (you could use lemon juice, too)
- 1 tbsp parsley
- Dash white pepper
- Pinch salt
- Pita chips and/or veggies for serving
- Add the kale and garlic to a food processor, coarsely chopping to create enough room for the other ingredients.
- Add the pumpkin seeds, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, cheese, and olive oil, and puree until it comes to a nice smooth consistency. The pesto is ready to use in making the dip.
- Scoop the pesto out of the food processor and put in a container as you make the rest of the dip. It is fine to leave a bit of the pesto on the sides of the food processor.
- Place the remaining clove of garlic in the food processor, and give it a whirl to mince the garlic.
- Add the cream cheese, lime juice and parsley to the food processor. Turn the food processor on to combine the ingredients together. It can take a couple minutes for the cream cheese to get to an even consistency.
- Add 1 ½ cups of the kale pesto to the food processor along with the white pepper and salt. Puree to combine all of the ingredients. Note you will have a bit of extra pesto on hand, which can be used to spread on a sandwich or top fish or chicken.
- Scoop the kale pesto dip into a serving bowl, and serve along with pita chips and/or cut vegetables to scoop the dip. Enjoy!
Keywords: kale pesto, appetizers, dips, vegetarian appetizers
This sounds GOOOOD! I like the addition of the pumpkin seeds, and thanks for the beer suggestion!
Thanks Nichole, can’t go too wrong with beer and football!
Nicole @ Crazed Mom
This looks pretty amazing. I wouldn’t have thought of doing this, but I can imagine how good it is!
I love this tasty fall twist on pesto! Perfect for any gathering!!