Tuscan Kale Pesto Risotto

Tuscan kale pesto risotto

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 3 reviews

Savory risotto gets delicious, healthy flavor from Tuscan kale pesto. Serve as a vegetarian main or substantial side dish.




  • 4 cups tightly packed kale leaves, stems removed
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds, lightly toasted
  • generous pinch red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ⅔ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 7 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 3/4 cup kale pesto risotto
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano, plus extra to pass at table
  • salt & pepper to taste


  1. Make the kale pesto: Add the kale and garlic to a food processor, coarsely chopping to create enough room for the other ingredients. Next add the pumpkin seeds, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, cheese, and olive oil, and puree until it comes to a nice smooth consistency. Set the pesto aside.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil in sturdy pot for making the risotto. Add the onion and sauté in the olive oil on medium heat until it softens, about 5 minutes.
  3. Pour in the rice, and stir to get it all well coated with the onions and oil. Cook for about one minute, then stir in the wine. Stir frequently, and cook until the wine is pretty well absorbed.
  4. Once the wine has been absorbed, it’s time to begin gradually adding the stock to to pot. Add one cup of stock to the rice, and stir frequently. I keep it around medium heat, but go a bit higher if things seem to be going very slow, then lower the heat if it starts boiling.
  5. When the first cup of broth is absorbed, add another. This process continues until the stock is used or mostly used, and the rice is getting tender. You need to be stirring frequently (i.e. every couple of minutes). I find the rice takes about 40 minutes to get nice and tender.
  6. Stir in 3/4 cup of the kale pesto risotto, reserving any extra for future use. Stir in the 1/4 cup of cheese, and pass additional cheese at the table for topping off the dish. Enjoy with a good glass of Italian wine!


  • Risotto stirring: while you don’t need to stir the risotto constantly, it does take frequent stirring.
  • Broth: You can use 32 oz container of vegetable broth with 3 cups of water if you like. This will reduce the amount of sodium.
Recipe Card powered byTasty Recipes