Kale and Sunflower Seed Pesto + Roasted Red Peppers Stars = Happy Holidays Pasta!

Holiday food should be easy and festive, don’t you agree? I love creating red and green food that sparkles on a plate and just screams out “Merry Christmas!” when you sit down to eat.

I used frozen cheese ravioli, making this dish just as easy as it is bright and festive! Twenty minutes from grocery bags to table – perfect for the frantic pace of the week before Santa arrives, I say!

Real Italian pesto is crushed, not processed into a paste, but the standard American version is easy to make with a food processor. I love classic basil-and-pine-nut pesto, but decided to get adventurous and try a pesto with another green. Kale is just about the healthiest thing you can put in your mouth. And its deep, dark green is perfect for a holiday sauce.

But. The dish needed some red before it could become a truly Christmas-y pasta dish. Jarred red peppers to the rescue! Just cut them into random star shapes and you’re set for Happy Holiday pasta!

Our Best to You and Yours ~ Have a most Joyous Holiday season!

Donna & Anne

This would be a perfect Meatless Monday Boxing Day feast on Monday ~ It’s what we’ll be eating!


1 large bunch kale, any variety (about 8 cups chopped)
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
2 cloves raw garlic, diced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper sauce
2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (about 2/3 cup)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Blanch kale in boiling water for about 1 minutes, then rinse in cold water immediately.

Process all ingredients in food processor until well blended.

Serve with pasta of choice (I used cheese ravioli)

As proof that I’m NOT insane, here’s some other foodies that have made pesto from kale:

 Kale Walnut Pesto, Shutterbean
Kale Pesto, Always Order Dessert
Kale Pesto Dipped Chicken, Clean and Delicious
Kale Pesto, Comfy Belly


  1. April says

    Tried this recipe and it was delicious! The red peppers I just cut up because I was trying to make stars and the were impossible, not sure if maybe you guys have a small cookie cutter or something but I sure couldnt do it lol.

  2. says

    What a great holiday dish. I have a TON of kale growing in our hoop house and I was wondering what else I could do with it (besides throwing it in soups). Thanks for the holiday recipe!

  3. says

    I posted a red, white and green dish yesterday! But now I’m craving yours. I’ve never put kale in pesto before but it sounds like a pretty rockstar idea. With all those nutrients in one place you just can’t go wrong!

    PS – love that dish!


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