Kale Lemon Pesto Rawvioli

Lately I’v been testing out a healthy number of new pesto recipes. I still love  my pea pesto as well as other traditional versions, but when a friend asked if I had ever tried to make a kale pesto my ears perked, my mouth watered, and the ideas started flowing. Since I’m a fan of massaging fresh lemon juice into my kale before I chop it up into a salad, I knew there had to be a kick of lemon in this recipe. (Before I forget–quick side note since I don’t think I’v mentioned this before–if you avoid kale in your salads because of it’s bitter taste, give it a good massage with your hands for about 3-5 minutes to turn it from rough and bitter to silky, smooth, and sweet).

Yesterday I had the time to test out my recipe and I loved it so much I couldn’t wait to share. It’s so light and refreshing and can be used in so many different dishes. I ended up mixing the original batch I made yesterday into a jumbo green salad with tons of leafy greens, celery, green bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, okra, alfalfa sprouts, and chopped asparagus. Today, with a little more time and an unrelenting craving for Italian cuisine, I prepped a gorgeous and completely satisfying batch of RAWvioli:


Prep Time: 20 minutes

Yield: Approximately 12 rawviolis

  • 1 zucchini for the shells (try to choose the thickest one you can find)

  • 1 cup destemmed, chopped kale
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup arugula
  • 1/4 cup soaked raw almonds (soak in water for 8-10 hours)
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 TSP lemon zest
  • 1 clove fresh garlic

Tomato Sauce:

  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1 clove fresh garlic
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 TBSP chopped yellow onion
  • 1/2 TSP fresh destemmed thyme


1. Begin by placing the almonds in a food processor and processing until finely chopped. Add in the greens and the garlic and continue to process. Once finely chopped, add in lemon zest and lemon juice and process a few more seconds until everything is well blended. Put in a bowl and set aside.

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2. For the tomato sauce, place all of the ingredients in the food processor and pulse until the ingredients are chopped but not puréed. The sauce is meant to be thick. Allow the sauce to sit in a strainer for a few minutes to drain excess liquid.

3. While the sauce is draining, use a sharp knife or a mandolin to evenly slice the zucchini into thin circles.


4. To assemble, spoon about a TBSP of pesto onto one zucchini round and then cover with another zucchini round. Do this for all of your rawviolis, then place them on a plate and cover with the tomato sauce. Garnish with some extra fresh basil or parsley.

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9 responses to “Kale Lemon Pesto Rawvioli

  1. Your RAWviolis are so cute!! And great tip for the kale — I usually over-dressed salads with kale to hide the bitterness, but now I’ll try to give it a little massage love first!

  2. Pingback: Kale Lemon Pesto Rawvioli | The Yummy Cats·

  3. Pingback: Sweet Corn Pesto Sauce | With Raw Intentions·

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