Kale & Pomegranate Pizza with Creamy Pesto Sauce

Kale & Pomegranate Pizza with Creamy Pesto Sauce recipe. Two doses of kale - both in the creamy, garlicky pesto and piled on top - make this vegetarian pizza a green powerhouse (in the most delicious way, promise!) Top with ruby-red pomegranate arils for color and a little irresistible sweet and salty contrast.

My recipes usually start out as haphazard semi-ordered lists, saved right here in “draft” – or unpublished – form on the blog. I love having all of my notes saved easily in one place, but on the flip side, I’m terrified that one day I’ll wake up to find I accidentally published something that reads like this:

Layer on crust —

creamy kale pesto sauce
could add cooked chicken here
mozzarella cheese
onions
3-4 cups baby kale tossed with 2 teaspoons olive oil – pile it on!
Pinch salt
Bake
Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds

NIRVANA

I guess my notes for this Kale & Pomegranate Pizza with Creamy Pesto Sauce do pretty much sum up what I’m about to say. Yes – it’s really, really good, yes, even “NIRVANA.” It’s got a rich and garlicky pesto sauce in lieu of the traditional tomato, then it’s layered with melty mozzarella, a few bits of onion here and there, and a giant pile of kale that cooks down into kale-chip-like goodness. Sprinkle on a good bit of pomegranate arils for a sweet/salty contrast (which also happens to look fabulous) and HELLO GORGEOUS PIZZA!

Kale & Pomegranate Pizza with Creamy Pesto Sauce recipe. Two doses of kale - both in the creamy, garlicky pesto and piled on top - make this vegetarian pizza a green powerhouse (in the most delicious way, promise!) Top with ruby-red pomegranate arils for color and a little irresistible sweet and salty contrast.

All caps. All about the caps.

Up on my fridge, I have a list of recipes that I’m currently working on, and for about two months now, “Christmas Pizza” has been on the list. As you’ve guessed, this is it – the Christmas pizza! Not that it should only be made this time of year. It’s just that the vibrant red and green couldn’t be more spot-on.

Kale & Pomegranate Pizza with Creamy Pesto Sauce recipe. Two doses of kale - both in the creamy, garlicky pesto and piled on top - make this vegetarian pizza a green powerhouse (in the most delicious way, promise!) Top with ruby-red pomegranate arils for color and a little irresistible sweet and salty contrast.

So here’s what we’ve got. A double dose of kale – both in the pesto sauce …

Kale & Pomegranate Pizza with Creamy Pesto Sauce recipe. Two doses of kale - both in the creamy, garlicky pesto and piled on top - make this vegetarian pizza a green powerhouse (in the most delicious way, promise!) Top with ruby-red pomegranate arils for color and a little irresistible sweet and salty contrast.

And then a big ol’ pile right on top of the pizza.

Kale & Pomegranate Pizza with Creamy Pesto Sauce recipe. Two doses of kale - both in the creamy, garlicky pesto and piled on top - make this vegetarian pizza a green powerhouse (in the most delicious way, promise!) Top with ruby-red pomegranate arils for color and a little irresistible sweet and salty contrast.

This is before spreading it out – but I just had to take a pic of Mount Kale first.

Kale has become one of my favorite pizza toppings. You take a big old bunch of the stuff, tear (or cut) into bite-size pieces, and toss it with olive oil. Then – yep – pile it on, and sprinkle with a little coarse salt. It bakes down to manageable perfection with crispy bits here and there. Highly recommended.

Kale & Pomegranate Pizza with Creamy Pesto Sauce recipe. Two doses of kale - both in the creamy, garlicky pesto and piled on top - make this vegetarian pizza a green powerhouse (in the most delicious way, promise!) Top with ruby-red pomegranate arils for color and a little irresistible sweet and salty contrast.

For the version photographed, I used an entire batch of this dough, and it made for one big, extremely thick pizza. Possibly a little too thick, unless you love thick. Otherwise, go with your favorite homemade or store-bought pizza dough. As much as I enjoy making pizza dough, nine times out of 10 these days my dough is straight from the Trader Joe’s refrigerated section. It’s great, inexpensive, and so so easy.

Kale & Pomegranate Pizza with Creamy Pesto Sauce recipe. Two doses of kale - both in the creamy, garlicky pesto and piled on top - make this vegetarian pizza a green powerhouse (in the most delicious way, promise!) Top with ruby-red pomegranate arils for color and a little irresistible sweet and salty contrast.

NIRVANA!

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Kale & Pomegranate Pizza with Creamy Pesto Sauce

Two doses of kale – both in the creamy, garlicky pesto and piled on top – make this pizza a green powerhouse (in the most delicious way, promise!) Top with ruby-red pomegranate arils for color and a little irresistible sweet and salty contrast.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound refrigerated pizza dough or your favorite homemade dough
  • 1 batch Creamy Kale Pesto Sauce (recipe below)
  • 4 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded (1 cup)
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, sliced
  • 3 cups baby kale or lacinato kale leaves (ribs removed)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Pinch kosher salt or sea salt
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate arils

Creamy Kale Pesto Sauce:

  • 2 cups packed baby kale or lacinato kale leaves (ribs removed)
  • 1/3 cup pecans (walnuts work too)
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil (plus more if needed)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • Pinch salt plus more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Sprinkle a pizza stone or large baking sheet with a little cornmeal, if desired. Set aside.
  2. Make the creamy kale pesto sauce. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the “S” blade, add the 2 cups kale, pecans, Parmesan cheese, garlic, red pepper flakes, and olive oil. Pulse, scraping down the sides if necessary, until pureed. If necessary, drizzle in a little more olive oil, a couple of teaspoons at a time, until it’s a saucy consistency and has turned a lighter shade of green. Add the sour cream and a pinch of salt and pulse until blended. Taste and add additional salt and some freshly ground black pepper if desired. Set aside.
  3. Roll out your pizza dough to approximately 14 inches in diameter and transfer to the pizza stone or baking sheet. Pour on the creamy kale pesto sauce and spread with the back of a spoon, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Top with mozzarella, then add the onions in an even layer.
  4. To a large bowl, add 3 cups kale and drizzle with 2 teaspoons olive oil. With your hands, toss well until the leaves are coated with the oil. Pile the kale onto the pizza, spreading to distribute evenly. Sprinkle with a pinch or two of salt.
  5. Bake until the crust is golden brown, the cheese is bubbly, and the kale is cooked down and crispy in places, about 10 minutes, depending on your crust. Remove from oven and top with pomegranate arils. Cut into wedges and serve.

Meat option:

If you’re feeding a mixed-diet clan, try making two pizzas. To one of the pizzas, add cooked, cubed chicken before adding the cheese. Make a notch in the dough – or some other type of marker – so that you can keep track of which is vegetarian and which is meaty!

All images and text © for Kitchen Treaty.

More kale pizza goodness

A few more can’t-miss pies from around the web.

Crispy Kale Pizza from A Beautiful Mess | Gorgonzola, Kale, & Pear Pizza with Optional Bacon from yours truly | Sweet Potato Kale Pizza with Rosemary & Red Onion from Two Peas and Their Pod | Beet Pesto Pizza with Kale & Goat Cheese from The Roasted Root | Portabella & Kale Pizza with Roasted Garlic Sauce from Oh My Veggies | Kale, Butternut Squash, Potato, & Ricotta Pizza with Fried Onions from Savoring the Thyme

Karen Raye

Kare is a vegetarian home cook living among carnivores. She loves creating irresistible and flexible recipes that help multi-vore families like hers keep the peace - deliciously.