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Aug 8, 2014

Kale Pesto and Crispy Chicken Thighs {dairy + gluten free}

I've never been a big fan of pesto. Don't get me wrong...I want to like it. I just haven't found one that I actually enjoyed eating. I decided to try making my own dairy-free version using Go Veggie Foods Dairy-free Parmesan Style Topping since it tastes exactly like regular parmesan. (Make sure it is the purple tub that says "dairy-free" not the green one that is only lactose free and still contains milk proteins.) I also love kale and I think it was perfect for my new version of pesto, which I really enjoyed by the way!

Kale Pesto {gluten free + vegan} 


  • 1 bunch kale; cleaned, dried and torn into pieces
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup Go Veggie Foods dairy-free Parmesan style topping (or regular parm if you're not dairy-free)
  • 2 Tbsp slivered almonds (optional; other nuts would work as well)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup light extra virgin olive oil


Add the first six ingredients to a blender or food processor; pulse. Pour in olive oil gradually while continuing to blend on a low speed. Blend until combined and the mixture becomes the consistency of a thick paste.

This sauce can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to one week. Toss with gluten-free pasta and chicken, or use it as a marinade for baked or grilled chicken.

Crispy Chicken Thighs {dairy + gluten free} 


  • 1 jar Kale Pesto
  • 1 package chicken pieces (I used 8 bone-in thighs, but any cut would work)
  • salt & pepper


Pat chicken pieces dry with paper towels. Season chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Place in a gallon-size plastic bag. Pour pesto sauce in and coat chicken with sauce. Place bag in refrigerator to marinate for at least one hour or overnight.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a baking dish with olive oil or non-stick cooking spray; set aside. Remove chicken from bag and place in an even layer in the baking dish.

Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Turn broiler on low and broil for about 10 minutes or until the skin becomes crisp. Remove dish from oven and allow to sit for five minutes before serving.

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