Potato Salad with Kale Pesto & Bacon

This mayo-free warm potato salad is tossed with a flavorful kale pesto and bacon for a unique side dish!


This recipe is the result of my impatience.

I was testing a recipe for twice baked potatoes where I planned to fold pesto into the mashed potato filling, but I was excited to eat and the potatoes were taking way too long to bake. So, I chopped the potatoes into chunks instead. Since the potato chunks were still warm, I dressed them in the pesto like a warm potato salad, and added some crispy bacon.

I put out a poll a couple months ago about Warm vs. Cold potato salad, and was shocked to receive tons of comments from people who had never even tried warm potato salad. Personally, I totally think warm potato salads are better than cold. If you haven’t tried it before, it’s time!

To start, cut up a bunch of russet potatoes, then cover with cold water, and bring to a boil:


While the potatoes cook, make the kale pesto.

Place some blanched kale leaves into a food processor along with a pinch of salt:


Blend that up, then add your favorite nut for pesto (sometimes I do walnuts or almonds instead of pinenuts), as well as some smashed garlic:


Blend that up until nicely chopped:


Add in olive oil, and process until smooth:


At the very end, pulse in some cheese:


When the potatoes are fork tender, drain them, then immediately toss with the kale pesto while still warm:


Then, add crispy bacon to the party:


Here’s a post on How to Cook Bacon in the Oven, which is my preferred method!


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5 from 1 vote

Warm Potato Salad with Kale Pesto and Bacon

 This mayo-free warm potato salad is tossed with a flavorful kale pesto and bacon for a unique side dish! 
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Calories 907kcal


  • 3 lbs russet potatoes scrubbed and cut into chunks
  • 1 bunch kale leaves blanched*
  • salt
  • 1 cup almonds sliced
  • 2 large cloves garlic smashed
  • 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup olive oil**
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 10 strips cooked bacon crumbled


  • Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water. Place over high heat, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
  • In the meantime, make the kale pesto. Place the kale leaves in a food processor, and add a big pinch of salt. Process until finely chopped, then add the almonds and garlic. Process until finely chopped. With the machine running, add the olive oil, and mix until incorporated. Finally, pulse in the parmesan cheese. Taste the kale pesto and make any necessary seasoning adjustments.
  • Once the potatoes are fork tender, drain in a colander. Immediately dress the warm potatoes with the kale pesto, and toss in the crumbled bacon. Serve warm. Enjoy!


*I blanch the kale leaves in boiling water for 45-60 seconds, until bright green. This takes the bitterness away.
** Add 1/2 cup of oil for a more traditional pesto consistency


Calories: 907kcal | Carbohydrates: 73g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 58g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 57mg | Sodium: 1200mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 5g