Last weekend before all of LA basically shut down, we made a very quick trip to a farmer’s market. With a fluffy-fresh bunch of kale sitting in my fridge and pasta in my pantry, I whipped up this vegan Kale Pesto Pasta recipe. This recipe would also make an excellent easy pasta dinner right now.
This Kale Pesto Pasta provides a satisfying pasta base while also including loads of healthy leafy greens via the kale pesto sauce. As for the nuts in this recipe, I used walnuts, but you could sub with pine nuts, cashews or even pumpkin seeds if need be.
This is a very simple and super delicious plant-based meal that I hope you can try!…
Kale via Pasta
Not in the mood for a salad, but still want to load up on healthy leafy greens like kale? Whip up a pesto pasta sauce using kale in place of basil. Although, basil pesto sauce is also a delicious recipe. I love this Pine Nut Basil Pesto Sauce.
This entire recipe uses an entire bunch of kale. I used dino kale because that is what I had on hand, but regular green curly leaf kale could also be used.
First, I blended most of the kale leaves into the sauce, and then I finely chopped the leftovers and folded them into the warm pasta. Kale two ways!
Kale is rich in fiber, vitamin C and A and also contains nutrients like iron and even calcium. One cup of kale even contains around 4g protein. Kale Health Benefits on Health.
Loving Texture on Pasta
One of my very favorite things about pasta is how you can finish it by adding texture. Traditionally, Parmesan cheese adds lots of texture. And vegan Parm absolutely does this.
But another texture adding ingredient: very finely chopped or crumbled nuts like the walnuts I already had on hand and used in the sauce. The combo of Parmesan and chopped walnuts, finely chopped kale and even a drizzle of EVOO on top adds loads of layering texture to this pasta.
Kale Pesto Pasta
- 1 bunch kale, thick stems removed – omit 1/4 of the bunch for later
- 4 tbsp lemon juice, about 1 large or 2 small lemons
- 1 cup raw walnuts***
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup warm pasta water
- 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
- 2 cloves garlic, raw
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 6 cups dry pasta
- 1/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped or crushed – optional
- 2-4 tbsp vegan Parmesan, optional
- drizzle of olive oil on top
- Boil the pasta. As ther pasta is boiling, remove one cup of the pasta water for the sauce.
- While pasta is boiling, add all pesto ingredients to the blender. Remember to omit about 1/4 of the kale leaves for adding in later. Blend until smooth. Then blend for another 2-3 minutes to slightly warm the pesto sauce.
- When pasta is done, drain and add to a large mixing bowl.
- Finely chop the remaining leaves of kale. Add to the pasta bowl and toss to wilt the chopped leaves.
- Add 1/2 cup of the sauce to the pasta and toss. Add more to taste as desired.
- Finely chop the side walnuts.
- Serve the pasta in bowls and add the vegan Parmesan and chopped walnuts on top. I also like to add an additional drizzle of the pesto sauce right on top – to taste – to serve. A drizzle of olive oil could also be added. Serve warm! Any leftover sauce can be kept in the fridge for up to 2 days and used on pasta, veggies or salads.
- pasta pot