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Kale Pesto Pasta

This kale pesto pasta meal is loaded with flavor and leafy greens. Topped with vegan Parmesan and crushed walnuts.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Servings: 6
Author: Kathy Patalsky


  • pasta pot
  • blender


  • 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

Additional ingredients:

  • 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.


*** If you do not have walnuts, try subbing with cashews or even pine nuts or pumpkin seeds.

Nutrition Estimate

Calories: 453kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 206mg | Potassium: 385mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 2165IU | Vitamin C: 30mg | Calcium: 66mg | Iron: 2mg