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Kale Pesto Pasta


Kale Pesto Pasta
  • Quick & Easy!
Serves: 8Ready In: 20 minutes

Why We Like It


This recipe is so easy to put together, but WOW -- it has a ton of flavor...delicious!  You could easily make this gluten free by using gluten free pasta or better yet, spaghetti squash noodles as the "pasta!"

Boil the Kale:

  • 2 bunches kale (leaves removed from stems and chopped, discard stems)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  While you are waiting for the water to boil, prepare a large bowl of ice water.  (This will be the ice bath for the kale after it cooks, which will help stop the cooking process).  Add the kale to the boiling water for only 3 minutes.  Remove the kale, drain, and immediately place it in the ice bath for about 2 minutes.  Drain again and pat dry with a towel or paper towel.  (Don’t worry if it seems like there is not much kale now).  Set aside.

Make the Pesto:

  • 3/4 cup parmesan cheese (shredded or grated)
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts (or almonds)
  • 3 garlic cloves (or 3/4 tsp garlic powder)
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest (OPTIONAL, grated lemon peel)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil (or more if desired)

Add to a food processor or blender, along with the kale, and pulse until well combined.  Set aside.

Cook the Pasta:

  • 8 oz pappardelle pasta (or whole grain pasta of your choice)

Cook the pasta according to package directions.  Drain.

Serve and Enjoy!

Add desired amount of pesto to the pasta and stir to combine.  Serve topped with more parmesan cheese or pine nuts if desired.

Quick Tips


You can use any leftover kale pesto in other dishes such as on a pizza, in quesadillas, or in a grilled cheese sandwich.  You can also freeze any leftover pesto – putting it in ice cube trays is a great idea so you can thaw a little at a time!

Nutrition Information for one serving


  • Calories: 385
  • Fat: 23.5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 4.1 g
  • Total Carbohydrate: 35 g
  • Cholesterol: 8 mg
  • Fiber: 7.5 g
  • Sugars: 4 g
  • Protein: 15 g
  • Sodium: 490 mg
(Recipe adapted from skinnyluscious.blogspot.com)
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