Kale Pesto Pasta

Pesto gets a makeover in this kale pesto recipe! Your traditional pesto made with kale and combined for a delicious dinner of kale pesto pasta.


  • 1 head of lacinato kale (also called tuscan kale), destemmed and roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts (or walnuts)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb short pasta (fusilli, penne or farfalle work great)


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. Add kale to boiling water and cook until kale has all wilted – about 3 minutes. Stir often to ensure all kale is submerged.
  3. Use tongs to remove kale from water and place directly into a blender or food processor.
  4. Add your pasta to the kale water and cook according to package instructions.
  5. When pasta is done cooking remove a half a cup of water from the pasta water and set aside.
  6. Strain and set pasta aside.
  7. Meanwhile, in a small pan heat olive oil over low-medium heat. Add garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from heat.
  8. Let garlic mixture cool slightly then add to kale in blender or food processor.
  9. Add parmesan, pine nuts (or walnuts), a splash of pasta water and salt and pepper to blender or food processor and blend until smooth or desired texture is reached. If sauce is too thick add in some more of the reserved pasta water.
  10. Add your pasta back to pot and top with pesto kale sauce to coat completely.
  11. Serve immediately or keep in fridge for up to 3 days. See note above for freezing kale pesto.

Keywords: kale pesto, kale pesto recipe, kale pesto pasta