Food Sense

Recipe: Kale Walnut Pesto Pasta


This recipe came to me from a good friend, who made the dish as part of a birthday dinner for her fiance. They loved it, we loved it, and so I had to share it with you.

I’ve tried making pesto with basil, spinach, and arugula, and was excited to try one with kale - an ingredient I’ve been using a lot lately in smoothies. The result is lick-the-spoon-delicious. It feels indulgent but also, with the kale, carries this feeling of being satisfyingly good for the body. In my vegan version, I substituted Parmesan cheese with nutritional yeast. I increased the lemon and garlic, and added some salt, to taste.

This dish is as easy to pull together as throwing a bunch of ingredients in a food processor, and mixing with pasta. I had it for lunch today - maybe you can try it for dinner?

Kale Walnut Pesto Pasta

by Adapted from Shutterbean

imagePhoto by Julie

  • Serves 4
  • 15 minutes


  • 1/2 bunch, Kale, stems discarded and coarsely chopped
  • 1 pound, pasta
  • 1/2 cup, chopped walnuts
  • 2 cloves, garlic
  • 1/2 cup, nutritional yeast
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon to start, up to 1 lemon to taste
  • 1/4 cup, olive oil
  • salt & pepper, to taste


Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a sprinkling of salt, and then the kale. Cook for 4  - 5 minutes, until tender. Transfer the kale to a colander, using a slotted spoon. Add the pasta to the pot and cook, according to package directions, until al dente. Drain, and return the pasta to the pot. 

While the pasta is cooking, combine the kale, walnuts, garlic, nutritional yeast, olive oil, and lemon juice in a food processor. Process until smooth. Add salt to taste.

Add the pesto the cooked pasta. Serve, sprinkled with nutritional yeast and chopped walnuts, if desired.

Got some leftover pesto? What would you make with it?


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