Kale Pesto Pasta

when it’s summer and basil is growing wild in your garden, by all means, make basil pesto. In the middle of winter when fresh basil is scarce, kale is a great sub. You can find bunches of kale year round making it a perfect pesto swap and, it’s vibrant green color won’t turn brown like basil. This is another excellent recipe inspired by Bon Appetit Healthyish. Next time I make it, I think I’ll add some shrimp.

Kale Pesto Pasta


Large bunch of kale, ribs and stems removed

12 ounces  whole-wheat pasta or gluten-free brown rice pasta (I love Jovial brand)

1/3 cup pistachios or walnuts

1/4 cup olive oil (plus more for drizzling)

1 garlic clove, chopped

1/3 cup Parmesan cheese (plus more for serving)

Freshly ground black pepper and kosher salt


  1. Cook kale leaves in a large pot of boiling water until bright green, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet, keep the water boiling. Let kale cool slightly; wring out excess water with your hands.
  2. Cook pasta, according to package directions, in the boiling water until al dente. Drain, saving 1 cup of pasta water.
  3. Blend nuts, oil, garlic, and 1/3 cup pasta water in a blender or food processor until smooth. Add kale and Parmesan cheese. Purée, adding extra pasta water, 1 tablespoon at a time as needed until smooth. Transfer pesto to a large bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Add pasta to the bowl with pesto and add 1/3 cup pasta cooking liquid. Toss, adding more pasta cooking water by the tablespoonful, if needed, to slightly thin the sauce.
  5. Top with Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil.

Adapted from bon appétit Healthyish


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