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Kale Pesto Pasta– 20 Minute Recipe

Kale Pesto Pasta– 20 Minute Recipe

I have the busiest week coming up, so fast recipes are a requirement. On weeks like this I usually bulk prep a grain and a bean and some roasted veggies and eat those with different sauces, but that can get pretty boring. Thats where 20 minute recipes like this come into play.

Pesto takes no time to make in your food processor and you can make it while your pasta is cooking which is the ultimate time saver. Or if you have time on the weekend, make it ahead of time and then al you have to do is boil water.

While we’re on the subject, you will definitely need a food processor or a blender for this recipe. I prefer a food processor, but a blender will do just fine. You will just have to stop to stir and push the ingredients down more often.

I used kale here, because I have lots of it in my garden but any combination of herbs like parsley, or basil + kale or agugula will be delicious. Just use whatever you have on hand.

The zucchini may seem weird here but it gives the sauce a little bulk and -believe it or not- creaminess so don’t leave it out.

But please do feel free to substitute the pepitas- which are shelled pumpkin seeds- for another nut – walnuts, pecans or the more traditional pine nut will all work.

For the pasta, I used a bag of cauliflower gnocchi from Trader Joes, but any pasta, ravioli, etc, will work here. I wanted to see what all the hype was about with the cauliflower gnocchi. I liked it, but seriously you need to cook an entire bag of it per person. I’m probably going to stick with regular old pasta or Banza Chickpea Pasta because they are much more filling and you can just keep a box around and it will serve 4-6 people.

Kale Pesto Pasta

Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Main Course
Servings 4 Servings


  • 3 Cups Kale Packed
  • 1 Small Zucchini Sliced (3/4-1 Cup Slices)
  • 3 Tbsp Raw Unsalted Pepitas but feel free to sub pine nuts or walnuts
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 tsp White Miso
  • 2 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • Black Pepper
  • 1 Box Pasta of Choice


  • Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. When the water boils, add a big pinch of salt and the pasta and cook to the package instructions.
  • Meanwhile into the bowl of a food processor, add sliced zucchini, pepitas, garlic, miso, lemon juice and nutritional yeast. Pulse until the pepitas are finely chopped and everything is well combined. You will need to scrape the sides of the bowl a couple of times with a rubber spatula to make sure everything is evenly combined.
  • Next add the kale and pulse the food processor, pressing down with the spatula every few seconds in the beginning. Pulse until kale is finely chopped.
  • Turn the food processor on high and slowly stream in the olive oil. Turn off and add salt and pepper and pulse once more to combine.
  • Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water, drain the pasta, and toss the pasta and your desired amount of pesto in a large bowl to combine. Use a bit of the reserved pasta water to thin the sauce if necessary. I didn’t find it necessary but you may like your sauce a bit looser than I like mine.
Keyword Kale Pesto, Pasta, Pesto

Let me know how this recipe worked for you and if there is anything you’d like to see me make next!

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