5 Nutritious Kale Pasta Recipes
A collection of kale pasta recipes that pack in lots of flavor and nutrition. Each recipe features different types of pasta, delicious pasta sauces, and nutrient-dense kale. Find recipes like kale pesto pasta, creamy kale pasta, and more, all designed by a Registered Dietitian!
As a Registered Dietitian, you may not be surprised to hear that I love kale. From kale salads to grain bowls with kale, I’ve got plenty of recipes for kale for you to peruse. One of my all time favorite ways to cook with kale is adding it to healthy pasta recipes!
Kale and pasta are actually a wonderful food pairing. Since kale is heartier than other leafy greens, it adds a nice chew and texture to pasta dishes. When cooked, it has a more pleasant and less bitter flavor which compliments all kinds of sauces. And of course, making pasta with kale will add lots of nutrients to the recipe.
Learn how to prep kale for these recipes in this post!
Is pasta good for you?
Pasta is a minimally processed food, made from just wheat flour, water, and sometimes eggs. One cup of regular cooked pasta provides 2.5 grams of dietary fiber and 8 grams of plant-based protein, as well as several micronutrients like iron, B vitamins, and selenium.
Pasta is mainly carbohydrate, so what makes a well-balanced pasta recipe is what you add to the pasta. Because pasta is so versatile, it’s the perfect vehicle for lots of healthy additions, like vegetables, healthy fats, and high quality proteins.
- Vegetables add dietary fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals
- Healthy fats you can add to pasta include olive oil, olives, nuts, and healthy pasta sauces.
- Pasta is delicious with all sorts of proteins, including shrimp, seafood, tofu, and cheese.
By adding healthy foods and sauces, pasta can be a nutritious, well balanced meal that provides carbohydrates, fiber, protein, and healthy fats. Enjoying pasta in this way helps keep you full and satiated by slowing digestion and stabilizing blood sugar levels.
Kale nutrition & health benefits
Kale is a tremendously nutrient-dense food! This means it contains a lot of nutrients in very little calories. One cup of chopped raw kale provides:
- 2.8 grams of dietary fiber (10% of your daily needs)
- 2 grams of plant-based protein
- 170 mg calcium (13% of your daily needs)
- 1.1 mg iron (6% of your daily needs)
- 161.47 mcg Vitamin A (18% of your daily needs)
- 62.6 mg Vitamin C (134% of your daily needs)
- 261.3 mcg Vitamin K (218% of your daily needs)
- 0.616 mg manganese (27% of your daily needs)
Kale provides other beneficial compounds including antioxidants and glucosinolates. These compounds help keep us healthy by fighting off inflammation, promoting heart health, and reducing risk of certain diseases.
Kale pasta recipes
20-Minute Creamy Lemon Garlic Kale Pasta
This vegetarian pasta recipe features a deliciously creamy lemon garlic sauce and nutrient-dense kale! Made on the stovetop in about 20 minutes, this creamy kale pasta is a comforting and cozy weeknight meal. Use your favorite long, wide noodle like fettuccine for this recipe.
Roasted Eggplant & Kale Pappardelle with Burrata
This vegetarian pappardelle pasta recipe is packed with vegetables, thanks to a thick and hearty tomato sauce with roasted eggplant and kale. Prepare the sauce on the stovetop as your roast cubes of eggplant in oven. Serve this pasta topped with burrata cheese to add a rich and creamy flavor. Ready in 30 minutes, an easy weeknight win!
Cauliflower and Kale Pasta with Lemon Garlic White Wine Sauce
This cauliflower and kale pasta has lots of healthy vegetables, savory capers, and parmesan cheese, all tossed in the most delicious lemon, garlic, and white wine sauce. It’s easy enough to make for a weeknight meal!
Whip up a batch of this kale pesto pasta for an easy, delicious, and filling weeknight meal. This dish comes together in under 30 minutes, and will satisfy everyone.
- 1 lb penne pasta
- 1 packed cup kale
- 1 packed cup basil
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Cook pasta according to package instructions.
- While the pasta cooks, prepare the pesto. Add all remaining ingredients EXCEPT olive oil to a food processor.
- Blend for 20-30 seconds until ingredients are well combined and chopped into very small pieces.
- Add the olive oil to the food processor, then pulse a few times to combine it with everything else. Be careful not to blend too much, because you want the pesto to retain some texture.
- Strain your pasta. Add it to a mixing bowl along with the pesto.
- Mix the pasta well so all the noodles are coated in pesto. Serve right away.
Pesto pasta tastes good hot or cold!
This recipe keeps well in the fridge for 3-5 days.
Keywords: kale pesto pasta, kale pesto, kale basil pesto, kale pasta recipes, pasta and kale