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Bowl of kale pesto pasta noodles with a silver fork, surrounded by small bowls of ingredients on a light grey backdrop

Quick & Healthy Kale Basil Vegetarian Pesto Pasta

  • Author: Alex Aldeborgh
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4
  • Category: main dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegetarian


A warm bowl of vegetarian pesto pasta coming right up! Follow these easy steps at home to make this 20-minute pasta dish, loaded with good-for-you ingredients. The blended homemade pesto is made with both fresh kale and basil. This greens-packed pasta is a terrific healthy option for lunch or dinner.


  • 1 pound pasta, such as lumache, buccatine, or rotini

Kale basil pesto

  • 1 cup packed curly kale
  • 1 cup packed basil
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Heaping 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil


  1. Cook pasta in salted water according to package instructions.
  2. While the pasta cooks, prepare the kale basil pesto: add all of the pesto ingredients, EXCEPT the olive oil, to a food processor.
    Kale basil pesto ingredients in a food processor before being blended up
  3. Process the ingredients into tiny chunks.
    kale basil pesto blended up in a food processor before adding oil
  4. Add the olive oil and pulse for 30 seconds to a minute to incorporate the oil into the pesto. Be sure not to over-process, as you want a little texture in your pesto!
    kale basil pesto in a food processor bowl
  5. Reserve about 1/4 cup of pasta water, then drain the pasta.
  6. Add the cooked pasta to a mixing bowl right away, and pour the pesto over the pasta, along with a splash of pasta water.
    big bowl of cooked pasta with a blob of green pesto on top
  7. Use mixing spoons to thoroughly mix the pesto into the pasta.
    big bowl of kale pesto pasta with two mixing spoons in the bowl, on a light grey backdrop
  8. Garnish with fresh basil, parmesan cheese, and freshly cracked black pepper, if desired!


Storing kale basil pesto pasta

You can make this pasta recipe ahead of time. Store it in the fridge in an airtight container for up to five days.

One of the beauties of pesto pasta? It can be enjoyed warm or cold! If you want to reheat pesto pasta, reheat individual servings in the microwave for 1 minute, or until completely warmed through.

Keywords: kale pesto pasta, kale basil pesto pasta, vegetarian pesto pasta