Kale and Walnut Pesto Pasta

Elevate your pasta game with our vibrant and nutrient-packed kale and walnut pesto recipe, a delicious twist on a classic favorite that’s both satisfying and nourishing.

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For the Kale and Walnut Pesto:

  • 2 cups packed fresh kale leaves, stems removed
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Pasta:

  • 8 ounces (about 225g) pasta of your choice (such as spaghetti, penne, or fusilli)
  • Salt for cooking pasta
  • Additional grated Parmesan cheese and chopped walnuts for garnish (optional)


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions until al dente. Reserve about 1/2 cup of pasta water, then drain the pasta and set aside.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, prepare the kale and walnut pesto. In a food processor or blender, combine the packed fresh kale leaves, walnuts, minced garlic, grated Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
  3. Pulse the ingredients a few times to break them down. Then, with the motor running, gradually drizzle in the extra virgin olive oil until the pesto reaches a smooth and creamy consistency. You may need to stop and scrape down the sides of the processor or blender as needed.
  4. Taste the pesto and adjust the seasoning if necessary, adding more salt, pepper, or lemon juice to suit your taste.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, toss the cooked pasta with the kale and walnut pesto until well coated. If the pesto is too thick, you can thin it out with some of the reserved pasta water, a little at a time, until you reach your desired consistency.
  6. Serve the Kale and Walnut Pesto Pasta warm, garnished with additional grated Parmesan cheese and chopped walnuts if desired.
  7. Enjoy your delicious and nutritious pasta dish!