Ready in under 30 minutes, this Kale Pesto Pasta is healthy and delicious! Perfect for an easy weeknight meal, the whole family will love this pasta dish.

Kale Pesto Pasta

This pesto pasta dish is as healthy as it is delicious. Perfect when paired with noodles and chick peas, fluffed into rice or tossed with cooked vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, carrots or peas.

Nutrition Tip: Consider adding cauliflower to your next veggie platter, as it is a great source of vitamin C. This vitamin is essential for collagen production, which is the most abundant protein in the body!

Why Use Whole Wheat Pasta?

If you’re looking for a heartier, more nutritious alternative to regular pasta, whole wheat pasta is a great option. Made from whole wheat flour, it has more fiber and protein than white pasta. Plus, it has a nutty flavor that pairs well with pesto and other robust sauces.

If you’re worried about whole wheat pasta being too dense or chewy, don’t be! With today’s modern milling techniques, whole wheat pasta has the same texture as regular pasta. S

Chickpeas Make This Dish a Fabulous Meat-Free Meal

Chickpeas are a delicious and healthy alternative to meat. Our pesto pasta is a great way to enjoy them. Chickpeas are high in protein and fiber, and they are a good source of iron. They are also low in fat and calories, making them a healthy addition to any diet.

Eating chickpeas can help regulate blood sugar levels and aid in weight loss. Chickpeas are also known to be beneficial for gut health and digestion.

Chickpeas in kale pesto pasta

Add More Cauliflower To Your Diet

Looking to add more vegetables to your diet but not sure where to start? Cauliflower is a great option! This cruciferous vegetable is low in calories but high in nutrients like fiber, vitamin C, and B vitamins. Adding cauliflower to your diet can offer several health benefits, including supporting digestive health, boosting immunity, and reducing inflammation.

We actually added cauliflower right into this pesto dish!

How to make a Cauliflower and Kale Pesto Pasta

You could even add cauliflower to other pasta dishes as well, even if you’re using a red sauce! Blend in the steamed veggies and you and your kiddos won’t even notice. Cauliflower will easily take on the flavor of pretty much any sauce or spices you add to it. That’s why we’ve seen people sneaking it in dishes like mac and cheese too!

Can I Use Pine Nuts Instead of Walnuts?

If you’re a fan of pesto pasta, you may be wondering which type of nut is better to use in the sauce – pine nuts or walnuts? Both types of nuts offer a unique flavor and texture to pesto, so it really comes down to personal preference.

Pine nuts have a delicate, slightly sweet flavor that pairs well with the other ingredients in pesto. They also provide a smooth, creamy texture that helps thicken the sauce. Walnuts, on the other hand, have a richer, more robust flavor. They also tend to make the sauce a bit grainier than pine nuts.

While pine nuts are more traditional, walnuts are much cheaper than pine nuts.

Healthy Kale Cauliflower Pesto Pasta

Can I Freeze This Pesto Pasta for Meal Planning?

We don’t recommend freezing the pasta, but you can freeze the pesto sauce. This is a great way to have pesto on hand for quick and easy meals. To freeze pesto, simply place it in a freezer-safe container and it will last for up to six months.

When you’re ready to use the frozen pesto, simply thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. Then, add it to your favorite pasta dish or use it as a spread for sandwiches. You can also use frozen pesto as a pizza topping or in sauces.

Ok, let’s make dinner shall we? This easy pasta recipe is ready in under 30 minutes, so let’s eat!

Make sure to PIN IT!

Cauliflower & Kale Pesto Pasta

Christine Pittman
This pesto pasta dish is as healthy as it is delicious. Perfect when paired with noodles and chick peas, fluffed into rice or tossed with cooked vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, carrots or peas.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Entree & Main Dishes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 378 kcal


  • 16 oz whole wheat elbow macaroni
  • 16 oz low-sodium chickpeas, drained, rinsed
  • 1 cup cauliflower rice
  • 1 cup baby kale we used organicgirl
  • 1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • Prepare pasta according to package directions, but add chickpeas during last 1 minute of cooking. Drain and return to pot.
  • Place cauliflower in bowl, cover loosely with microwave-safe lid and microwave on HIGH 4-5 minutes, or until very soft.
  • Place cauliflower, kale, parsley, garlic, walnuts, olive oil, lemon juice and salt in food processor. Purée until smooth, adding up to ½ cup water to achieve smooth consistency.
  • Mix pasta and pesto.


Calories: 378kcalCarbohydrates: 60gProtein: 15gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gSodium: 96mgPotassium: 431mgFiber: 5gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 1484IUVitamin C: 29mgCalcium: 90mgIron: 4mg
Keyword dinner recipes, easy dinner ideas, healthy eating, healthy recipes, kale, pasta, weeknight dinner
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

More recipes to try:

Lemon Dill Salmon Pasta with Asparagus

Sweet Kale Salad Fried Rice