Lemony Kale Pesto Pasta

Lemony Kale Pesto Pasta recipe served in a bowl.

This lemony kale pesto is easy, fresh, and nutrient-rich with so much flavor!

It’s a healthy, versatile, “cheesy,” magical meal packed with greens for an energizing boost.

For this recipe, I added fresh basil with the kale, but you can use whatever greens you love. I personally like to switch it up by rotating the greens I use to make sure I’m getting a wide spectrum of benefits throughout the week.

The lemon zest and juice, pine nuts, fresh garlic, nutritional yeast and salt give it layers of big, vibrant, delicious flavors, which makes me love it even more.

Add this pesto to pasta, pizza, toast, sweet potatoes, breakfast foods, etc. It tastes amazing on so many different types of foods!

Enjoy! 🙂

Lemony Kale Pesto Pasta recipe served in a bowl.

Lemony Kale Pesto Pasta

This lemony kale pesto is easy, fresh, and nutrient-rich with so much flavor!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: Italian-Inspired
Keyword: Plant-Based Pesto Pasta, Vegan Pesto Pasta
Author: Sua
Servings: 2


  • 1 cup Tuscan kale or lacinato kale, stemmed and packed
  • 1 cup fresh basil packed
  • 2 large cloves garlic peeled
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts toasted (or walnuts, hemp seeds, etc)
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2-3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 3-4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Filtered water to thin
  • 2-3 teaspoons lemon zest
  • Vegan parmesan cheese plus more for serving


  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package instructions. When done, drain, cover and set aside.
  • In the meantime, prepare the pesto. Add kale, basil, garlic, nuts, lemon juice, nutritional yeast and pinch of sea salt to food processor and pulse until it becomes a paste.
  • Add oil and process until smooth. Add filtered water until desired consistency.
  • Stir in lemon zest then taste and adjust the flavor as needed.
  • Add the pesto to the pasta and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 1-2 minutes.
  • *Add some pasta water if it starts getting dry.
  • Spoon the pasta into bowls, top with vegan parmesan cheese, fresh parsley and other desired toppings.


Store extra pesto in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days or pour into ice cube molds, freeze and store in freezer for up to 1-2 months.

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