Skip to main content


Double-Duty Kale Pesto Pasta


In this two-way take on a classic pesto pasta, we snuck in a bunch of kale to up the nutrition ante. Kids get a yummy gluten-free pesto pasta with crudités and mom/dad gets a veggie-packed pasta salad that any coworker would envy.

Serves 2

2 cups cherry tomatoes

1 red bell pepper, halved

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided


1 cup packed curly green kale leaves (about ½ bunch)

1 tablespoon lemon juice

8 ounces gluten free pasta (we like the chickpea rotini shape)

¼ cup roughly chopped black olives

2 tablespoons feta cheese, optional

for the pesto:

1 cup very tightly packed curly green kale leaves (about ½ bunch)

1 cup basil, roughly chopped

2 tablespoons sunflower seeds

2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds

1 small garlic clove

1/3 cup olive oil

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese


1. Preheat the oven to 400°F and put a large pot of salted water on the stovetop to boil.

2. While the oven heats up, make your pesto. De-rib, wash, and dry the entire bunch of kale, reserving half for the “grown up” pasta salad.

3. Using a blender, food processor, or immersion blender, blitz together 1 packed cup of roughly torn kale leaves with the next 6 ingredients until smooth. Stir in grated parmesan cheese, and set aside.

4. Place 1 cup of the cherry tomatoes and half of the red bell pepper on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Toss with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and a large pinch of salt. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes, or until the tomatoes are blistered and the pepper is just-tender.

5. Cut the other half of the red pepper into strips and set aside.

6. When the water is boiling, cook your pasta according to the package directions; drain and let cool slightly.


1. Measure out 1 tightly-packed cup of the cleaned kale leaves and finely slice them. Toss in a large bowl with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, the lemon juice, and a large pinch of salt.

2. Cut the roasted bell pepper half into a large dice and add to the bowl of kale along with the roasted tomatoes, olives, feta (if using), and half of the cooked pasta.

3. Toss with about 1/3 of the pesto and taste for seasoning.


1. Toss the other half of the cooked pasta with 1/3 of the pesto. Transfer to a tiffin (or other small container) and serve with raw cherry tomatoes and sliced raw pepper on the side.

2. Add a piece of fruit and a frozen yogurt pack or string cheese.

You may also like