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Cheesy Kale Pasta

Cheesy Kale Pasta perfect light dish that is both healthy and filling that comes together in under 30 minutes. This recipe uses six simple ingredients and is one you can make ahead of time for those busy nights during the week. Pasta is mixed together with garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, kale, chickpeas and Parmesan cheese. The perfect plant-based meal! 

Cheesy Kale Pasta in a white bowl.

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CHEESY KALE PASTA

If you like buttered noodles then you have to try this healthier take on that dish.

Farfelle pasta is cooked and mixed with extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, kale, Chickpeas and 24-month aged Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.

This is the ultimate comfort food that is still light and healthy. A win-win!

This is a pasta dish that you can prepare ahead of time and enjoy throughout the week.

When I reheat the pasta I will often add more olive oil, lemon juice and cheese to the dish because it can sometimes get absorbed into the pasta. 

You can modify this dish by adding white beans in place of the chickpeas, using goat cheese of feta cheese instead of Parmesan or adding more vegetables like red onion, bell pepper, zucchini or broccoli. 

Make sure to serve this delicious pasta dish with crusty bread to soak up all that lemony sauce at the end! 

If you like pasta dishes you should try my Lemon White Bean Pasta, Chickpea Pasta with Feta, Spicy Sausage Pasta, Lemon Pasta or this Mediterranean Pasta. 

Cheesy Kale Pasta in a grey pot.

WHY I LOVE THIS KALE PASTA RECIPE

EASY TO MAKE: I love having an easy pasta dish in my back pocket for those busy nights during the week. This is one of those recipes! It comes together in under 30 minutes with 6 ingredients. That is a win-win. 

HEALTHY & BALANCED MEAL: If you are looking for a balanced plant-based meal this one is for you. You can make it even healthier by using a whole wheat pasta. The beans will give you the protein and the kale adds those vitamins we all need. 

PLANT-BASED MEAL OPTION: I know a lot of you are trying to incorporate more plant-based meals into your routine. This is one of those and a great one to make for your family. 

Cheesy Kale Pasta ingredients.

THE INGREDIENTS

PASTA: I like to use a medium or large pasta for this recipe. It holds the extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice well and makes a beautiful pasta dish. For a healthier dish try whole wheat or chickpea pasta. 

GARLIC: You do not have to use garlic for this pasta dish to taste good but it does add nice flavor along with the lemon and extra virgin olive oil. I suggest sautéing it for a few minutes to help it bloom and release the flavor. 

EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL: I always suggest using a good extra virgin olive oil especially when it is one of the main ingredients in the sauce. The peppery notes of olive oil will pair nicely with the lemon juice. 

KALE: You can use whatever kale you have on hand. I used curly for this recipe but lacinato, baby kale or Tuscan kale all work nicely. I like to try to chop the kale into smaller pieces so it mixes better with the pasta. 

CHICKPEAS: A can of chickpeas is added to this pasta dish to add protein. 

LEMON: The juice of the lemon adds a nice, light citrus flavor to the pasta. If you want more flavor try adding lemon zest.

PARMESAN CHESE: I like to use a good strong flavored cheese like a Pecorino Romano cheese or 24-month aged Parmigiano-Reggiano Reggiano. It adds a nutty, salty flavor that pairs with the lemon. 

Cheesy Kale Pasta with chickpeas and kale.

HOW DO YOU MAKE KALE PASTA

COOK THE PASTA: Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add salt to the water.

Add the pasta and cook until the pasta is al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water and strain the pasta. Set aside.

SAUTE THE GARLIC: In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté for 2 minutes.

MIX IN THE OTHER INGREDIENTS: Add the kale, chickpeas, lemon juice and cheese and cook until the kale is wilted, about 5 minutes.

Add the reserved pasta water and stir until everything is mixed well.

Cheesy Kale Pasta without the cheese and a spoon in the pasta.

GARNISH: Remove from the heat and garnish with more cheese, lemon juice and parsley.

Serve warm with crusty bread. Store the leftovers in an airtight container for 3-4 days.

Cheesy Kale Pasta with Parmesan cheese.

WAYS TO MODIFY THIS CHEESY KALE PASTA RECIPE

BEANS: If a pasta dish doesn’t have meat in it I try to add beans. If chickpeas aren’t your thing try white beans, kidney beans or black beans. 

VEGETABLES: I didn’t add vegetables to this pasta but you easily can. Some that would be good are tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes or zucchini. 

GREENS: If you don’t have kale on hand you can use spinach, arugula or a mixed green mix. 

SPICES: I like my pasta dishes to have a bit of spice. If you do too try adding crushed red pepper. Other spices that work nicely in this dish are dried thyme, oregano, basil or parsley. 

HERBS: Fresh herbs are a nice way to finish off this dish. I enjoy fresh basil, parsley, dill or oregano. 

Cheesy Kale Pasta with kale.

MAKE AHEAD & STORAGE

This dish can be made ahead of time! 

When it comes to this recipe you will just want to make sure to add more olive oil, lemon juice and some additional Parmesan cheese when you are ready to eat the leftovers.

The original sauce gets soaked into the pasta so adding more will help it become more flavorful the second time you eat it. 

You can store this pasta in an airtight container for up to 4 days. When you are ready to reheat the pasta just remove the portion you want, add it to a bowl, drizzle the olive oil and sprinkle cheese on it, mix it up and microwave. 

Once you pull the pasta out of the microwave add that delicious squeeze of lemon to the pasta. Cheesy Kale Pasta with logo.

OTHER KALE RECIPES YOU MIGHT ENJOY:

APPLE KALE QUINOA SALAD

BLUEBERRY KALE SMOOTHIE

AVOCADO KALE QUINOA SALAD

SLOW COOKER SAUSAGE KALE AND WHITE BEAN SOUP

EASY KALE SALAD WITH LEMON DRESSING 

KALE CUCUMBER TABBOULEH

SLOW COOKER TURKEY KALE LASGNA SOUP

Cheesy Kale Pasta with chickpeas and kale.

Cheesy Kale Pasta

Yield: 4-6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Cheesy Kale Pasta perfect light dish that is both healthy and filling that comes together in under 30 minutes. This recipe uses six simple ingredients and is one you can make ahead of time for those busy nights during the week. Pasta is mixed together with garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, kale, chickpeas and Parmesan cheese. The perfect plant-based meal! 

Ingredients

  • Kosher salt
  • 1 lb Heinen's organic farfalle pasta
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsps. Heinen's extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch {1/2 lb. kale}, washed and shredded
  • 1 - 15 ounce can of Heinen's chickpeas {optional} or you could use cannellini beans
  • 1 lemon, halved, juiced
  • 1/2 cup Heinen's Pecorino Romano cheese or 24-month aged Parmigiano-Reggiano Reggiano, plus more as needed

Instructions

    1. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add salt to the water.
    2. Add the pasta and cook until the pasta is al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water and strain the pasta. Set aside.
    3. In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute for 2 minutes.
    4. Add the kale, chickpeas, lemon juice and cheese and cook until the kale is wilted, about 5 minutes.
    5. Add the reserved pasta water and stir until everything is mixed well.
    6. Remove from the heat and garnish with more cheese, lemon juice and parsley.
    7. Serve warm with crusty bread. Store the leftovers in an airtight container for 3-4 days.

Notes

If you like a bit of spice you can add crushred red pepper to the finished dish.

Feel free to use mozzarella cheese, feta cheese or goat cheese in place of the Parmesan if you want.

Today’s post is sponsored by Heinen’s. As always, opinions are 100% my own. 

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