If you’re looking for an easy way to add more leafy greens to your diet, this is the perfect recipe. It is nutrient dense and supports a healthy gut. With just 5 ingredients, the kale sauce can be thrown together in under 15 minutes and is completely dairy free.

Serve the sauce over chickpea or lentil pasta for a more blood sugar-friendly pasta and added protein.

 

A white bowl with shells of pasta tossed with bright green kale sauce

 

This pasta with kale sauce is a delicious way to add more greens to your plate and initially inspired by Joshua McFadden’s recipe for kale sauce from his cookbook, Six Seasons. It’s one of my favorite cookbooks and would make for an excellent upcoming holiday gift!

What’s to love about pasta with kale sauce: 

  • It can easily be gluten free by using a pasta variety like chickpea, lentil, cassava, or rice. 
  • It’s dairy free and works for many diet types like Whole30, paleo, and vegan. 
  • It’s so simple with just 5 ingredients.
  • It takes less than 20 minutes to prepare, making it great for weeknight dinners when you’re in a crunch!

 

Nutrition Benefits: 

  • This recipe uses a bunch of kale, and not in a salad. The leafy greens are an excellent source of magnesium, a blood sugar-balancing mineral that’s important for energy and metabolism. 
  • Greens are rich in antioxidants, providing major anti-inflammatory benefits. 
  • This recipe is full of vitamins b, c, k, and potassium, promoting healthy cell function and a boosted immune system.
  • The leeks used in the sauce have prebiotic fibers that feed the good bacteria in your gut, lead to improved gut health and can be easier to digest than onions and garlic.

 

Other ways to enjoy kale sauce:

  • Add protein to your pasta dish like chicken or fish. Save the extra sauce to pour over for added flavor! 
  • Get creative with your dish by adding chopped and roasted vegetables to your pasta with kale sauce. Cauliflower, zucchini, bell peppers, eggplant, or mushrooms are all tasty choices.
  • Instead of pasta, use the kale sauce tossed with grains or other vegetables like potatoes, eggplant, or cauliflower.
  • If you tolerate dairy well, top your pasta with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, or nutritional yeast to keep it dairy free.

 

Two white plates with a servings of pasta with kale sauce next to a gold spoon and a green water glass.

 

What you need to make kale sauce with pasta:

  • Kale, lacinato (dino) variety is recommended
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Leek
  • Garlic
  • Chili flakes
  • Sea salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Gluten free pasta: chickpea, lentil, cassava, almond, or rice will all work well

 

How to make Pasta with Kale Sauce: 

  1. Bring 3 quarts of salted water to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
  2. While you wait for the water to come to a boil, place a medium saute pan over medium-low heat. Add 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan along with the sliced leeks. Cook for 5 minutes until the leeks are softened and translucent, but not browned. 
  3. Add the minced garlic and chili flakes (if using) and cook for 1 more minute before removing the pan from the heat.
  4. Once the water comes to a boil add the whole kale leaves to the water and cook for 4-5 minutes until the stems are soft. Remove the kale from the water using tongs and place the greens in a blender or food processor.
  5. At this time, add your pasta to the boiling water and cook according to the box instructions.
  6. Add the cooked leeks to the blender along with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt, black pepper, and ¼ – ½ cup of pasta water depending on how thick you want your sauce. Blend until it’s smooth, adding more pasta water for a thinner sauce.
  7. Pour the kale sauce over your cooked pasta and stir to evenly coat the pasta with sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper and enjoy!

 

FAQ

Q: Can I use frozen kale for this recipe? 

A: Yes, you can use frozen kale in this sauce. Follow the directions as written using about 2 cups of frozen chopped kale. Frozen kale is preserved at its peak freshness and is just as nutritious as fresh kale.

 

Q: Does the kale make the sauce taste bitter?

A: No, it should not be bitter. Cooking the kale dissolves any bitter flavor and makes the sauce velvety. The garlic and leek adds depth of flavor too. But if you think it’s too bitter, add a squeeze of lemon juice or mix in parmesan to balance it. 

 

An overhead photo of a serving bowl of pasta with kale sauce alongside a stripped napkin and the handle of a yellow pot.

 

How to store your pasta sauce or meal prep:

Store leftover pasta in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

You can meal-prep this kale pasta sauce by making it ahead and freezing.

To meal prep kale sauce, follow the instructions without cooking the pasta. Once you blend the sauce, pour it into a jar and freeze it until you’re ready to use it. To defrost, keep it in the fridge for 24 hours or let it sit in a bowl of hot water for up to an hour to defrost it enough that it’ll slide out of the jar.

To preserve the sauce in small amounts you can scoop spoonfuls of your sauce into an ice cube tray, and drizzle some olive oil on top. This will prevent your sauce from oxidizing and turning brown. Cover the tray and freeze overnight. Once your sauce has frozen, you can remove it from the tray and place it in an airtight container or freezer bag to store. 

 

Serve kale sauce with:

  • Your favorite pasta variety like pappardelle or rigatoni. 
  • For a lighter option, use the sauce over a plate of grilled or roasted veggies. 
  • Flavor your protein by using the sauce over chicken or fish.

 

Serve pasta along side other kale recipes:

Cashew Kale “Caesar” Salad

Roasted Winter Vegetable Kale Salad with Pecan Vinaigrette

 

Other healthy pasta recipes you’ll love:

Vegetable Bolognese with Spaghetti Squash

Paleo Shrimp Pasta

Tuna Pesto Pasta 

Roasted Tomato & Lamb Ragu

Two white plates with a servings of pasta with kale sauce next to a gold spoon and a green water glass.

ENJOY!

For more inspiration for balancing, allergy friendly recipes and nutrition tips, follow along on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, or sign up to receive my newsletter to get all the latest updates on every new recipe!

If you make this pasta with kale sauce, please share a photo with me! It would make my day! Tag me on Instagram or Facebook @alannadesalvonutrition or email me directly at hi@alannadesalvo.com

 

A white bowl with shells of pasta tossed with bright green kale sauce
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Pasta with Kale Sauce {Dairy Free}

If you’re looking for an easy way to add more leafy greens to your diet, this is the perfect recipe. It is nutrient dense and supports a healthy gut. With just 5 ingredients, the kale sauce can be thrown together in under 15 minutes and is completely dairy free.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Gluten Free, Italian, Paleo, Vegan, Whole30
Keyword: Dairy Free, Dinner, Fast & Easy, Gluten Free, Lunch, Meal Prep, Whole30
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 217kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch kale
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil divided
  • 1 leek sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • ¼ teaspoon chili flakes optional
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 oz dried gluten free pasta

Instructions

  • Bring 3 quarts of salted water to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
  • While you wait for the water to come to a boil, place a medium saute pan over medium-low heat. Add 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan along with the sliced leeks. Cook for 5 minutes until the leeks are softened and translucent, but not browned.
  • Add the minced garlic and chili flakes (if using) and cook for 1 more minute before removing the pan from the heat.
  • Once the water comes to a boil add the whole kale leaves to the water and cook for 4-5 minutes until the stems are soft. Remove the kale from the water using tongs and place the greens in a blender.
  • At this time, add your pasta to the boiling water and cook according to the box instructions.
  • Add the cooked leeks to the blender along with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt, black pepper, and ¼ - ½ cup of pasta water depending on how thick you want your sauce. Blend until it’s smooth, adding more pasta water for a thinner sauce.
  • Pour the kale sauce over your cooked pasta and stir to evenly coat the pasta with sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper and enjoy!

Nutrition

Serving: 4g | Calories: 217kcal | Carbohydrates: 22.5g | Protein: 2.6g | Fat: 15.1g | Fiber: 1.6g | Sugar: 1g

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