Winter Fennel, Sage & Kale Pasta

This Winter Fennel, Sage & Kale Pasta makes a delicious, healthy vegetarian weeknight dinner. Hearty, comforting, and easy, too!

Fennel, Sage, and Kale Pasta Recipe

Happy December!

I have a confession to make. I’m really terrible at decorating for the holidays. Some years it happens, others it doesn’t… and then some years we end up with a Valentine’s Day tree because we lose track of time and the work of taking down decorations is far less fun than putting them up.

So here’s my version of holiday greenery for you – it comes in the form of a kale pasta! It’s, of course, edible, and the clean up is minimal. 🙂

Fennel, Sage, and Kale Pasta Recipe

This kale pasta is full of all kinds of warming wintery goodness including a base of sautéed shallots, fennel, and savory, aromatic sage. There’s a bit of briny sun dried tomato for pop and (of course) some lemon juice to add a bit of bright cheer.

I used a fancy pasta shape called toscani – I just love the way the kale wraps around the short curly noodles. If you can’t find it, you can use any short cut pasta that you like.

Aside from boiling the pasta, this recipe comes together in one large skillet (or pictured, this pretty braiser), so it’s a great one to have in your back pocket when you need to get a hearty, healthy dinner on the table this winter.

Fennel, Sage, and Kale Pasta Recipe

Serve with olive oil for drizzling and (not pictured, but highly recommended) freshly grated pecorino cheese!

For more healthy pasta recipes, browse the pasta section of our recipe index!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Fennel, Sage, and Kale Pasta
This one-pot Fennel, Sage, and Kale Pasta Recipe with sun dried tomatoes and walnuts is an easy, healthy, delicious vegetarian dinner.
Serves: 4
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more for drizzling
  • 3 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup chopped sage
  • 12-ounces toscani pasta (or any short pasta)
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 8 cups torn kale leaves
  • 8 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Freshly grated pecorino cheese, for serving
  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots, fennel, garlic, red pepper flakes, sage, ½ teaspoon salt, and freshly ground black pepper and cook until the fennel is tender, about 8 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente.
  3. To the skillet, add the white wine and let it reduce for 30 seconds. Reduce the heat to low, add the kale and toss until just wilted. Use a slotted spoon to scoop the cooked pasta into the skillet. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, walnuts, lemon juice and toss.
  4. Season to taste and serve with generous drizzles of olive oil and freshly grated pecorino cheese.
Make this gluten free by using gluten free pasta.


If you make this, let us see! Tag your photo with #loveandlemons on Instagram.


  1. Liberty Blueskyes on said:

    what about this for a tree and decorations: a rosemary topiary in a cone shape with red dried chili peppers, dried shitaki mushrooms and kumquats as decorations. Just stick a short wire through the peppers, mushrooms, star anise and kumquats, bend at both ends and hang on ‘tree’. Use throughout the holidays for cooking. Voila no clean up.

  2. Gil on said:

    Another keeper. Cooked as posted. D E L I C I O U S ! Thank you Jeanine.

    • Yay, thanks Gil! Appreciate your feedback!

  3. Isabelle Teran from on said:

    Hello, in your picture it looks like it has chives? Just checking because I love chives!

    • Hi Isabelle, in an earlier version of the recipe, I was using scallions instead of the shallots – but if you love chives toss some on! They’d be great 🙂

  4. Cindy on said:

    This was very good-enjoyed all the textures/flavors popping delight in my mouth! I used bow tie pasta. Next time I will use a few more walnuts

  5. Donna from on said:

    This would make a great holiday side dish. Love it!

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