Pappardelle with Kale Pesto

Here’s my green meal in honor of St. Paddy’s day. Not exactly an Irish recipe… Come to think of it, I can’t say that I’ve ever made Irish food before. But, hey, this is a bowl of green, so I should get some points for at least attempting to be “festive.”

I recently signed up for Farmhouse Delivery, which is a CSA sort of thing here in Austin. They won me over with this photo, so I made that recipe with the gorgeous kale that was in my bushel (which was delivered right to my front door!) the following week.

I made my version without the cheese. I also added some lemon juice and zest, as I have a habit of doing.

This recipe makes extra pesto which will keep for a least a few days. Get creative and use it on anything – eggs, roasted veggies, toasted crostini, you name it…

Adapted from Elizabeth Winslow’s recipe on the Farmhouse Blog.


Pappardelle with Kale Pesto
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6
  • 1 bunch kale, coarsely chopped
  • Packaged pappardelle, or other wide noodles if vegan*
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice and zest of ½ medium lemon
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • Fresh black pepper, to taste
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon sugar (optional)
  1. Boil a large pot of water and set a bowl of ice water to the side. Blanch the kale by dropping it into the boiling water, removing it after a few seconds, and dunking it into the ice bath. Drain and lay on towels until mostly dry.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package directions. Reserve some pasta water before draining.
  3. In a food processor, process the blanched kale, garlic, half of the pine nuts (reserve half for garnish later), olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, and salt. Add some water or more oil if you need more liquid to get your food processor moving. Taste and adjust seasonings. I added a pinch of sugar to help mellow the bitterness of the kale and the tartness of the lemon.
  4. Toss the cooked pasta and a few spoonfuls of the pesto in a bowl with a splash of pasta water. This recipe makes extra pesto, so use as much or little as you wish on your pasta.
  5. Garnish with the remaining pine nuts and a pinch of red pepper flakes.
*This recipe makes enough pesto to serve 6. I made the full batch of pesto but only cooked enough pasta for 2. Make more or less pasta depending on how many people you’re serving.



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


  1. la domestique from on said:

    I like the idea of wide pappardelle noodles slathered in this vibrant green pesto. I’m craving green right now, and super excited for the farmers market in Boulder to open back up in April. Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you, from the O’Toole family! 🙂

  2. tami from on said:

    Damn. That’s gorgeous. I’m so making this. <3

  3. Beautiful! I have been meaning to make Kale Pesto and you have inspired me. I love this!!!

  4. Jenn from on said:

    Oh that looks wonderful! CSA’s are the best.

  5. This is really beautiful and such a great idea. I need to eat me some kale pesto!

  6. Kasey from on said:

    I love how rich that green is! Gorgeous, gorgeous pasta. I’m a big fan of pesto and I’m always inspired by unique takes on it such as this one!

  7. erin from on said:

    You are making me terribly excited for when I get kale! I did a similar pasta dish for St. Paddy’s only with spinach- I love the color!

  8. Winnie from on said:

    Love kale pesto and this is just beautiful 😉

  9. Cornelia from on said:

    Beautiful picture, a bit to advanced for me, but I love you post! :))

  10. Ambika from on said:

    Looks delicious! Love the vibrant green color!

  11. Cookie + Kate from on said:

    I love kale and I love pesto, so I’m wondering why I haven’t combined the two already! Papardelle tossed in pesto is so pretty, too.

  12. kelsey from on said:

    Oh, I’ve had so much to catch up on here. I’ve fallen behind on so many blogs lately This, is a stunning, stunning green. Kale pesto is just the best, no?

  13. autumn from on said:

    This is so beautiful! And you’ve reminded me that it’s been a while since I made kale pesto 🙂 I love the idea of brightening it up with fresh lemon zest. Thank you!

  14. Vicky from on said:

    Looks delicious. I recently started cooking with kale but haven’t made pesto with it yet! Will be on my to do list!

  15. Diana Smith from on said:

    Hey! I was apart of Susan’s class today and am so impressed with your blog. I Love your pictures and you have great content! A great read, for sure!

  16. I love making different kinds of pesto! I also made a kale version in which I used pepitas and put it over salmon–so yummy.

  17. Cadry from on said:

    This sounds lovely! I like the idea of adding lemon zest to the pesto. I’m going to try that!

  18. Ann on said:

    I don’t have a big food processor, just a little Black & Decker food chopper for onions, garlic, etc. Can you do this in the blender? Or maybe just do it in batches?

    • jeanine from on said:

      I actually made this in a small food processor – since you process it after the kale cooks down, it all fit ok… I’m sure a blender would work just fine too. You might have to add a bit more oil or liquid to get it going. This recipe also makes a lot of extra pesto, so you could half the recipe (or you could do in batches).

  19. Allison on said:

    Best pesto I have ever made!!!!! I didn’t have pine nuts the SECOND time I made this so used walnuts instead and it was delish! I served it over roast chicken for our Passover sedar. Thank you for this recipe!

    • jeanine from on said:

      Thanks for sharing, glad it worked out for you (twice)!

  20. Tess Danesi on said:

    Just enjoying this now. Made it with garlic scapes instead of garlic and added some mint and more lemon (I like zing). It’s fabulous. Wish I could find gluten free paparadelle but used Ezekiel fettucine instead. The paparadelle looks gorgeous though!

    Thanks for a great and healthy recipe.

    • jeanine from on said:

      the mint idea sounds lovely!

  21. Olga on said:

    A good sub for noodles is zucchini for those looking to cut back on carbs. I use it in place of pasta all the time! Thanks for the awesome recipe!

  22. sandra on said:

    just made this. yum! kale is one of the tougher veggies to digest and we’re not all so lucky. lol. so this is a great way to incorporate into the diet w/o the toughness. i think i must’ve used too much kale and it was a little bland so i played around a little. i added fresh diced tomatoes, uncooked sliced zucchini, drizzle of oo, a little parm cheese, and gluten free brown rice quinoa pasta. i’d like to make this again w/ the paparadelle or zucchini pasta. yum. thanks so much!

  23. Cecile on said:

    Just made a batch of this amazing pesto -added a touch of shredded pecorino that I had leftover in my fridge. Do love your blog – beautiful pictures, great recipes and well written!

    • jeanine from on said:

      thanks! so glad you liked it!

  24. I think this is one of the most significant information for me. And i’m glad reading your article. Thank for sharing!

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe (after making it):