Sun Dried Tomato Pasta with Kale

Fennel, sage, and white wine are an A+ flavor combination in this sun dried tomato pasta. You'll love this hearty, comforting, and easy dish!

Sun Dried Tomato Pasta with Kale

Happy December! Today we’re celebrating with this bright red & green sun dried tomato pasta.

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 – sun dried tomato pasta! It’s, of course, edible, and the clean up is minimal. 🙂 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.

Sun Dried Tomato Pasta with Kale

Sun Dried Tomato Pasta Ingredients

This sun dried tomato pasta is full of all kinds of warming wintery goodness! It has a base of sautéed shallots, fennel, and savory, aromatic sage. Sun dried tomatoes add briny pop, kale makes it fresh & green, and (of course) lemon juice adds a bit of bright cheer. I also toss in some walnuts for crunch. Their slightly bitter flavor is delicious with the wintry vegetables, but if you don’t have them on hand, pine nuts would be a great choice too.

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

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

Sun Dried Tomato Pasta with Kale

If you love this sun dried tomato pasta recipe…

Try my linguine, orecchiette, lasagna, mushroom pasta, mac and cheese, or roasted vegetable pasta next!

5.0 from 18 reviews

Sun Dried Tomato Pasta with Kale

Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This one-pot Sun Dried Tomato Pasta Recipe with kale 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. Then, 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, and lemon juice and toss.
  4. Finally, 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.



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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Pam

    Made this tonight. It was delicious. My husband and I both loved it and will recommend it to our daughters. We used whole grain reginetti pasta cooked Al Dente!

  2. Pat

    Made this today. Was missing a couple of ingredients. Used fresh basil, fresh rosemary and feta.

  3. Wendy

    Just made and ate this today – what a fantastic recipe – easy to make and so tasty. Each ingredient just right! Absolutely loved it!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Wendy, I’m so glad you loved it!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Suzanne, I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  4. Laurie

    Fennel isn’t available at my grocery store right now, so can you please recommend some alternative vegetables in lieu of it? (I’m thinking: zucchini & red bell pepper.)

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Laurie, zucchini would work, but I would cook it for less time – about 2 minutes (not 8) or it will get too watery.

      Broccoli or broccolini could also sub in. You could also just skip it and it’ll be a delicious kale pasta. Hope that helps!

  5. E

    First thing I’ve ever made from your blog (I’m brand new) and it was divine – absolutely perfect and so simple to throw together. Can’t wait to try more recipes!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved it!!

  6. Isabella

    Absolutely loved this recipe! Added a couple more tomatoes and some shiitake mushrooms. Would make it again!

  7. Christine

    If I see sage, I’ll always try a recipe. I made the dish for me and my husband, and we loved it! It’s nice because it’s packed with flavor, but it isn’t a heavy pasta dish since the “sauce” is just the white wine and what’s left in the pan. The pepper flakes, pecorino, and lemon add nice flavor. We ran out of walnuts so I substituted them with cashews. I made ground spicy turkey on the side for my husband to add in.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Christine,

      So happy to hear from a fellow sage lover! I’m so glad you both enjoyed the recipe 🙂

  8. Susan

    I loved the textures but found the dish to be a little dry and in need of more flavor…I was unable to find shallots so used a tiny bit of onion powder…and I might have used too small of a head of fennel…not sure but with all the ingredients I really thought the flavor would pop.. any ideas?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Susan, if you can’t find shallots, I would substitute with a thinly sliced small yellow onion – there’s much more water content and sweet/caramelized flavor in the shallots (or fresh onion) than in the dehydrated powder, so I think that was likely the issue.

  9. Village Bakery

    Awesome healthy recipe. Made it last night and the family loved it! -joe

  10. Lily Argüelles

    Hi, could you suggest a good alternate for sage?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Lily, I think rosemary would be delicious – I would try about 1 teaspoon, freshly chopped. Hope that helps!

  11. Megan

    Delicious! We didn’t have time to toast the walnuts, but it was a very tasty recipe. Even our toddler enjoyed it (although the tomatoes were pushed to the side per usual). Thanks for another good one!

  12. Susan

    We really enjoyed this pasta! Nice flavors and not a heavy dish. A great weeknight dinner option.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Susan, I’m so glad to hear!!

  13. Beckie

    I should stop being surprised at how good the recipes are from love and lemons! But this is another great recipe. I was out of fennel so I made it without and this was still so good. No too heavy, very easy to make, meat free, and simple enough even for picker eaters. Thanks for another great recipe. 🙂

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Aww, I love hearing that! I’m so glad your family loved the pasta 🙂

  14. Donna from

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

  15. Cindy

    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

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

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      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 🙂

  17. Gil

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

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Yay, thanks Gil! Appreciate your feedback!

  18. Liberty Blueskyes

    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.

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.