Vegan Kale Pesto Pasta is oil-free, full of fresh healthy ingredients, whole foods & full of delicious flavor. It is the perfect pesto pasta!
VEGAN KALE PESTO PASTA
I love making pestos, sauces, dips and spreads out of greens and veggies. They are a fantastic way to get in a lot of veggies for not only my hubby and I, but also my daughter. Peas are a great source of protein and kale is a powerhouse of nutrients, calcium and Vitamin C. I’m a big fan of kale, especially in this Garlic Kale Salad With Almond Butter Dressing! This vegan kale pesto won’t make your child feel like they are eating veggies, especially when paired with pasta.
SECRET TO THIS VEGAN KALE PESTO
One thing that sets this vegan kale pesto pasta immense flavor is the strong dose of garlic and the dark balsamic vinegar. Slightly sweet from the peas and a really nice kick of garlic flavor. I LOVE garlic, so that was my focus on this one. Their is added depth of flavor from the vinegar. Dark balsamic vinegar gives more of a wine flavor, versus a vinegar like apple cider.
Another bonus is this kale is oil-free! It’s actually really low-fat and so healthy! You don’t need oil to make an amazing pesto my friends!
HOW TO MAKE VEGAN KALE PESTO PASTA
You will need just 7 ingredients (+salt/pepper/water):
- green peas
- garlic cloves
- nutritional yeast
- dark balsamic vinegar
- lemon juice
- baby kale (I buy the 5 oz packages, prewashed and ready to eat. Use spinach if you cannot find the baby kale. Do NOT use regular curly kale, it is too strong and fibrous here)
- pasta of choice
Add the peas, 1/2 cup water, garlic, nutritional yeast, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper to a large pan and turn the heat to medium.
Cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until there is only a small amount of liquid remaining, it should have reduced by at least half.
Next, add the cooked mixture to a food processor with the lemon juice and kale, in batches, until pureed and smooth. Add warm pasta water to reach desired consistency. I added about 2 more tablespoons of water. Taste and add any additional seasoning, if desired. It should look like this.
Serve this vegan kale pesto over pasta. Garnish with walnuts for added crunch, if desired.
I hope you love this oil-free Vegan Kale Pesto Pasta!
Other Oil-free Vegan Pestos to try:
Vegan Kale Pesto Pasta
- 1 10 oz bag of frozen peas (280g which is 1 3/4 full cups)
- 1/2 cup (120g) water
- 4-5 large garlic cloves, minced (lots of flavor here, don't skimp!)
- 1 tablespoons (5g) nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon (15g) dark red wine balsamic vinegar
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon (15g) fresh lemon juice
- 5 oz of BABY kale (I buy the 5 oz package, prewashed and ready to eat. Use spinach if you cannot find the baby kale. Do NOT use regular curly kale, it is too strong and fibrous here.)
- 12 oz gluten-free brown rice spiral pasta works best with this pesto
- optional: chopped walnuts as garnish
- Due to the large amount of peas, this DOES have a sweetness to it, so expect that. If that doesn't sound like your thing, then make the spinach pea pesto linked above in the post, it has half the amount of peas.
Prepare the pasta according to package directions and make sure to salt your pasta water well. While it is cooking follow the next steps.
Add the peas, 1/2 cup water, garlic, nutritional yeast, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper to a large pan and turn the heat to medium. You are NOT adding the lemon juice yet. Cook for 5-10 minutes until almost all the liquid has evaporated, stirring occasionally.
- Add the cooked mixture to a food processor with the lemon juice and kale, in batches, until pureed and completely smooth, as in the photo. Add the warm pasta water to reach desired consistency. I added about 2 more tablespoons of water. Taste and add any additional seasoning, if desired. For more acidity, add more vinegar or lemon juice. Serve over pasta.
*Gluten-free, oil-free, vegan, soy-free, dairy-free, nut-free if leave off the walnuts garnish
*Nutrition per serving with pasta (1 cup): 417.5 calories, 3.25 g fat, 14 g protein, 85.5 carbs
*Nutrition on just pesto: 102.5 calories, .25 g fat, 8 g protein, 18 carbs