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Lemon Kale Pesto Pasta

Lemon Kale Pesto Pasta

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  • Author: Kelli Avila
  • Prep Time: 00:10
  • Cook Time: 00:12
  • Total Time: 22 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Category: Pasta


A celebration of spring, this quick vegetarian pasta recipe is a unique twist on the traditional pesto pasta. Using all the best of what herbs spring has to offer, this Lemon Kale Pesto Pasta is bright, refreshing and ready in under 30 minutes.


Units Scale
  • 16 ounces dried pasta
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice (more to taste)
  • 6 ounces feta, divided
  • 3 handfuls (about 2.5 ounces) baby kale (or regular kale)
  • .75 ounces chives (this is one of the small clamshell of chives)
  • 2 ounces cilantro (this is about one average bunch of picked cilantro leaves)
  • 1-1/2 cup fresh spring peas (or frozen peas)
  • 1 15-ounce can navy beans


  1. Fill a large pot with water and a big pinch of salt. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, add pasta and set the timer to cook the pasta according to package instructions. When there are just 3 minutes left on the timer, add the navy beans and peas. Continue to cook until the timer goes off. Set aside 1 cup of pasta water. Check the pasta to ensure it’s cooked to your desired tenderness. Drain the pasta once done and return to the large pot.
  2. Meanwhile, make the pesto: add olive oil, lemon juice, 4 ounces (about 1-¼ cup lightly packed crumbled) feta, baby kale, chives, cilantro and a big pinch of salt and pepper to the basin of a blender. Blend until smooth, adding water if necessary to thin out the mixture. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more lemon juice, salt or pepper as desired.
  3. Add the pesto to the pasta mixture. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more salt, pepper and pasta water as necessary to get the desired consistency. Sprinkle with remaining feta and red pepper flakes (omit if kids are sensitive to spice).
  4. Serve immediately.