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Kale pesto pasta salad makes a perfect vegan picnic dish

Brandi is natural born food lover of anything from gourmet cheeses and wine down to plain baked breads. When not in the kitchen cooking, she loves to be outdoors, especially near the ocean. She puts her focus mainly on healthy organic ea...

Homemade kale pesto upgrades this vegan pasta salad recipe

Fresh, organic kale, walnuts and nutritional yeast are pureed to make this hearty, green, vegan pesto. Toss with cooked pasta and fresh veggies for one healthy, delicious pasta salad.

Kale isn't just for salads. This big, dark, leafy green is a staple not only in many healthy kitchens but also for vegans. Kale is a superfood loaded with tons of nutrients, like potassium, magnesium and B vitamins. It has also been said that kale is an anti-inflammatory that can assist in detoxing your body. Who wouldn't want such a healthy ingredient in their diet?

Homemade kale pesto upgrades this vegan pasta salad recipe

For this dish I used kale to make a healthy, hearty, vegan pesto that I tossed with cooked pasta and topped with lots of fresh tomatoes, onions and roasted red peppers. This is perfect for vegetarians, strict vegans, those who cannot eat dairy or just for someone who wants to try something different.

If you have trouble finding nutritional yeast, then go to your nearest health food store. Most times you can find it where the vitamins are located.

Homemade kale pesto upgrades this vegan pasta salad recipe

Vegan kale pesto pasta salad recipe

This nutritious pesto recipe is loaded with nutrient-rich kale, toasted walnuts and olive oil and is tossed into pasta along with fresh vegetables and roasted peppers.

Serves 6-8

Prep time: 20 minutes | Cook time: 10 minutes | Inactive time: 5 minutes | Total time: 35 minutes


For the kale pesto

  • 2-3 cups fresh kale, chopped
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts
  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For the pasta salad

  • 1 pound pasta of choice
  • 1 cup diced grape tomatoes
  • 1 small red onion, minced
  • Fresh chopped parsley, for garnish


  1. To a food processor, add all the ingredients for the kale pesto except for the olive oil.
  2. Blend on high until all the ingredients become a thick paste. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  3. Turn the food processor back on, and slowly drizzle the olive oil into the mixture until smooth.
  4. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Cook the pasta as directed on the package, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  5. Drain the pasta, and allow it to cool for 5 minutes, then add it to a large mixing bowl.
  6. Pour the kale pesto on top of the pasta, and toss well.
  7. Transfer the pasta to a serving platter, top with the tomatoes and red onion, and garnish with fresh parsley or other fresh herbs.
  8. Best served chilled.

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