Pasta with Kale and Walnut Pesto

by Amy on 25 October 2015

Pasta with Kale and Walnut Pesto | www.FearlessHomemaker.comToday, I’m participating in a fun blogger event — the Secret Recipe Club. How does it work? Every blogger is secretly assigned another blog + chooses a recipe from that blog to make. On reveal day (today!), all of our posts go up at the same time, + everyone gets to see who was assigned to their blog, which recipe they chose, + how it turned out. Fun, huh?

This month I was assigned Bewitching Kitchen, a blog with amazing recipes from a variety of cultures (author Sally is Brazilian-born and raised, and has since lived in Paris, California, and Kansas, so her blog features recipes and cuisines from all over the world). I decided to make her Pasta with Kale Pesto, as I adore a traditional basil pesto, but had never tried a kale version, and was intrigued.

And y’all, I LOVED this meal. The pesto has a wonderful kale flavor that is brightened up with a lemony punch and a bit of tartness from the Greek yogurt. Between the walnuts and the kale, it’s more textured than a traditional basil pesto, which I loved – it has a beautiful body and substance to it. And while it was hearty, it actually felt a lot lighter to me than a traditional basil pesto – perhaps because it uses an olive oil/yogurt mixture, instead of just olive oil. All in all, a perfect autumn spin on pesto, and a fabulous meatless meal that will be going on regular rotation in our kitchen.

Thank you to Sally for introducing me to this awesome pesto + to the Secret Recipe Club for connecting me, yet again, with fantastic bloggers + amazing recipes! For all my previous Secret Recipe Club recipes, click here – there are TONS of awesome ones!

Pasta with Kale and Walnut Pesto |

Pasta with Kale Pesto

adapted from Bewitching Kitchen and


1 bunch of kale, stems removed, leaves coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 cup olive oil
1/4 cup of walnuts, toasted*
1/8 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
1 pound short pasta (I used trotolle)

*If you cannot find toasted walnuts, simply toast them yourself! Heat oven to 350° F. Spread the walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and toast, tossing occasionally, until fragrant, 6 to 8 minutes; let cool.


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the kale and cook until bright green, 1-2 minutes. Transfer the kale to a colander; squeeze dry when cool enough to handle.

In a food processor, combine the kale leaves and salt. Pulse 10 to 12 times, until the kale leaves are finely chopped. With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil. Scrape down the sides of the processor. Add the walnuts and process again, then add the lemon juice, yogurt, and parmesan cheese and pulse to combine. Add salt/pepper if needed, to taste.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package directions, until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water; drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Add the pesto and 1/4 cup of the reserved cooking water and toss to coat (add more cooking water if the pasta seems dry). Top the pasta with extra grated parmesan cheese, and serve immediately.

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

1 SallyBR October 26, 2015 at 8:02 am

Oh, what a nice recipe you chose! You know, it’s funny when I first saw the title of your post, I did not recognize as a recipe from my blog, and said to myself – wow, what an interesting take on pesto!


I guess that means that either I’ve been blogging for too long, or I am getting too old…. BOTH? You’d think?

Thank you so much for the nice write up and I hope my blog was fun to stalk…

have a great Reveal Day!

2 Amy October 26, 2015 at 8:25 am

Ha! It means that you have a great, versatile, long-standing blog with so many amazing recipes that you can’t possibly remember all of them off the top of your head. =) Your blog was a great one to have – thank you!

3 Christine October 26, 2015 at 9:08 am

Yum! For a whole this year I was having a love affair with pesto and I think I need to rekindle that! This looks so good!
I had your blog for this month’s reveal and it was so hard to choose a recipe! I made your chocolate almond pear tart and it was delicious! It didn’t stick around for very long at all! (I also made your one pot tomato basil chicken pasta but didn’t take pictures of it… so good!) Happy reveal day!

4 Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie October 26, 2015 at 9:37 am

How cute is that kale heart you made? And this pesto, yumm-o!

5 Wendy, A Day in the Life on the Farm October 26, 2015 at 10:19 am

I love the idea of this Kale pesto…Wonderful choice this month.

6 sarah k @ the pajama chef October 26, 2015 at 10:53 am

i love kale pesto! great addition of greek yogurt. i bet that makes it a lil creamy too! :)

7 Nicole October 26, 2015 at 3:15 pm

Yum! I love pesto pasta, hot or cold. I recently made some thai basil pesto pasta & was surprised by how much I liked it!

8 Karen @ Karen's Kitchen Stories October 26, 2015 at 3:21 pm

Lucky you to have Sally’s blog, and what a great choice. Your photo of the kale is so pretty!!!

9 Sue Lau October 26, 2015 at 8:01 pm

Looks so flavorful!

10 Lauren @ Sew You Think You Can Cook October 27, 2015 at 12:04 pm

Haha love the kale heart photo. :)
This recipe is a fun twist on pesto – sounds heart healthy to me!

11 Stephanie October 27, 2015 at 1:25 pm

This sounds like a very interesting take on pesto. Love your picture and the pasta you used for this recipe. Visiting from group C to say great job!

12 Amy (Savory Moments) October 27, 2015 at 3:29 pm

Love this take on pesto! It looks delicious!

13 Anu-My Ginger Garlic Kitchen October 28, 2015 at 8:28 am

Wow! Wow – this is so creative and look delicious! Kale + walnut is an intriguing combination. Such an amazing idea of making kale pesto.

14 Emily @ Life on Food October 28, 2015 at 1:40 pm

I could go for a big bowl of this pasta for dinner. Kale pesto sounds so interesting. Great pick!

15 Tara October 30, 2015 at 6:03 pm

Love that kale heart! And the pesto looks delicious too :)

16 Beth November 1, 2015 at 7:15 pm

The secret recipe club always sounds like a lot of fun. Looks like you found another great recipe!

17 Meghan November 12, 2015 at 6:02 pm

Love this Fall twist on pesto and your kale heart!!

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