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bowl of pasta with kale sauce

Kale Pasta Sauce

This kale pasta sauce is so delicious you’ll forget that you’re basically just eating kale. It’s earthy, without tasting too green. Savoury, smooth, and almost creamy.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Keyword easy meal, pasta, vegan, vegetarian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Author Plantily


  • 2 cups kale leaves (packed)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 lemon (juiced)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt (plus more for pasta water)
  • 4 cups penne pasta


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

  2. While the water is boiling, remove the stem and any large veins from your kale leaves. Peel the garlic clove and cut off any rough end.

  3. Once the water is boiling, add 2 cups of packed kale leaves and the garlic clove into the water. Cook for 4-5 minutes.

  4. Remove the kale and garlic from the water using tongs, but don’t drain the water in the pot - you’ll use it to cook the pasta.

  5. Add 4 cups of penne pasta to the boiling water and cook to package instructions.

  6. Add the kale and garlic to a blender. If you’re using a blender that is not made for hot ingredients, cool the kale leaves with cold water before adding them to the blender.

  7. While the pasta is cooking, add the juice of one lemon, olive oil, nutritional yeast, and salt to the blender with the kale and garlic. Blend until you have a smooth vibrant green sauce. You can add a small amount of water if necessary to blend.
  8. Once the pasta is done, reserve some of the pasta water and drain the rest.

  9. Mix the sauce together with the pasta. Optional: gradually add in a little of the reserved pasta water until you reach your desired sauce texture.

  10. Serve and enjoy! This recipe makes 2-4 servings, depending on your appetite and sides.

Recipe Notes

*You can use another type of pasta. You’ll need 4 servings.

*I would not recommend making the sauce in advance, it will lose some vibrance and not taste quite as fresh.