Get our delicious and garlicky recipe for a pesto made out of kale and cooked cauliflower.
If you’ve got kids who turn up their nose at the veggies you encourage them to eat, try this pesto pasta recipe! The pesto is full of kale and cauliflower, but the kids will just realize is that it’s delicious.
While basil is the traditional pesto (and we have an amazing version for you over here!), you can make pesto out of all kinds of things. Switch out the basil for spinach or other greens, sub almonds for the pine nuts… you get the idea.
The basics are to include a green herb, garlic, olive oil, and some kind of nut. We’ve done all that for today’s pesto recipe but we’ve also gone in with baby kale and cooked cauliflower. The result is a flavorful and very healthy mixture that you’ll want your pasta smothered in for years to come.
How To Make Kale Pesto Pasta
Cook your pasta according to the package instructions. I went with a whole wheat macaroni. Drain a can of chickpeas and add then to the pasta in the last minute, then drain them all.
Microwave your cauliflower until soft, 4-5 minutes. Then add it to your food processor, along with the kale and other pesto ingredients. Puree, adding water if needed, until it’s a perfect consistency.
Mix the pasta and chickpeas with your cauliflower and kale pesto and serve. I like to sprinkle a little Parmesan cheese on top. It’s so tasty!
I developed this recipe in partnership with Produce for Kids. They’re a great resource for healthy family-friendly meals like this one.Print
- 16 ounces whole wheat elbow macaroni
- 1 can (16 oz.) low-sodium chickpeas, drained
- 1 cup cauliflower
- 1 cup baby kale
- 1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 Tbsp. walnuts, chopped
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 and 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- Prepare pasta according to package directions, but add chickpeas during last 1 minute of cooking. Drain and return to pot.
- Place cauliflower in bowl, cover loosely with microwave-safe lid and microwave on HIGH 4-5 minutes, or until very soft.
- Place cauliflower, kale, parsley, garlic, walnuts, olive oil, lemon juice, and salt in food processor. Purée, adding up to ½ cup water to achieve smooth consistency.
- Mix pasta with desired amount of pesto and serve.
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Recipe courtesy of Produce for Kids.
Disclosure: I have an ongoing working relationship with Produce for Kids where I photograph their recipes, develop some recipes and promote that work on my blog COOKtheSTORY and in social media. I have not been compensated to share or promote today’s recipe. I just really like it and asked them if I could use it as part of our kale series. They said yes. All opinions are my own.
This post originally appeared in December 2016 and was revised and republished in February 2023.