Cauliflower & Kale Pesto Pasta

Get our delicious and garlicky recipes for a pesto made out of kale and cooked cauliflower.

Get our delicious and garlicky recipes for a pesto made out of kale and cooked cauliflower.

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. 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.

I developed this recipe in partnership with Produce for Kids. They’re a great resource for healthy family-friendly meals like this one. Gotta love that!

Cauliflower and Kale Pesto Pasta

Yield: 8 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes


  • 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


  1. Prepare pasta according to package directions, but add chickpeas during last 1 minute of cooking. Drain and return to pot.
  2. Place cauliflower in bowl, cover loosely with microwave-safe lid and microwave on HIGH 4-5 minutes, or until very soft.
  3. 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.
  4. Mix pasta with desired amount of pesto and serve.
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.

Christine Pittman

Christine is the Senior Editor and Owner of The Cookful, COOKtheSTORY and IsThisThatFood. Her sites reach over 1.5 million readers per month, which means that things can get a bit crazy. She's constantly writing, taking pictures, editing, managing contributors, and, oh yeah, cooking. To say that she wears many hats is an understatement - there are many hats, and also many shirts, shoes, pants, and even the odd cape!