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Pasta Salad with Kale and Pesto

Pasta Salad with Kale and Pesto is a fast and easy summer lunch that packs in the leafy greens! Use homemade pesto if you have it, or keep it simple with store-bought.
Course Lunch, Picnic, Salads
Cuisine Mediterranean
Keyword 20 minutes, summer recipes, vegetarian salad
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6 Servings
Calories 233kcal
Author Kath Younger


  • 8 ounces pasta
  • 2 ounces kale (about one bunch) stems removed, thinly sliced
  • 2 ounces parmesan cheese shaved or shredded
  • 6 ounces prepared pesto


  • Cook pasta according to package directions.
  • Meanwhile, prep kale. Once pasta is finished cooking, drain (reserving some pasta water). Add kale to the empty pot and then dump the drained pasta over the top. Cover with lid and let rest for 5 minutes, or until kale is wilted and bright green.
  • Add the pesto to the pot with the pasta and kale plus a splash of pasta water, then toss well to coat.
  • Transfer to a serving bowl. Top with parmesan cheese.


  • I recommend using my herbs de Provence pesto in this dish. It's like a classic basil pesto made better with the extra herbs and so delicious!
  • I like short pasta because it holds on to the sauce well, but just about any shape will work.