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Kid Approved Kale Pesto Pasta


pesto recipe

how to cook kale

You’d think I put down a plate of roadkill judging by her response to the bowl of green pasta in front of her. She squirmed, and flailed, and whined, and played the biggest trump card she has: “I’m just so tired. Can I just go to bed now, please?” I mean, really, what parent says no to a kid asking to go to bed early?

I said, “sure, you just have to try one bite first.”

kid friendly kale recipes

Cue the weeping and gnashing of teeth.

She chewed, swallowed, and sheepishly smiled as she picked her fork up for more.

how to cook kale

I served kale last night, and both of my children happily ate it all and asked for more. Verdict: repeat recipe.

kale pesto pasta

You just need kale, almonds, a few other little things, and a good blender.

how to get kids to eat kale

Let’s get started!  kale pesto pasta

Kid Approved Kale Pesto Pasta

Kale made yummy for kids!


1 large bunch of dark green lacinato kale (also called dinosaur kale)

1 clove of garlic

3/4 c. slivered almonds (Even better if you can toast them)

1/4 c. olive oil plus a bit more

1/4 c. freshly grated parmesan cheese

handful of fresh herbs (I used basil, rosemary, and chives)

salt and pepper

1 box of pasta your kid likes, cooked according to the directions on the package (I usually grab bowtie or linguine)




  1. In a large pot, warm a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the rinsed and torn kale and sauté until the kale wilts and even crisps a bit in some spots. Move this to your blender or food processor.
  2. Sauté the garlic clove in a bit of oil until it's fragrant. Add that to your kale.
  3. Fill the pot with water and prepare your pasta according to the box directions.
  4. Pulse the kale along with the almonds and herbs in your blender, drizzling 1/4 c. olive oil as needed to form a thick paste. If you want the pesto thinner, save some of the starchy pasta water to add to it.
  5. Rinse the cooked pasta and return it to the pot along with your pesto. Stir well and warm through. Stir half of the parmesan into the pasta.
  6. Salt and pepper as needed, and top bowls with remaining parmesan.

2 Responses to “Kid Approved Kale Pesto Pasta”

  1. Molly J. July 30, 2016 at 2:34 am

    I’m glad you use almonds and it works! I need to make some pesto and pine nuts are soooooo expensive right now!

    • TeachEatLove August 1, 2016 at 10:34 am

      For real! I hate buying pine nuts (unless I’m at Trader Joe’s) because they’re crazy expensive. The almonds work beautifully with the kale, but do look for slivered. Whole, raw almonds work, but the texture of the pesto could be compromised from the skins unless you’ve got a Vitamix style blender.

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