Pasta with Baby Kale, Toasted Pumpkin Seeds, and Pesto

Literally, just six ingredients in this awesome pasta bowl.

Pasta with Baby Kale, Toasted Pumpkin Seeds, and Pesto

Last week, on Instagram, I posted an on-the-fly, super-quick pasta dish I made for lunch. It was cute, little, elbow pasta tossed with the last of a jar of pesto, a few handfuls of baby kale, toasted pumpkin seeds, and a shower of lemon zest. So good! So easy! A number of you requested the recipe, and I've included it down below. If you're blessed with the good fortune of having access to a Meyer lemon tree, by all means, use those. Otherwise, regular lemons will do the job just fine. Enjoy! -h

Pasta with Baby Kale, Toasted Pumpkin Seeds, and Pesto

Pasta with Baby Kale, Toasted Pumpkin Seeds, and Pesto


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Pasta with Baby Kale, Toasted Pumpkin Seeds, and Pesto

5 from 1 vote

To make this gluten-free, use a GF pasta. The pasta you see here is a chickpea pasta (Banza) I like, made from chickpea flour - a nice way to get an extra serving or two of legumes into your diet.

  • 8 ounce box of short pasta
  • 1 cup pesto, or more or less (to taste)
  • 2-3 cups of baby kale, well washed
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup of toasted pumpkin seeds (or pepitas)
  • Zest of 1-2 lemons
  1. In a large pot of well-salted water, boil your pasta per package instructions. Reserve 1/3 cup of the pasta water, and drain the rest. 

  2. In a large bowl, toss the pasta with the pesto (adjusting with more or less depending on your preference), adding a splash of the reserved pasta water. Add the kale and green onions, toss well, and season with salt and pepper. Serve topped generously with toasted pumpkin seeds, and lots and lots of lemon zest.


Serves 2 - 4. Two if you're hungry w/ a sizeable appetite, more if its part of a larger offering.

Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
15 mins
If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Recipe Rating


You can make even the simplest of meals look so inviting and beautiful. The little finishing touches that you add make such a difference. Tucking the idea of adding toasted pumpkin seeds into my head for our next pasta night- bet it adds such a nice little crunch!


I've started making my own tofu from chickpea flour, but hadn't considered it for pasta. Brilliant idea! This whole dish looks fresh and tasty :-)

Stephanie Jane

I actually DO have access to a Meyer Lemon tree! My Dad who lives just up the street from me has one, as well as limes, oranges, grapefruit and passion fruit - it's HEAVEN.

Rachel @Clean Eating for the Non-Hippie

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