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spaghetti with kale pesto

Spaghetti with Kale Pesto, Zucchini, and Roasted Tomatoes

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 7 reviews
  • Author: Tiffany La Forge
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: vegetarian
  • Cuisine: pasta


Superfood kale pesto and whole wheat spaghetti get tossed with oven-roasted tomatoes, zucchini, Parmesan, and basil for a delicious vegetarian dinner.



For the Pesto:

  • 2 cups chopped packed kale, stems and ribbed removed (about one small bunch)
  • 1 cup packed basil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large lemon, juiced and zested
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup pasta water

For the Pasta:

  • 10 ounces whole wheat spaghetti (or pasta of choice)
  • 2 small zucchini, julienned
  • 1 large shallot, diced
  • 10 ounces grape tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • Pinch of red chili pepper flakes
  • Grated Parmesan and basil, for serving


  1. Make the pesto. Combine the kale, basil, walnuts, sea salt, garlic, and cheese in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add in the lemon juice and zest and slowly pour in the olive oil with the processor running. Mix until combined. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss halved grape tomatoes with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sea salt and pepper on a foil or parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake about 25-30 minutes, until blistered.
  3. Cook the spaghetti according to package directions until al dente, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water. In the meantime, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet. Saute shallot until softened and fragrant. Add zucchini and cook until just softened, seasoning to taste with salt, pepper, and a pinch of red chili pepper flakes.
  4. Combine pasta with desired amount of pesto; about 3/4 of the recipe should do. If you need to thin the pesto a little to evenly coat the pasta, add pasta water to the mixture one tablespoon at a time. Gently toss pasta with the tomatoes and zucchini mixture.
  5. Garnish with fresh basil and Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.


Store any leftover pesto in a small glass container with a thin layer of olive oil drizzled on top. This will keep in the fridge for up to a week.