Kale Pasta Salad

Kale Pasta Salad

Infusing vegetables into starches has become a trend in my cooking, from adding grated vegetables to bread doughs to finishing rice dishes with sliced greens like cabbage or spinach. A trend fueled by a desire to eat more vegetables, but in a more palatable way than just eating a giant salad. And it has resulted into the kind of dishes that not only employs local vegetables but make us just feel so good, from the inside out.

Today, I bring you a pasta salad with three times the amount of kale than pasta. A pasta salad with the lemony kick of popped coriander seeds, a touch of heat from serrano peppers and an aromatic finishing mince of mint leaves. The weather being so lovely these days, it’s a perfect salad to take out on a picnic and eat at room temperature or even cold. Local kale is readily available at all the farmers markets so run, don’t walk, and get a few bunches! Drizzle a touch more olive oil than the recipe calls for to add a layer of luxurious fat to the salad. 

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Cook Time

35 Minutes



Step 1
Cook the fresh pasta in boiling water with salt until done, usually no more than a minute or two. Turn the heat off and let the pasta rest in the hot water for a few minutes.
Step 2
In the meanwhile, remove the bottom 4 inches of the kale bunches and mince the rest of it thinly. Combine in a large bowl with tomatoes, serrano peppers, ginger, and salt.
Step 3
In a small frying pan, over high heat, warm the olive oil and pop the coriander seeds and immediately add the leeks and garlic. Cook for just 2 to 3 minutes then add to the kale mixture.
Step 4
Drain the pasta while it is still warm and add to the bowl with the kale mixture. Toss it gently together. The kale will wilt from the heat of the pasta.
Step 5
Stir in the mint leaves and lemon juice and serve.

12 ounces fresh penne pasta or any shape of your choice 

Generous pinch salt

2 large bunches of kale

2 cups of tomatoes (preferably cherry), chopped

2 serrano peppers, minced

2 tablespoons minced ginger

2 teaspoons sea salt

1/4 cup olive oil

2 teaspoons whole coriander seeds

1 cup minced leeks or green onions

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 loose cup minced mint leaves

Juice of 2 lemons

Notes & Variations

  • Whether using fresh or dried pasta, remember that the heat from the pasta is what cooks the kale slightly so remember to move quickly once the pasta has cooked.
  • Instead of kale, use rainbow chard, watercress, or spinach.
  • Grated cheese is always an option for a creamier finish, but you could also stir 2 to 3 tablespoons of almond butter or tahini.


Talk about a filling meal.