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Delicious and Nutritious Rotini and Kale Pesto Recipe Speeds to the Table in 20 Minutes

Toasted almonds blended in with the sauce are the secret ingredient in this good-for-you twist.

Pesto is a zingy sauce traditionally made with basil, Parmesan, olive oil, garlic and pine nuts. It’s a fresh, no-cook alternative to tomato sauce when served over pasta. Here at Woman’s World, we’re always looking for deliciously clever ways to incorporate healthy ingredients into our diet. That’s what inspired us to come up with this Rotini and Kale Pesto recipe.

Kale is a super food loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidents. In fact, it’s one of the most nutritious vegetables out there. Trouble is, it tends to be a little bitter. So for this kale pesto sauce, we combined the veggie with some of the herb in the classic version. Sweet, aromatic basil balances the strong, earthy flavor of kale. The result is a fresh sauce that’s not only good for you, it’s absolutely yummy. We promise, once you try this quick-prep Rotini and Kale Pesto recipe you’ll be hooked. Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

Related: Looking for more pasta recipes? Check out these 10 easy ideas.


6 serving

Total Time

Prep Time

Cook Time


  • 8 cups chopped fresh kale, from 16-oz. pkg.
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 2/3 cup + 2 Tbs. finely shredded Parmesan
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. sliced almonds, toasted
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 lb. rotini pasta
  • 1 cup herbed croutons, from 5-oz. pkg.
  • Crushed red pepper flakes


In food processor, mix 4 cups kale, basil, 2/3 cup Parmesan cheese, oil, almonds, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper and 2 Tbs. water; pulse until combined. Process until almost smooth, adding more water, 1 Tbs. at a time if too thick.

In pot of salted boiling water, cook pasta until al dente, about 7 min.; drain. Return pasta to pot. Stir in pesto mixture; stir in remaining kale until softened. Stir in croutons. Transfer to bowls. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan and red pepper flakes.

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