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Bowl of pasta topped with cheese, lemons and parsley around the bowl

Lemon Kale Pasta with Pecans

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Servings 4 people


  • 4 cups rinsed, chopped kale
  • 8 ounces short pasta like orecchiette
  • 1 lemon
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup grated parmesan
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • kosher salt & pepper


  • Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Cook the pasta according to the package ingredients. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water before draining the pasta.
  • While the water is coming to a boil, prep the other ingredients.
  • Chop the nuts into small pieces.
  • Rinse and pat dry the kale. Remove the stems and chop the kale into fairly small pieces.Take the peel and stem off the garlic cloves, then roughly mince.
  • In a nonstick pan over medium heat, toast the nuts for about 5 minutes, tossing as needed.
  • Add the olive oil, kale, and a small pinch of salt. Toss it all to coat, and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring as needed.
  • Add the garlic and cook for about 2 minutes.
  • Turn the heat to low and add your reserved pasta water. Squeeze the juice of one lemon into the mixture. Stir it through the mixture.
  • Grate a 1/2 cup of parmesan right into your kale mixture and stir to combine.
  • Add your cooked, drained pasta straight into the skillet, tossing everything to coat.
  • Serve warm with pepper to taste and some extra grated parmesan on top.