Kale Pesto Pasta With Lemon Garlic Shrimp Recipe

Brighten up your weeknight dinner with kale pesto pasta and lemon garlic shirmp. It features a kale-based pesto, which is ideal if you're not a fan of traditional pesto or want to try something new. It's also a great way to sneak in leafy greens! Top things off with lemony garlic shrimp for a meal that sounds fancier than it really is. Read on for the full recipe.

(Image: Kirsten Nunez)

Kale Pesto

Things You'll Need

  • 4 cups baby kale, packed, stems removed

  • 3 teaspoons garlic, minced

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, packed

  • Juice of 1/2 lemon

  • 1/2 cup olive oil

  • 1/4 cup toasted walnuts or sunflower seeds

  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

(Image: Kirsten Nunez)

Step 1

In a food processor, add the kale, parsley, salt, lemon juice and minced garlic. Add the Parmesan cheese, if using.

(Image: Kirsten Nunez)

Step 2

Pulse until the kale is completely chopped up.

(Image: Kirsten Nunez)

Step 3

As the food processor is running, slowly add the olive oil.

(Image: Kirsten Nunez)

Step 4

Add the toasted walnuts or sunflower seeds. Pulse until the nuts or seeds are finely chopped, pausing to scrape the sides as necessary. Taste the pesto and add more salt or lemon juice, if necessary. Chill in the refrigerator as you cook the shrimp.

(Image: Kirsten Nunez)

Lemon Garlic Shrimp

Things You'll Need

  • 1 pound raw shrimp (frozen or fresh)

  • 4 tablespoons butter or olive oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • Juice from 1 lemon

  • 3 teaspoons minced garlic

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

(Image: Kirsten Nunez)

Tip

If using frozen shrimp, defrost according to the package's directions.

Step 1

In a large pan over medium-high heat, warm the butter or olive oil. Add the minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds, or until fragrant.

(Image: Kirsten Nunez)

Step 2

Add the shrimp, lemon juice, salt, pepper and parsley. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until pink.

(Image: Kirsten Nunez)

Kale Pesto Pasta With Lemon Garlic Shrimp

Things You'll Need

  • 8 ounces pasta of choice

  • Kale pesto

  • Lemon garlic shrimp

  • Lemon wedges or slices, for garnish

  • Fresh parsley, for garnish

(Image: Kirsten Nunez)

Tip

If you eat a gluten-free diet, use your favorite gluten-free pasta. You can even use rice instead.

Step 1

Cook the pasta according to the package's directions. In a large bowl, toss with kale pesto.

(Image: Kirsten Nunez)

Step 2

To serve, top the kale pesto pasta with lemon garlic shrimp. Alternatively, you can toss the shrimp and pasta together. Garnish with lemon slices (or wedges) and fresh parsley.

(Image: Kirsten Nunez)

If you'd like to incorporate even more greens, sauté chopped baby kale in olive oil for about 5 minutes. Toss with the finished pasta dish and enjoy.

(Image: Kirsten Nunez)