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 Credit: 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 Credit: 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 Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Step 2

Pulse until the kale is completely chopped up.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Step 3

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

Image Credit: 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 Credit: 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 Credit: 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 Credit: 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 Credit: 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 Credit: 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 Credit: 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 Credit: 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 Credit: Kirsten Nunez