Chickpea Pasta with Vegan Kale Pesto

This high protein dish is super healthy and delicious! Chickpea pasta paired with vegan kale pesto, topped with fresh tomatoes – how much healthier could you eat?

A couple of weeks ago when I went to the shops, I saw the first kale of the season! You cannot believe my excitement! I had to tell my husband straight away when I saw him that day (even though he couldn’t really understand why I was so excited).

Over the past couple of years I have grown really fond of kale, in particular of kale chips. The only problem is that here in Germany, you can only find it in the shops in winter. I think that’s when it grows best? Anyone know about that?

So in my excitement I might have bought more kale than our fridge could handle. I mean, it’s not exactly small with it’s stalks so storage can be a problem if you don’t have one of those giant fridges! Anyways, I had to come up with an idea of how to use it in a quick and delicious way.

So I decided to turn it into pesto! And not just any pesto, a vegan pesto! Don’t get me wrong, I am borderline obsessed with parmesan cheese but there are so many vegan alternatives and I wanted to experiment a bit. Instead of cheese or any kind of dairy, I added nutritional yeast. Have you tried nutritional yeast yet? I’ve been in love with it for many years (my mum even bought it already for us in the 80s or 90s). The cheesy flavor is so good in anything but it works particularly well in sauces.

And to make this meal extra healthy (and more filling), I used chickpea pasta. Barilla produces my favorite range of legume based pasta so I decided to use their chickpea casarecce. Since they consist 100% out of chickpeas, they are much more filling than wheat-based pasta. You can of course use any other legume based pasta or even just regular pasta.

I also added some fresh tomatoes on top because this is something I almost always do when I eat pasta with pesto of any kind. I just love the added juiciness and freshness they bring!

Will you make this for dinner soon? Or how about my Legume Pasta with Haloumi Cheese?

Difficulty: Beginner Prep Time 15 mins Cook Time 10 mins Total Time 25 mins
Servings: 3


This high protein dish is super healthy and delicious! Chickpea pasta paired with vegan kale pesto, topped with fresh tomatoes - how much healthier could you eat?



  1. Wash the kale and cut it off the stalks. Chop it into smaller pieces and add to a blender. Blitz a few times. 

  2. To the blender, add avocado, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, salt, sunflower seeds and water. Mix everything together until smooth. 

  3. Boil chickpea pasta according to the package instructions. Drain the pasta when done but keep 1/2 cup of the pasta water. 

  4. Add the pasta to a big bowl, top with with pesto and add 3 tbsp or more of the pasta water (this is to make the sauce creamier without adding more oil). Divide among 3 bowls, top with some more nutritional yeast and - if desired - cherry tomatoes. Enjoy!

Keywords: pasta, chickpea pasta, kale, pesto, kale pesto, vegan, vegan pasta dish, vegan pesto, high protein pasta dish, healthy pesto, healthy pasta, whole30 pesto, dairy free pesto,

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Andrea Epstein in her kitchen

Andrea Epstein

Hi, I'm Andrea, a full-time food blogger, mother of 1 wonderful son, 2 equally wonderful stepsons and wife to a darling husband. I live in Munich, Germany with my family. I loves traveling, sharing new recipes, and spending time with my family.

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