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Kale Pesto Pasta Salad

  • Author: Joy the Baker
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Total Time: 15 minutes



For the Kale Pesto

  • 4 cups roughly chopped kale (about 1 bunch)
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced in half
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions
  • 1 cup shelled salted pistachios, coarsely chopped, plus more for serving
  • 1 small handful fresh parsley, stems and all
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

For the Salad

  • scant 1 pound orzo pasta, cooked to tender
  • 1 head butter or romaine lettuce
  • juice of 1 lemon


  1. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade attachment, combine kale, garlic, scallions, pistachios, parsley, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and cheese. Pulse until just barely combined. Mix on low speed while slowly streaming the olive oil into the mixture. Blending until well chopped and completely emulsified. Taste and season according to your preference.
  2. Toss the pesto over warm, cooked orzo pasta and toss to combine. Tear lettuce leaves and divide between plates. Top with pasta salad. Sprinkle with lemon juice and sprinkle with chopped pistachios. Enjoy!


  • Serving Size: 4