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Tasty, quick, nutritious pea and kale pesto pasta. The perfect speedy mid-week and filling lunchtime meal.

Pea & Kale Pesto Pasta (nut-free)

Looking for a tasty, quick and nutritious pasta dish? Then this pea and kale pesto pasta (nut-free) is the meal for you – what’s more it’s so fresh and delicious. Easy to throw together, great to add extras to and ideal to also eat cold for a weekday packed lunch.

pea and kale pesto pasta

chickpea penne pasta gluten-free

Pasta options to have with the Pea and Kale Pesto

This is entirely up to your personal preference but there are some great alternatives out there.

With one of us (Claire) having a wheat intolerance many kinds of pasta aren’t an option, so we’ve been trying different gluten-free options for years and they are improving.

We tend to use kinds of pasta in our recipes that add an extra nutritional boost. For example, lentil, pea and especially chickpea are all great alternatives to rice/potato blended gluten-free pasta.

They are also a good alternative to plain durum wheat pasta and the whole family eats them.


ingredients for pea and kale pesto pasta


What kit do you need to make the Pea and Kale Pesto Pasta?

We’ve used a food processor to make the Pea and Kale Pesto and cooked the pasta in a medium saucepan.


Can you use alternative vegetables to make the pesto?

Of course, swap the kale for other greens such as cavolo nero, spinach, rocket, wild garlic leaves (when in season) or a mix of herb leaves. All of these will make a delicious nut-free pesto.

ingredients for vegan and gluten free pean and pesto pasta

What is silken tofu?

Tofu or bean curd is made using soybeans and it is available in many different varieties. It’s a great source of protein for vegans and vegetarians and absorbs flavour brilliantly. Silken tofu is smoother, creamier and softer in texture than regular/ firm tofu.

Silken tofu is brilliant in so many recipes – for example, from smoothies to scrambled tofu, to sauces, stir-fries or desserts and so many more. Check out some of our recipes here:

Chocolate Silken Tofu Smoothie

Easy Tofu Scramble

And we have a delicious Quick Chocolate Orange Pot in our book The Plant-Based Family Cookbook.

However, we always look for organic, non-GMO brands when buying silken tofu. Silken tofu is also found on supermarket shelves and not in the refrigerators like the firm tofu.


Why use silken tofu in the pesto?

Silken tofu is a brilliant ingredient to use in a no nut pesto. Not only does it add protein to the dish and but it also brings the ingredients together to form a delicious pesto.


What does the nutritional yeast do?

Nutritional yeast is a key ingredient in our plant-based kitchen. It’s great for reaching those cheesy, slightly nutty savoury flavours when you don’t want to pile in a load of vegan cheese. They look like pale yellow flakes and are available in most supermarkets, health food shops as well as online.

It also contains several vitamins and minerals and is often fortified with B12.


Can you freeze the pea and kale pesto?

Yes, absolutely. It’s a good idea to freeze the pesto in ice cube trays, then tip them into a freeze-able container and use it as and when you need it.

pea and kale pesto

Other tasty serving suggestions to go with the Pea and Kale Pesto Pasta.

Freshly chopped tomatoes are a great addition. So are pan-fried chopped courgettes and mushrooms. We also often stir through butter beans in the pan with the pasta too.


Could you eat the Pea and Kale Pesto Pasta cold?

This is a brilliant recipe to eat cold in lunch boxes. Or make larger batches and keep some in the fridge for mid-week lunches too.

To transform this dish into a nutrient-rich lunch, stir in some or all of the following options – edamame beans, peas, tomatoes, spring onions, radish and mixed seeds.

pea and kale pesto pasta

Cost to make the Pea and Kale Pesto Pasta

To give you a guide as to how much it will cost to make the pest0.

£1.39 to make the pesto (not including the pasta).



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pea and kale pesto pasta

Pea & Kale Pesto Pasta (nut-free, vegan & gluten-free)

  • Author: Healthy Twists
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Mains
  • Cuisine: vegan & gluten free
  • Diet: Vegan




140g pasta – pea/lentil/chickpea/wholemeal

80g frozen peas

80g kale or cavolo nero leaves

80g organic silken tofu

1 heaped tbsp nutritional yeast

30 ml /2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Juice ½ lemon

Pinch of salt


Cook pasta according to packet instructions.

To make the pea and kale no-nut pesto simply add all the ingredients to a food processer and blend until all the ingredients are incorporated but the pesto still retains a slightly rough texture.

Once the pasta is cooked, drain (reserve a little of the cooking water) and return to a low heat.

Then spoon in half of the pea and kale pesto and stir through the pasta until warm, add a splash of the reserved cooking water and stir to reach your desired consistency.

You could also add a little more extra virgin olive oil and stir through.



Store the pesto in an airtight jar and to keep for longer pour a thin layer of extra virgin olive oil over the top of the pesto. Screw on the lid and place in the fridge. Keep for up to 1 week.


  • Serving Size: 4

Keywords: pesto, gluten-free, pea and kale pesto,


The Plant-Based Family Cookbook60 Easy & Nutritious Vegan Meals that Kids Will Love.

We really want home cooks to explore and enjoy eating delicious plant-based meals, desserts, baking, batch cooking, making easy weeknight meals and starting the day off with amazing breakfasts. That’s why we created The Plant-Based Family Cookbook. It’s filled with vibrant recipes that we can’t wait for you to try!   Ideal if you are vegan and the recipes are easy to make gluten-free.


ingredients for pea and kale pesto pasta

Vegan Ingredient Alternatives

This is our guide to vegan ingredient alternatives. What’s more this guide will help resolve many of the questions home cooks can have when they start to create vegan recipes.



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