kale pesto pasta with kale on top
Kale and Flaxseed Pesto with Pasta



  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 cups packed kale
  • ¾ cup hemp seeds or toasted walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ¾ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • Red pepper flakes, optional
  • ¼ cup flaxseed oil
  • Entirely optional: ⅓ cup ground cashews or walnuts


  • 1 pound (16 ounces) whole grain pasta, like linguine
  • 1 cup reserved pasta water


  1. To make the pesto: In a food processor, add the peeled garlic cloves and process until the garlic is minced. Add the kale, hemp seeds, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
  2. Turn on the food processor and drizzle in the oil. Process until the pesto reaches your desired consistency, stopping to scrape down the sides as necessary. Taste and add more lemon, salt or pepper if necessary.
  3. Cook the pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, according to package directions.
  4. Reserve one cup cooking liquid before draining the pasta. Let the pasta and pasta water cool for a minute to make sure the high heat doesn’t damage the flaxseed oil pesto.
  5. Mix the pasta and pesto together in your cooking pot, adding splashes of cooking water as necessary.
Emily McCormick

Emily McCormick

Emily McCormick is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and is a Licensed Dietitian in the state of Texas. She graduated in 2013 from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor’s of Science in Nutrition and completed the Coordinated Program in Dietetics at UT in 2016.

While pursuing her education, Emily has worked in the health and nutrition industry for 6 years. She has held positions in the Food Management industry as well as in Food Research and Development. In her free time, Emily enjoys cooking, traveling, playing soccer and hiking the greenbelt with her dog.
Emily McCormick

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