Feeding yourself a healthy dinner can be hard after a long day. But look no further----my favorite 30-minute meal lately has been this Creamy Lemon Garlic Herb Kale Pasta, which is extremely flavorful, filling, and fast! Made with chopped kale, fresh garlic, lemon juice + slices, organic heavy cream, white wine, herbs + seasonings, and your favorite pasta; this dish is the perfect thing for the entire family! Dairy-Free, Vegan, + Gluten-Free options.
Hello, pasta lovers! Do you ever dream of velvety, creamy pasta that is comforting but also good for you? Today, that dream is about to come true! This Creamy Lemon Garlic Herb Kale Pasta combines high-quality, healthy ingredients such as kale, garlic, and lemon and combines them with your favorite pasta shape. The result is a fast and fabulous meal that is filling and refreshing.
Pasta is extra special to me because I grew up eating it in so many ways. For a quick meal, I would toss pasta with some butter, tomato sauce, and cheese and happily call it dinner. But, this kale pasta is a grown-up version of that meal I had when I was younger. Such a classic comfort meal with a healthier twist! And if you're totally into lemon-flavored dishes, you'll definitely love this Lemon Brown Butter Pasta, Creamy Lemon Broccoli Tortellini Soup, Creamy Lemon Herb Parmesan Chicken, and Lemon Pepper Cauliflower Wings.
While some would not deem pasta as a health food, I like to pair my pasta with other healthy ingredients, which ensures that I'm getting enough nutrients while still enjoying the glorious carbohydrates that pasta offers. While my recipe calls for traditional white pasta, feel free to change up the variety based on your diet, including gluten-free pasta!
Overall, this creamy pasta is definitely comfort food in a bowl (or a plate), includes simple steps, and can totally be personalized based on preference----i.e. add meat if you aren't limited to a meatless diet, sub ingredients with vegan and/or gluten-free ones, adding additional greens for a brightness, etc.
When it comes to this creamy pasta dish, I love combining freshly minced garlic with cream, butter, stock, and herbs like garlic powder, parsley, oregano, basil, thyme, etc. You'll just need to simmer everything together after the initial sauté of garlic until smooth.
Start making this recipe by boiling your pasta. For the sauce, you'll begin by sautéing a few garlic cloves, and then adding in the seasoning, lemon juice, cream, other ingredients, and parmesan, whisking until smooth. Then you add in the kale to simmer a bit along with lemon slices. Next, toss in your cooked + drained pasta and wallah. Serve immediately with additional grated parmesan, if desired.
If you're thinking of serving this creamy Lemon Garlic Herb sauce with pasta other than rigatoni, that's totally OK! When it comes to pasta, you can use long pastas like Fettuccine, Bucatini, Pappardelle, Tagliatelle, etc. if desired.
However, I would recommend tossing with tongs to ensure that pasta is fully manageable and fully coated. Otherwise, other pastas such as Penne, Paccheri, Orecchiette, etc. are perfect too.
If you're thinking about making your own Italian seasoning blend, then look no further! All you need is handful of herbs + spices, mix them together, and wallah! You'll need 2 teaspoons of each simple ingredient:
It’s important to thicken your pasta sauce so it gets nice and sticky to the pasta itself. Personally, I add just enough liquid to grated parmesan ratio, that doesn't really require a thickener. However, if you find that your sauce is too thin, I love using arrowroot starch (which is a great gluten-free option). However, if you don’t have this on hand, using other subs like all-purpose flour, regular cornstarch, or tapioca flour work just fine.
Just be sure to always stir your thickener with warm water until it becomes a ‘milky’ liquid before adding it to the sauce OR you can add the dry thickener to your skillet with the seasonings, right before adding the liquids, whisking until smooth and thickened.
If you'd like to add protein to this Creamy Lemon Garlic Herb Kale Pasta dish, it's easy to do, regardless of your diet!
Plant-based protein options:
Non-vegan protein options:
Any leftovers can be kept in a tightly sealed container and refrigerated for up to 3-4 days.
Not at all. For this dish, I love adding olive oil with the butter for additional fat, however, you can totally omit the olive oil and sub with more butter or use
coconut oil or grapeseed oil, instead.
Of course! To add a bit more flavor to this dish, you can always feel free to add in your favorite greens such as spinach, broccolini, collards, asparagus, etc.
Basically, adding herbs + seasonings will add great flavor to your pasta besides the main ingredients. In addition, using stock adds great flavor as opposed to using water.
While I love adding garlic powder to the sauce of my pasta, I usually do this in addition to fresh garlic which gives an explosion of flavor! However, short answer: granulated garlic does the trick too and works great if you don't like garlic pieces in your sauce.
Overall, lemons are a flavor enhancer just like salt but without all the sodium. A fresh squeeze of lemon brings out the acidity of the sauce and enhances the flavor of the pasta, making the entire dish more savory.
Honestly, it's totally up to you. I love adding lemon slices for extra bold flavor in my sauce, however, using 1 teaspoon of lemon zest should add a nice amount of lemony flavor as well!
Of course! Yes! To make this sauce dairy-free + vegan, simply use vegan butter instead of the regular butter. Then swap the cream with full-fat coconut milk or coconut cream. And use your favorite dairy-free cheese shred or dairy-free parmesan instead of regular parmesan. Also, stick with veggie stock.
Yes! You can make this pasta dish gluten-free by swapping the pasta with a GF-friendly one and ensure that the stock being used is GF-friendly as well.
I tend to use a lot of white cooking wine, which is easiest for me. However, I do occasionally add quality white wine to my dishes and I recommend using a dry white wine.
A dry white wine will add the right amount of acidity rather than sweetness, which will better compliment your dish like this Creamy Lemon Garlic Herb Kale Pasta. In general, any of the following dry white wines work great in this dish:
Pinot Grigio, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Blanc, and dry sparkling wines.
If you are a fan of this Creamy Lemon Garlic Herb Kale Pasta, then you will also love these recipes for the entire family:
If you tried this Creamy Lemon Garlic Herb Kale Pasta recipe or any other recipe on my website, please please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how you go in the 📝 comments below. I love hearing from you.