Spaghetti with Kale

Who says that pasta has to be unhealthy? It’s all about what kind of pasta you’re eating and what you put in it. I know kale might be a turn-off to a lot of people, but did you know that it’s widely considered a “superfood” and is one of the most nutrient rich vegetables (or foods for that matter) that  you could ever eat? Once it’s cooked down in this sauce it’s extremely similar in taste to cooked spinach. If possible, you should also use whole wheat pasta for this recipe. Bonus: it only takes 20 minutes to make!

Spaghetti with Kale

Time: 20 min  Serves: 1, happily


  • 1-2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (or less)
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 5-6 stalks kale, washed
  • 1 cup Muir Glen crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 tbsp basil, 1/4 tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • ¼ lb dried whole wheat spaghetti


  • If you don’t have garlic, use about ¼ onion, you can save the rest in the fridge
  • if you truly insist that you don’t want to eat kale you can use baby spinach instead, just note that it will cook extremely quickly. I have not tested this recipe with spinach so you must do so at your own risk.
  • Instead of crushed tomatoes you can also use tomato sauce, fire roasted tomatoes or whatever other tomato product you have
  • If you don’t have spaghetti, use any other type of pasta that you have and like

Fill your medium pot with water and a pinch of salt, bring to a boil. Meanwhile, put enough olive oil to thinly coat the bottom of your large pot, bring to medium low heat. Mince your garlic and add to pot, also add a pinch of red pepper flakes. Watch carefully and allow to only cook for about 3-5 minutes. If garlic browns it will become bitter so don’t let this happen! Meanwhile, measure out your tomato sauce.

Once garlic is cooked, add sauce and about one cup of water immediately.

Then, wash your kale. Cut off the stalk (or just rip) and then cut into coarse pieces.

wash your kale

cut it up

Add them to the sauce. Don’t worry if it looks like a lot of kale, just like other greens, it will quickly cook down and be a fraction of the size. Bring to a gentle boil, add more water if needed. Add salt, pepper, basil and oregano to taste, then cover.

By now, your water should be boiling. Add your pasta.

Cook a few minutes shy of al dente (e.g. if the package says cook 10 minutes to al dente, cook it 8).  This is what will separate good pasta from excellent pasta. You want it to be pretty cooked but still firm (it will finish cooking in the sauce). Drain pasta, reserve about a cup of the pasta water. Immediately add your pasta to the sauce with additional water if needed.

Let the pasta finish cooking in the sauce

Let cook for a few minutes or until pasta is at al dente texture (cooked but still firm). Plate and serve with parmesan!

2 thoughts on “Spaghetti with Kale

  1. Pingback: Kale Chips « Toy Kitchen Chef

  2. Pingback: Easy Lasagna | Toy Kitchen Chef

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