by Olena

Lemony Kale Pasta with Asparagus

by Olena

Lemony Kale Pasta Recipe with asparagus, garlic and Parmesan cheese. |

Zesty and garlicky kale has been on my mind ever since I had vegan kale Caesar salad at Heirloom restaurant in Vancouver last December. OMG, I just can’t stop thinking of that flavour! Of course restaurant refused to share recipe with me (what, are they crazy?!) and I have been recreating my own versions of it for nearly 6 months and I did it => vegan kale Caesar salad. It doesn’t contain roasted chickpeas or a bazillion salad dressing ingredients, I promise.

I made this lemony kale pasta because it’s spring and asparagus is in stores everywhere.

Lemony Kale Pasta Recipe with asparagus, garlic and Parmesan cheese. |

Asparagus is one of the vegetables I love the look of, like the taste and absolutely hate the smell when disposed (you know what I mean). So, I’m learning to love it…Since asparagus is on Clean Fifteen list, I’m OK to buy it non-organic and soak in lukewarm water with vinegar for 10 minutes to get rid of pesticides. I’m yet to find an organic asparagus.

Lemony Kale Pasta Recipe with asparagus, garlic and Parmesan cheese. |

This lemony kale pasta with asparagus recipe is under 30 minutes, super easy! First you make the slurry sauce and quickly cook asparagus in it. Cook pasta al dente separately. Lately I love organic kamut pasta. The texture is chewy and not mushy, keeps its shape well.

Then flavour sauce with lemon zest, freshly grated garlic and Parmesan cheese. Technically this dish is not vegetarian because Parmesan cheese is made with rennet from animal’s stomach. However, we are not vegetarians rather mostly plant-based eaters so I’m OK to place the recipe in vegetarian category. In fact, this was the only dish we had with any kind of dairy past week. I also heard there is vegetarian Parmesan but don’t know how or where…

Lemony Kale Pasta Recipe with asparagus, garlic and Parmesan cheese. |

Kale is added at the very end when pasta is off the heat. You don’t want to cook it for a few reasons. One, to preserve flavonoids that help fight cancer (they get lost during cooking process). Two, kale is tastiest when fresh and crisp. I particularly love pairing Lacinato (Dinosaur or Tuscan) kale with lemon and garlic; it has sweeter and more delicate taste than curly kale, that’s why I love it I guess.

And then you get this creamy kale pasta. By the way, I made 2 batches in a row. Last one without kale for freezing – worked like a charm to stock up my freezer with my version of convenience. Enjoy and try my pasta with zucchini and tomatoes and pasta with cauliflower!

Lemony Kale Pasta Recipe with asparagus, garlic and Parmesan cheese. |

And I shopped in style last week… With a clear message…Can’t get clearer LOL. I think the biggest attention I received was from an older lady at the check out who was in front of me buying bacon and Pepsi. I spent $117 for all this organic beauty and I noticed my bill is about $130 every week. Not bad, considering I don’t go to Costco often anymore and rarely buy meat. Every week I become more and more convinced it is possible to eat organic on a budget!

Lemony Kale Pasta Recipe with asparagus, garlic and Parmesan cheese. |


Clean Eating Lemony Kale and Asparagus Pasta

Lemony Kale Pasta Recipe with asparagus, garlic and Parmesan cheese.

  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


  • 12 oz any short whole wheat pasta, dry (use GF for GF version)
  • 1/21 cup pasta water
  • 3 cups vegetable stock, low sodium
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 lb asparagus, trimmed & cut into 2” long pieces
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 oz Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt, plain (I used 2%)
  • 1 lemon, zest of and cut into slices
  • 1 large garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 bunch kale, cut into large pieces
  • 1/2 cup basil, chopped
  • Parmesan cheese and ground black pepper, for garnish (optional)


  1. Cook pasta al dente as per package instructions. Reserve about 1 cup of pasta water and set aside.
  2. Preheat large deep skillet on medium heat, add 2 cups vegetable stock, whisking cornstarch until dissolved in remaining 1 cup of broth and adding to the skillet; bring to a boil. Cook until thickened a bit.
  3. Add asparagus and salt. Stir, reduce heat to low and cook for 4 minutes covered. Add Parmesan cheese and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat, add Greek yogurt, lemon zest and garlic; stir until smooth. At this point I added 1/2 cup reserved pasta water. Stir in kale, lemon slices and pasta. Add more pasta water if necessary (I didn’t). Sprinkle with basil and serve hot.

Store: Refrigerate in a glass airtight container for up to 2 – 3 days.

 Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating in the comments.


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About Olena

Hi, I’m Olena and this is my healthy family recipes blog. Originally from Ukraine, I now live on magic Vancouver Island in British Columbia. I’m here to help you with “What’s for dinner?”.

Made a recipe? Tag @ifoodreal or #ifoodreal on Instagram. I would love to share in the “Look what you made” stories.

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