Pasta with Kale, Lemon and Parmesan – Friday Night Bite

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom on July 1, 2011

The last couple Fridays, I’ve shared some grilling ideas and grilled pizza recipes. But this Friday, it’s all about

the light.

the tasty.

the refreshing.

And simple too. It’s a “boil the kale, boil the pasta, then toss with some lemon and Parmesan” kind of simple.

Serve like this…or with some fresh fruit…or with a side of grilled chicken slices. Whatever suits you!

And I hope y’all have a splendidly superb and delightful July 4th weekend!

Print This Post

Pasta with Kale, Lemon and Parmesan

Yield – 4 servings

Preparation Time – 20 minutes

Cooking Time – 15 minutes


  • 10-12 kale leaves (free from the garden)
  • 1 lb. small pasta noodles, fusili or small shells ($.50)
  • 2 lemons, juiced and zested ($.50)
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil ($.15)
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese ($.50)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh fruit ($.50-$.75)
  • Grilled, sliced chicken ($2)


  • In a medium saucepan, bring 6 cups of water to boil.  Add 1 Tbsp salt and then add the kale leaves.  Boil 2-3 minutes, or until the kale is soft and bright green. Drain in colander and rinse with cool water. Let sit for a few minutes before chopping.  Then chop into bite size pieces.
  • In a different saucepan (or the same one), boil the pasta noodles.  Once cooked, drain and rinse with cool water if you are planning to serve this as a cold dish.
  • Toss the cooked pasta with the chopped kale leaves.  Then squeeze in the juice of 2 lemons, plus 1 tsp lemon zest. Add in the olive oil and some salt and pepper.  Toss well.
  • Add the Parmesan cheese and toss again.
  • Serve as is…or with fresh fruit…or with sliced grilled chicken on top. Or mixed in. (whatever works for you, works for me!)
  • Serve chilled or warm.

Cost $4.40, at most

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Tricia H July 1, 2011 at 10:26 pm

You are so smart! I would have never thought of kale with this but what a wonderful taste combination. It does sound so light and refreshing.


analee July 25, 2011 at 9:43 pm

i blogged about this recipe and of coarse linked back here to your original post! i made it to take to a family reunion – it was so hot out, this was perfect! it is a wonderful recipe!


Nishta September 7, 2011 at 6:28 am

Question about the kale–are you growing lacinato (dino) kale or the curly kind? I usually remove the stems from the latter, so I was curious about how it would work in this recipe.


Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom September 7, 2011 at 7:46 am

Hey Nishta, I’m using curly kale. And I’d definitely remove the stems! Hope this helps!



Alicia January 29, 2012 at 8:26 pm

Oh yes, I tried this tonight and while I got a little too much lemon zest, it’s awesome!! Thanks for a great light recipe!


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: