This pasta dish is a good choice when you fancy eating “healthy” meal thanks to its curly kale and broccoli. Ideal choice for vegetarians and vegans too
The famous kale
In the last few years, we see green curly kale becoming more and more popular. The health benefits that these green leaves offer have been one of the reasons for their popularity.
But many of us don’t know how to cook it (at least I didn’t).
Especially, when you have to cook it for your family with young children. It’s not easy to find a recipe idea to cook curly kale interesting enough for kids.
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Whether we admit it or not, young kids are generally not keen on vegetables. Surely not all of them. But definitely many of them.
So finding a way to cook this fabulously beneficial kale was a challenge for me.
Because my two boys can be unpredictable when it comes to eating vegetables.
Sometimes they like a particular type of veggie, and other times they refuse that vegetable. And just want to stick to their protein, aka chicken or lamb.
A tricky way to eat healthily
Whenever I want to introduce something new to them, I have to make sure that I cook it with an ingredient or two that my kids like.
So, when I tried to cook curly kale for the first time, I decided to cook it with one of their favorite carbs which is pasta. I also added broccoli to it, because the kids are almost always okay with broccoli.
Anyhow, so tried to make things simple with this pasta recipe. Especially the flavor.
I wanted to get kale’s flavor as “original” as I could by not putting too many spices or herbs. So, I decided only to put garlic, chili flakes, salt, and black pepper. And I use olive oil for this stir-fry. That’s all.
I was so ready to see my kids refuse to eat this pasta salad with kale that I was over the moon when they ate it all. And the best thing was, they actually enjoyed it.
My little one even commented that “it’s the most delicious pasta he ever tasted”. Unbelievable.
Since then, this pasta kale salad has become one of my go-to recipes whenever I want the kids to eat healthy greens. Mind you, my husband and I enjoy it too anyway.
It’s such bliss for me to cook it. As it doesn’t take long to make and everybody will definitely appreciate it.
You should try this simple recipe. It can be a start for you to introduce the taste of this famous green kale to your family.
It may be different from the best pasta you get in Rome, but this twist of using pasta with some greens in a stir-fry is just conveniently easy to get your daily vegetable intake.
How to make kale pasta salad
Cook the pasta according to its packaging instructions.
At the same time, heat a good quality olive oil on a large frying pan or a wok. Then fry chopped garlic until it’s fragrant.
Once the garlic turns golden, add in the red chili flakes. Fry it a little longer before you add the kale.
Steam fry the kale with a lid on the pan for about 5 minutes. Then add the broccoli chunks in
As you know, kale leaves are quite thick compared to other veggie leaves.
Season the veggies generously with freshly ground black pepper and salt, or according to taste. Stir well and continue to steam fry for about 3 minutes with the lid on.
I personally prefer the broccoli to be slightly bitey and crispy. But if you prefer it tender and soft, you can cook it longer.
Lastly, drain your cooked pasta and stir it in the kale and broccoli. Stir well and check if the seasoning is right. Add more seasoning if you need to.
That’s it, your pasta salad with kale is now ready for you to enjoy.
You can eat this pasta hot or cold. I often drizzle extra olive oil before serving. But it is optional.
Tips to make the best-tasting pasta salad with kale
- Ready-chopped kale you buy from the shop sometimes has more stalks than leaves. So make sure you have kale leaves than the stalks.
- I sometimes pinch and discard the stalks.
- Make sure you use good-quality olive oil for cooking. It makes a huge difference to the taste, from my experience.
- If possible, use coarse sea salt or coarse pink Himalayan salt. Somehow this salt choice gives flavourful to the taste of your pasta kale salad.
Can you make pasta kale salad the night before?
Definitely. That’s the beauty of this pasta salad with kale recipe.
You can make it and enjoy it right away when it is hot. Or, you can make it the night before and eat it the following day.
If you prefer a hot salad, you can quickly reheat the pasta in a microwave. Or, warm it up in the pan. If you do the latter, make sure the pan is hot and sprinkle a little water when you warm the pasta. So that the pasta will not go dry.
As mentioned before, you can also have this pasta cold. We do that often.
We prepped the pasta salad the night before, and on the following morning, we took it out for our picnic. Or, you can take it for a packed lunch.
How long can you keep pasta salad in the refrigerator?
This kale pasta salad keeps well in the refrigerator for one week.
Should you need to freeze it, you can do so for about 2 months. Take the salad out of the freezer the night before you want to eat it and leave it to thaw in the refrigerator.
If you want to have it hot, you can reheat it in the microwave. Just sprinkle a little water before you warm it in the microwave.
More salad recipes
Thank you for stopping by to check out this pasta salad with kale. I hope you try it out.
When you do, please share what you think about it in the comments below. I really appreciate it.
And before you go, don’t forget to check out my other salad recipes that you may like.
- Gado gado: Indonesian salad with spicy peanut sauce.
- Spicy tomato salad recipe.
- Asinan Jakarta: Indonesian salad with spicy peanut and tamarind sauce.
- Apple salad with balsamic vinaigrette.
- Ketoprak: vermicelli and beansprout salad with garlicky peanut sauce.
Take care and all the best.
Pasta with green Kale and Broccoli
- 150 grams/ 5.3 oz green kale roughly chopped/ sliced.
- 2 cups/200 grams/ 7 oz broccoli florets.
- 2 cloves garlic finely chopped.
- 250 grams of dry penne pasta.
- 1 tsp dry red chili flakes.
- 1 teaspoon sea salt or Himalayan salt.
- Coarse black pepper according to taste.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil and more for a little drizzle before serving.
- Boil the pasta according to packet instructions. Add ½ teaspoon salt to its boiling water.
- In the meantime, fry the garlic in the pan until fragrant. Then add in chili flakes. Continue to fry for about 1 minute.
- Next, add in the kale and stir well. Put the lid on and steam-fry for about 5 minutes.
- Then add the broccoli and season the veggies with ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon coarse black pepper, or according to taste.
- Cook further for about 3 minutes or according to how soft you want the veggies to be.
- By this time, your pasta should be ready. Strain the pasta and add it to the veggies. Stir and mix everything. Turn the heat off. Drizzle with a little bit more olive oil and serve.
Nutritional info in this recipe is only estimate using online calculator. You should refer to it as a guide only. Please verify with your own data if you seek an accurate info.