Nutty Kale Pesto Pasta with Caramelized Onion

Total Time

Prep: 20 min. Cook: 15 min.


8 servings

Updated: Sep. 13, 2023
My bountiful garden and vegetarian daughter both inspired me to create this nutritious, calcium-rich kale pesto pasta. No one would ever guess that this hearty dish is brimming with produce and is prepared in about 30 minutes. —Cindy Beberman, Orland Park, Illinois
Nutty Kale Pesto Pasta with Caramelized Onion Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 1/3 cup hazelnuts, toasted and skins removed
  • 2 cups roughly chopped fresh kale, stems removed
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 12 ounces uncooked whole wheat linguine
  • 1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3 large tomatoes, chopped


  1. Pulse hazelnuts in food processor until finely ground. Add kale, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, basil, 1/4 cup olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt; pulse until smooth and creamy, adding oil if pesto seems dry.
  2. In a large stockpot, cook linguine according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the sliced onion; cook and stir until tender, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low; add garlic and honey. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion caramelizes, about 5 minutes more.
  3. Drain linguine, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water. In a large serving bowl, combine the kale pesto, caramelized onion, linguine, chopped tomatoes and remaining salt. Toss until well coated, adding reserved pasta water if needed to reach desired consistency. Top pasta with remaining Parmesan cheese. Serve warm.

Nutrition Facts

1 cup: 314 calories, 15g fat (2g saturated fat), 3mg cholesterol, 224mg sodium, 42g carbohydrate (7g sugars, 7g fiber), 8g protein.