I love coming up with recipes that make kale taste good. Like really good. First there was this goodness green smoothie, which was really fresh and delicious. Now, there’s this mushroom kale pesto penne, which I think is even better than the smoothie! Why? Because the kale isn’t all blended up and hidden. This time it takes center stage in all it’s kale-y glory. And it is AMAZING! (Plus this is a pasta dish and pasta will always be numero uno. In my books at least).
Just the other day, my friend sent me a video of chocolate chickpea hummus (haven’t tried it yet…but it could be good?), since I was the only person (student) she knew who had a food processor. I still live at home, so I am blessed to have access to a bunch of kitchen appliances. However, it got me thinking that it would be a good idea to create more student friendly recipes, one’s that don’t require any fancy kitchen equipment.
So here we are friends: a delicious meal that doesn’t require any fancy shmancy kitchen tools. The only kitchen things you need to make this mushroom kale pesto penne is a knife and a large pan or pot (and some measuring cups, but you could always just use a mug or eye-ball it). Easy! And if you thought this dish couldn’t get any simpler, this flavourful pasta recipe requires only 5 ingredients and only 15 minutes (yes, you read that right!) to put together. It’s the kind of recipe you keep around for when you don’t have much time to cook, yet still want to eat something healthy and scrumptious.
But, I’m pretty sure that once you see how much of a flavour explosion this pasta dish is, you’ll want to eat it every night! I know I do. Fragrant fried garlic, soft juicy mushrooms, tender sautéed kale, and bright flavourful pesto is the most heavenly ingredient combination.
Frankly, the kale and mushroom mix is something special on it’s own. It’s so tasty and perfectly garlicky that it makes a great side for grains or any other meal that needs some more greens. Or heck, it could even be eaten on it’s own. I could definitely gobble up a bowl of just the sautéed mushroom and kale part of this recipe.
Of course, no pasta dish would be complete without a sprinkle of parmesan cheese! I opted for some homemade cashew parm, but you can definitely use regular parmesan cheese if you prefer. However, I would highly recommend the cashew parmesan. It’s delicious, “cheesy”, and made from nutritious whole food ingredients.
Alas, for the cashew parmesan, you will need a blender or a food processor. Nevertheless, these don’t need to be high-powered or high-end. A Magic Bullet (or other blenders along those lines) will make cashew parmesan! *high fives all around*
And there you have it. Quick, easy, super tasty mushroom kale pesto penne. If you’d like to amp up the nutrition factor of this already wholesome dish, you can always toss in some protein of choice (chickpeas, tofu, organic free-range chicken).
I really hope you love this dish as much as I do. This is definitely one my most favourite recipes so far, and I’m so very excited to be sharing it. Enjoy!
If you make this mushroom kale penne pesto, don’t forget to comment down below! I’d also love to see your rendition of this dish. Share on Instagram with the tag @thehappinesskitchen_ and the hashtag #thehappinesskitchen so I can check it out!
Mushroom & Kale Pesto Penne
Fragrant fried garlic, soft juicy mushrooms, tender sautéed kale, and bright flavourful pesto make for a truly healthy dish that comes together in only 15 minutes. It's quick, easy, and delicious. Feel free to add in extra protein to make this recipe even more nutritious.
- 1 8 oz (227 g; 2 cups) package of quinoa penne (or other penne of choice)
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) Chosen Foods avocado oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 16 oz (454 g) cremini mushrooms (enough to equal 6 cups of sliced mushrooms)
- 8 cups (536 g) chopped kale (about 8 kale leaves)
- 1 cup (240 ml) basil pesto
Cashew Parmesan Cheese
- 1 cup (150 g) raw cashews
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) pink salt
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) hemp hearts
- 4 tablespoons (60 ml) nutritional yeast flakes (NOT Brewer's yeast or active dry yeast)
Cook quinoa penne according to package directions.
Heat avocado oil in a large pan or pot over medium-low heat. Add in minced garlic cloves, frying until fragrant (about 1 minute). Add in sliced mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms begin to brown and soften. Add in chopped kale. Continue cooking everything and remove from heat once kale becomes tender and bright green.
Drain pasta, then add into the pot that you cooked your mushroom and kale in. Pour in pesto and give everything a good stir, making sure to fully coat the pasta and vegetables in pesto.
Optional: In a food processor or blender, add in all the Cashew Parmesan Cheese ingredients. Pulse until ingredients become powdery.
Divine mushroom and kale pesto penne among 4 serving dishes. Sprinkle with Cashew Parmesan Cheese or regular Parmesan cheese.
This recipe might seem to call for a large amount of mushrooms and kale, but the vegetables will shrink by quite a lot once they're sautéed.
Quote of the post:
“It is necessary to help others, not only in our prayers, but in our daily lives. If we find we cannot help others, the least we can do is to desist from harming them.”
– Dalai Lama