Sautéed Kale and Garlic Pasta

Sautéed Kale and Garlic Pasta

Hey there! It’s been awhile since we last connected. This summer has been a whirlwind of good food, gardening, farmer’s markets, traveling, and just trying to soak up every outdoor experience I can before Chicago’s inevitable winter makes going outside incredibly unpleasant. Because of all the craziness in my life, quick and easy recipes have become my main jam. Basically, if I can’t pull together a meal in 30 minutes or less, it’s simply not going to happen, which brings me to this recipe: Sautéed Kale and Garlic Pasta.


What do I like about this recipe besides the fact that it gives me a good reason to use the almost annoying amount of kale growing in my garden? (seriously, why did I decide to grow four different kale plants?) It’s easy, tasty, and only requires 10 ingredients, most of which you probably already have in your pantry. This sautéed kale and garlic recipe is so easy in fact, that I’ve been hesitant to share it, in fear that it might be a too obvious cooking move. Eventually I realized we all have busy lives and deserve to be able to cook a meal that requires little prep and an even smaller amount of thought.


So let me tell you a little bit about this pasta recipe. First, it has no real sauce. Hang with me for a moment before you freak out. I recently came across a brilliant way to cook roasted potatoes, which involves sautéing garlic in olive oil and pouring the seasoned oil over the potatoes before they go in the oven. This allows the potatoes to absorb the garlic flavor, without burning the garlic under high heat. I’ve found this method to be incredibly helpful not only with potatoes, but also with many other foods that deserve to be lightly coated in a subtle olive oil and garlic blend (essentially, every food I eat).


Instead of mincing garlic and having very powerful chunks floating around on your kale leaves and pasta, the garlic is infused with the olive oil for an even garlic flavor that coats the entire dish. Once the garlic and oil are infused, this dish gets even easier. Simply sauté the kale in the garlic olive oil, season with salt, pepper, red chili flakes, and nutritional yeast and then mix the noodles with the garlic-olive oil-kale mixture for a simple and savory meal. It’s really that easy. You can’t mess this up. I promise.


Ready to step up your simple summer cooking game? Cook this meal in 30 minutes or less with the recipe below.

Sautéed Kale and Garlic Pasta

(makes 2 servings)

  • 1/3 pound of spaghetti
  • about 12 lacinato kale leaves
  • about 10 fresh basil leaves, cut into thin ribbons (optional)
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 4 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 tbsp of nutritional yeast (optional. you can also use fresh parmesan if non-vegan)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1/2 tsp kosher sea salt + additional salt for boiling water
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper


  1. Salt water according to preference and boil noodles according to package instructions.

  2. Roughly mince the 4 cloves of garlic. In a medium sized skillet, heat olive oil on medium-low heat and add minced garlic. Cook garlic until lightly browned. Remove garlic bits from the oil once they are done cooking.

  3. Cut lacinato kale into thin ribbons and cook them in the garlic infused oil on medium-low heat until soft and bright green. While the kale is cooking, season with salt, pepper and red chili flakes. Be careful with cooking the kale on too high of heat as it will become crunchy and unpleasant. If you hear the oil popping, turn the heat down.

  4. Once the kale is done cooking, combine the cooked spaghetti noodles in the pan with the cooked kale and garlic oil. Top with nutritional yeast or parmesan and basil ribbons.


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