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Lemony Vegan Spring Pasta with Baby Kale and Spinach ~ With a Vegan Option

Kale is all the rage right now. It’s certainly no wonder since it’s nutrient dense, high in fiber, and a chlorophyll powerhouse. But it’s also a little bitter and can be a little hard to chew before cooking. Baby kale on the other hand is tender and more mild than mature kale but still packs the same nutrients. And because baby kale is bountiful in spring I decided to combine it with a few of my favorite spring vegetables, sweet English peas, asparagus and baby spinach.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword easy dinner recipe, easy pasta recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Author Linda Spiker


  • 16 oz pappardelle pasta cooked to package instructions
  • 2 small cloves garlic minced
  • 1 bunch asparagus cut into 2" pieces
  • 1 cup fresh English peas if unavailable, use frozen
  • 1 handful spinach
  • 1 handful baby kale if unavailable use 2 cups spinach
  • 2 T chives sliced
  • 3-4 T olive oil
  • zest and juice of one lemon
  • Sea Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper


  1. Set of water to boil according to package instructions. Prepare all ingredients. Place kale and spinach in a large bowl and set aside. When pasta water is boiling begin cooking pasta according to package directions but set timer for three minutes short of cooking time. (If using fresh peas add to water with pasta now) When timer goes off add asparagus (and peas if using frozen) to pasta water and cook for three more minutes. When pasta is al dente (firm but cooked) strain in a colander (do not rinse) and then pour pasta, peas and asparagus over spinach and kale. Sprinkle with garlic and lemon zest and drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice and toss well. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Toss, taste and add more salt or pepper if necessary. Garnish with chives and serve!

Recipe Notes

Note: if using fresh peas cook them right along with the pasta. If using frozen peas add to pasta water the last three minutes with the asparagus.