Packed with veggies and flavor, this 15 minute Kale Mushroom Pasta is the perfect balance between healthy, comforting, and easy. Use whole wheat or gluten-free pasta for a nourishing meal that does not compromise flavor for nutrients.
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Hey Internet, it’s about time I did another whole food plant based recipe. You know I’m all about balance on this blog. If I have a bunch of veggies with dinner, there’s no reason to feel bad about vegan no-chill chocolate chip cookies for dessert.
This kale mushroom pasta is SUPER DUPER easy, delicious, and customizable--and the best part is it only takes 15 minutes to make.
You can switch up the veggies, or switch up the noodle (try a bean or lentil based pasta for a super boost of protein) or add a tomato sauce for a different flavor, but the base of this dish is the same. Healthy, veggie-packed, and tasty.
Though this recipe is not one pot (the veggies would get soggy), you can boil your pasta while you cook the other veggies in another pan, so everything is done in just 15 minutes. By the time the pasta is drained, you’ll be able to toss it with your veggies and serve!
I always try to make my recipes as customizable as possible, because I know everyone has different tastes.
But if you’re put off by the kale in this recipe because you think you don’t like kale--try it! You can sub spinach if you really want to, but I promise this kale is actually delicious and not hard to chew at all.
The kale and the mushrooms get cooked together, so the mushrooms impart their delicious earthy flavor. And the kale gets nice and soft. Even if you leave the stems in, which I did (you can remove them first if you like).
There’s also some other flavor powerhouses in there--like artichoke hearts! Canned or jarred artichoke hearts are ridiculously delicious, and I just toss these in at the end so they don’t get mushed when stirring.
I hope I’ve successfully sold you on this recipe, haha. Time to make it!
What You’ll Need
This is not the recipe section, but I do like to go over what you’ll need so you can see any necessary details and what you can sub out according to your tastes.
I want to talk about pasta first, because if you have a special diet, I don’t want you to think you can’t eat this deliciousness.
First, this recipe will work fine with basically any type of pasta. I used whole wheat fusilli, but regular white pasta will be fine.
If you are gluten-free, a brown rice pasta will work, as will any other GF pasta (like quinoa-based pasta).
Looking for a protein-boost? This recipe is already high in protein but you could use a bean or lentil based pasta for even more.
Let’s move onto veggies.
This wouldn’t be kale mushroom pasta without kale and mushrooms. You can use any veggies you want, but since you’re here, I’m going to assume you want to use them.
Any kale will work. This particular pasta features Lacinato / Dinosaur kale.
I chopped my kale into large-ish pieces and included the stems. They will soften during the cooking process, but you can remove them beforehand if you like. I took any really big ones and gave them to my dog.
For mushrooms, any mushrooms will work. I used crimini / Baby Bella mushrooms. White button mushrooms, shiitakes, portobellos, oyster mushrooms, beech mushrooms, or maitakes would all be delicious with this recipe.
I also used a fair amount of garlic in this recipe. As you may already know from my garlic noodles and vegan garlic bread recipes, I’m a vampire slayer / garlic fiend, but you can use as much or as little as you like. You could omit the garlic entirely, but then we couldn’t be friends (just kidding!).
Oh! And the artichoke hearts. They are SO GOOD in this recipe, but you can omit if you choose. One note is that if you are oil-free, make sure to get artichoke hearts that are packed in brine or water, not oil (usually canned vs jarred).
For more flavor, I also added fresh thyme and sage (dried will also work), a squeeze of lemon, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Finally, for some creaminess, I used just a bit of LIGHT canned coconut milk, and I promise you can’t taste the coconut. However, you could sub cashew cream, blended white beans, blended sunflower seeds, tahini, or even vegan butter (if you’re not oil-free).
Tips for Making Kale Mushroom Pasta
- Seems obvious but I have to say it: cook your pasta according to the directions on the package you use. Different pastas have different cooking times.
- Use a larger nonstick pot to cook your veggies, rather than a skillet. It’s easier to mix everything together at the end if you’re not worried about stuff spilling over the edge of the pot.
- I like to chop all my veggies first so I’m not scrambling to get something chopped while something else is burning.
- Chop your garlic finely or use a garlic press.
- Saute garlic with a touch of water (or oil if you’re cool with that). It burns quickly, so keep an eye on it and only cook them on their own for a minute, but it adds so much flavor.
- Don’t waste your kale stems! As long as you throw them in early enough, the kale with the stem will get cooked enough so that it’s soft enough to chew. You can remove the stems if you want (I do when I’m making salad, but also because my dog loves the stems), but there’s a lot of nutrients in there, including loads of fiber!
- Add the mushrooms and the kale (with stems) at the same time, that way the mushrooms can flavor the kale, and provide some much needed moisture as they release liquid while they cook.
- Wait to add the artichoke hearts till the end, after you’ve mixed in the pasta and seasoned everything. They fall apart easily, so do it this way if you want the chunks to stay intact. That said, if you prefer them to fall apart and just have tiny pieces throughout your pasta, add them right before you put in the pasta, and stir them around a bit.
- Save a little of the chopped herbs for serving, for a fancy yet tasty garnish.
Other Quick Vegan Meals
One of my favorite things is a fast lunch or dinner. On weekdays, I never have as much time as I like between work and … well, other work, so it would seem.
So in that vein, easy and quick vegan meals are my fav! How about some:
- 15 Minute Veggie Lo Mein
- 15 Minute Garlic Noodles
- 20 Minute Pumpkin Risotto
- 20 Minute Chinese Curry
- 25 Minute American Goulash
- 25 Minute Vegan Spinach Noodle Kugel
- 25 Minute Vegan Orange Chicken
- 30 Minute Chickpea Florentine
- 30 Minute Pasta Puttanesca
As always, I hope you love this recipe--I know I do, and Mr. Zardyplants does, too. I couldn’t wait till the next day to have leftovers so I ate them as a before bed snack. Oops.
This Kale Mushroom Pasta is:
- Light yet rich
- Thick and satisfying
- PACKED with flavor
- Totally customizable
- And perfect for a quick weeknight dinner!
Let me know in the comments below if you make this recipe or tag me @Zardyplants on Instagram so I can see your beautiful recreations! If you tag me on IG, I will share your post in my stories :)
Also, one quick request: if you love how this recipe looks or tastes, please leave me a 5-star rating and a nice comment–ratings help more people find my recipes which helps me keep providing them! Thank you!