Penne Pasta with Lentils & Kale

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Pasta is one of everyone’s favorite go-to weeknight dishes, and this recipe adds a unique twist that boosts your pasta’s nutritional value and flavor profile. Lentils are high in fiber, iron, and protein, while kale, one of our favorite superfoods, is brimming with vitamins A, C, and K, as well as folate. Add a heaping dose of veggies, and this pasta dish goes from boring to scrumptious, and healthy to boot!

Penne Pasta with Lentils & Kale

Penne Pasta with Lentils & Kale

Yields: 6 servings | Serving Size: 1-3/4 cups |Calories: 455 | Total Fat: 10 g | Saturated Fat: 0 g | Trans Fat: 0 g | Cholesterol: 16 mg | Sodium: 224 mg | Carbohydrates: 72 g | Dietary Fiber: 19 g | Sugars: 7 g | Protein: 21 g | SmartPoints (Freestyle): 13


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, halved
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and minced
  • 1 celery stalk, minced
  • 2 large tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 8 ounces brown or red lentils
  • 4 cups hot vegetable broth
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 twig fresh rosemary
  • 7 ounces whole grain penne pasta
  • 4 ounces Tuscan or regular kale
  • Ground black pepper
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano or Parmesan, shaved or grated


  1. Over medium heat, in a saucepan with extra virgin olive oil, sautè the garlic until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add the onion, carrots and celery then cook for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, bay leaves, and rosemary, and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the lentils. Combine to coat with the oil and vegetables, about 3 minutes.
  2. Pour the vegetable broth in the saucepan then add the bay leaves and rosemary. Bring it to a boil.
  3. When it boils, cover and simmer on low heat for about 30 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Cooking time always depends on the kind of lentils used. If you see that the sauce is drying up, add some hot water.
  4. Add the uncooked pasta and kale. Follow the cooking time written on the package of the pasta. Adjust the liquid in the pasta. If you want it soupy, add more hot water. Season with pepper. Add salt if still needed.
  5. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle with the Parmigiano Reggiano. Serve hot.

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