Lemony Kale Rigatoni Pasta

Lemony Kale Rigatoni Pasta – Healthy, Plant-Based, Vegan, Oil-Free, Whole Grain, Dairy-Free, Italian Dinner Entree Recipe

Medium |  Servings: 4  |  Ready In: 15  minutes |  Yield: 8-10 cups

This vegan, oil-free Italian recipe pairs dark kale with creamy white beans and crunchy pistachios.  Whole wheat rigatoni works great to hold the lemony white wine sauce, but you can also use brown rice pasta shells for a gluten-free version.


  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 tablespoons cashew butter *
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flake
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 servings whole wheat rigatoni pasta
  • 1 bunch kale, stemmed and chopped (about 4-6 cups)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pistachios

How it’s Done:

For the pasta, bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil.  

To make Lemony White Wine sauce: In a wide pan, combine the white wine, lemon zest, cashew butter, sliced garlic, red chili flake, and 1 cup of water.  Cover and simmer on low till garlic softens, about 10 minutes.  When the garlic and cashew butter are soft, use a fork to mash to a paste.
Zest the lemon and add to the sauce.  Halve and juice the lemon; stir into the sauce.  Stir in the cheesy nutritional yeast and salt.  Your sauce is ready.
If using for pasta, keep on the stove, on the lowest heat possible, until pasta is ready.

To make the pasta and kale: Once your large pot of water is at a rolling boil, add the pasta.  Cook according to the package directions, about 10 min, about a minute before done, or “al dente”.  You want the pasta to still have some “bite”.
While the pasta is boiling, strip the kale.  Discard the stems.  Chop the kale leaves into bite-sized pieces.
Add the chopped kale and 1 cup of the pasta boiling water to the pan with the white wine sauce. Stir to wilt the kale.  Drain and rinse the beans.  Add to the pan with the kale.
When the pasta is almost “al dente”, drain the pasta and add to the pan with the white wine sauce.
Stir and cook until the pasta is tender and everything is hot, just a minute or so. Let the liquid reduce.
When the sauce has thickened and is creamy, turn off the heat.
Taste adjust seasoning.
Top with chopped pistachios and serve

Chef’ Katie’s Tips

Get-Your-Greens Tip: You can substitute with any dark greens for this dish.  Mustard greens or arugula will add a peppery bite, while baby spinach will add a subtle sweetness.  For quicker convenience, just use a bag of pre-washed baby kale, spinach, or arugula.

Cashew butter…?   Cashew butter is made from grinding roasted cashews, just like peanut butter is made from peanuts.  Check the label for a brand without any added oils.

Hummus Sauce…?   If you want to make the sauce without the nuts, want something with less fat (or just don’t have cashew butter on hand!) you can use hummus instead!  Original hummus, roasted garlic, or even roasted red pepper all work as a quick substitute

Chef’s Cheezy Tip: Nutritional yeast adds a “cheezy” flavor, replacing the Parmesan traditionally used in this classic soup.  It also adds B-12 vitamins, a common concern for vegans.  


Learn More:

Nutrition Facts



Shopping and Gear List

  • Artisana Organics – Cashew Butter, Certified organic, RAW and non-GMO, no added sugar or oil, rich and creamy
  • Bragg Premium Nutritional Yeast Seasoning 4.5 Ounce
  • DeLallo Pasta, Whole Wheat Rigatoni 16.0 OZ(Pack of 6)


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.