This Lemon Kale Tempeh Pasta is a great healthy and delicious meal for busy days. Full of bright lemony flavor and garlic, a great source of protein and it's ready in about 30 minutes.
After the hustle and bustle and indulging around the holidays, we're all about quick meals that are healthy too. This Lemon Kale Tempeh Pasta checks those boxes. A good source of protein, healthy leafy greens and ready in about 30 minutes.
This dish was inspired by my white beans and greens pasta on this site. Pair this pasta with a simple salad and garlic bread for a complete meal.
The ingredients needed are very simple, affordable and readily available at most grocery stores.
- lemon zest and juice
- olive oil
- salt & pepper
See recipe card for quantities.
Cook pasta according to package instructions. While pasta cooks, cut tempeh into small cubes and steam. To do this, fill a pot with a few inches of water and place a steamer basket in the pot. Place the tempeh in the basket, bring water to a simmer and cover the pot with a lid. Simmer for 10 minutes to soften the tempeh and remove any slight bitterness that may be present.
While the pasta and tempeh are cooking, wash, remove the stems and chop kale. Peel garlic and mince. Heat oil over medium heat in a sauté pan. Add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. Then add the kale, a pinch of salt and pepper and cook until wilted, stirring often. When pasta is finished cooking, drain reserving ½ cup of the water. Add cooked pasta, tempeh, reserved pasta water, lemon juice and zest to kale and toss to coat. Taste and add additional salt and pepper if needed. Continue to heat until warmed through, stirring often. Serve with salad and bread, if desired.
Hint: Use chickpea pasta for added protein and to keep this dish gluten free.
- Kale - use any variety of kale or another type of leafy green you like
- Pasta - use chickpea pasta instead of wheat pasta to make this gluten free
- Tempeh- use white beans such as cannellini instead of tempeh to make this soy free
See this soy free pasta recipe on my website!
- Spicy - add chili pepper flakes while cooking to add some heat
- Deluxe - top with vegan parmesan or cashew parmesan
A steamer basket is useful for steaming the tempeh, but if you don't have one you can use a metal strainer or colander also. Fit the strainer or colander into a pot with a lid as you would with a steamer basket.
You'll also need a large pot to cook the pasta as well as a sauté pan or skillet for the kale.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Good for 3-4 days.
These ingredients don't stand up well to freezing.
Don't over cook the pasta. It will become mushy and fall apart as you combine it with the tempeh and kale.
If you try this recipe, let me know how it turns out! Leave a comment and rating below or snap a pic and tag it @weelittlevegans so I'll be sure to see it.
Lemon Kale Tempeh Pasta
- 1 large saute pan
- 1 steam basket or metal colander
- 1 large deep pot
- 8 oz pasta
- 8 oz tempeh, cubed
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 2-4 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 cups kale, de-stemmed and chopped
- 1-2 lemons, juice and zest
- ½ cup reserved pasta water
- salt and pepper, to taste
- salad and bread optional
- Cook pasta according to package instructions.8 oz pasta
- While pasta is cooking, steam tempeh. Place tempeh in a steamer basket in a pot with a few inches of water. Cover pot with lid, and bring water to a simmer. Continue to simmer for 10 minutes.8 oz tempeh, cubed
- Heat oil in sauté pan over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds before adding kale. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Continue to sauté, stirring often for 4-5 minutes or until kale is wilted.2-4 garlic cloves, minced, 3 cups kale, de-stemmed and chopped, 2 tablespoon olive oil
- When pasta is cooked, drain reserving ½ cup of the pasta water. Add pasta to pan with kale and garlic. Toss to combine.½ cup reserved pasta water
- Add lemon zest and juice of 1 lemon to start and reserved pasta water. Gently toss to thoroughly combine. Taste and add additional lemon zest and juice, salt and pepper if desired.1-2 lemons, juice and zest, ½ cup reserved pasta water
- Serve with salad and bread for a complete meal.salad and bread