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Close up of Smoky Kale and Bean Pasta

Smoky Kale and Bean Pasta

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  • Author: Monkey and Me Kitchen Adventures
  • Prep Time: 13 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 17 Minutes
  • Total Time: 30 Minutes (+ Rest Time)
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


Healthy and hearty, this oil free, low fat Smoky Kale and Bean Pasta is budget friendly, ultra-flavoful, and easy to make!



Base Ingredients:

  • 5 to 7 cups kale, cleaned and chopped
  • 1 ¼ cups low-sodium vegetable broth *
  • 1 ¼ cups water
  • 1 Tablespoon reduced-sodium tamari *
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard 
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon tahini *
  • 1 – [ 15 oz. can ] navy beans, drained and rinsed

Spice/Herb Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 Tablespoons dried minced onions
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika (+/-) *
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 to ¼ teaspoon dried crushed thyme leaves *
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon sea salt (+/-) *
  • 1/8 to ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • Pinch to ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

Other Ingredients:

  • 10 oz. GF spaghetti * (or pasta of choice)

Optional Toppings:


  1. Fill a large stock pot full of water. Add some sea salt to the water. Bring the water to a boil then add the pasta. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. Check package directions on cooking times and/or boil the pasta until el dente, drain, rinse with cold water to remove any excess starch, shake well, set aside.
  2. Measure out the Herb/Spice ingredients (except the red pepper flakes) into a small bowl, mix well, set aside.
  3. In a large ceramic/enamel-lined skillet or similar skillet, add all the Base Ingredients (except the kale and navy beans) and the Spice/Herb Mix, stir to combine, bring to a boil, then immediately lower to a simmer, add the chopped kale and navy beans, place a lid on the skillet and simmer on low for 5 minutes to soften the kale.
  4. After 5 minutes, remove about ¼ cup or so of navy beans and mash them, then return to the skillet to slightly thicken the sauce. Then simmer for a few minutes.
  5. Test the tenderness of kale, continue to simmer until the kale has reach the desired tenderness. Then add the pasta and red pepper flakes, stir well to combine and heat through. Cover the skillet and remove from the stove and allow to sit for 5 minutes to allow the pasta to absorb the sauce.
  6. Serve with freshly chopped parsley and/or with Vegan Parmesan Cheese.


*TIPS for Success:

  • Tenderness of the Kale: We found that finding the appropriate amount of tenderness of the kale plays a role in the success of this recipe.  We had family members totally divided over this issue.  Finding that sweet spot of acceptable tenderness is key.  Simmer until the kale is tender based upon personal preference.  We had family members who enjoyed 5 minutes while others enjoyed 10 minutes in varying kitchen tests.
  • Low-Fat Dish: This dish was designed to be low in fat. Because it is low in fat, you are not going to experience that endorphin rush associated with eating high-fat foods when eating this dish. It is very tasty for what it is, and that is a low-fat dish. We just want to make sure that our Readers recognize this when contemplating making this recipe.  The small amount of tahini helps trick the brain a tiny bit.  You can leave it out if you wish with the understanding that the depth of the dish and taste will be affected accordingly.
  • Amount of Pasta: While it is very tempting to use a full pound of pasta, we strongly recommend using the ingredient amount listed, 10 oz.  If you use more than the listed amount, you could end up with a drier pasta dish as the pasta really drinks up the sauce.
  • Smoked Paprika: We had family members who preferred some extra smokiness in this dish.  We felt 1 ¼ teaspoons of smoke paprika might suit the average reader; however, it is super easy to increase it after the dish is done.  After the skillet has sat for 5 minutes to allow the pasta to soak up the liquids, taste test, and add more smoke paprika.  It doesn’t need to be cooked any further.  Just sprinkle it on.
  • Sea Salt: We had family members who preferred additional sea salt.  Feel free to adjust as needed.

*Notes Continued:

*Vegetable Stock:   We use Pacific Organic Low Sodium Vegetable Stock. We love this brand because it is Whole Food Plant Based compliant, as it does not contain MSG, has no oil, and does not contain any highly-processed ingredients.

*Tamari: We used San J Tamari Soy Sauce, Gluten Free, Reduced Sodium.  You can substitute the tamari with reduced sodium soy sauce, Braggs Liquid Aminos, or Braggs Coconut Liquid Aminos.

*Tahini Substitutions:  You can substitute with other nut and seed butters with the understanding that the taste and texture will change accordingly.

*Sea Salt:  Please adjust the sea salt based upon your family’s sea salt preferences and/or based upon dietary needs.

*Makes:  4 servings

*Storage:  Refrigerate, use within 5 days.