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This kale pasta salad is made with sun-dried tomatoes, red bell peppers, parmesan, and a simple red wine vinaigrette. It’s an easy, delicious, and nutritious make-ahead meal! Recipe is vegetarian and can easily be made gluten-free.

Overhead photo of a kale pasta salad with sundried tomatoes and peppers in a large white bowl.

I’m a huge fan of pasta salads for an easy make-ahead lunch or dinner idea. They’re great for eating cold and packing with you for school or work. Plus, you can pack in a ton of delicious veggies into these recipes!

I feel like I’m guilty of almost always using arugula or a spring mix for my pasta salads, so I wanted to create something today that switched things up a bit – using hearty kale as the base 🙂

What I love about kale is that it doesn’t get soggy when sitting in dressing. Instead, it absorbs the flavours even more and becomes softer and more delicious. It’s truly a perfect lettuce for make-ahead salads – plus, it packs in a ton of nutrition benefits.

The kale pasta salad is super flavourful thanks to the sun-dried tomatoes, parmesan, and red wine vinaigrette dressing. As always, I include some recipe modification ideas (as well as some protein pairings) below. I hope you enjoy it!

Want more pasta recipe inspiration? Check out my roundup of 20+ easy, healthy pasta recipes for more ideas!

Overhead photo of kale, chopped bell peppers, bowtie pasta, sundried tomatoes, parmesan cheese, and basil in a large white bowl.

Ingredients Needed

All you need to make this easy pasta salad are 12 simple ingredients:

Full measurements and detailed instructions are located in the recipe card below!

Overhead photo of small bowls of ingredients on top of a wood cutting board.

Recipe Modifications & Ingredient Swaps

  1. Feel free to serve this with an additional protein source. It would taste great with some hard-boiled eggs, sautéed shrimp, grilled/baked chicken, or even some chickpeas (for a vegan version).
  2. For gluten-free option, simply use a certified gluten-free pasta. Alternatively, you could use a legume-based pasta which would increase the protein content as well.
  3. For a vegan or dairy-free version, swap the parmesan with a vegan alternative.
  4. Instead of parmesan, you could also enjoy this with crumbled feta or goat cheese!
  5. If you have any cooked veggies sitting around in the fridge (like mushrooms or broccoli or zucchini), feel free to throw them in here too. That’s the beauty of pasta salads – they’re so good for eating everything up!

Make-Ahead & Storage Notes

This kale pasta salad will keep for about 4 days in an airtight container in the fridge. The best part? Kale doesn’t get soggy like other lettuces and will only taste better with time!

Closeup photo of a kale pasta salad with sundried tomatoes and peppers in a large white bowl.

Kale Nutrition Benefits

Just one cup of kale provides over 100% of your daily vitamin A (206%), vitamin K (684%), and vitamin C (134%) needs.

Kale is also a good source of other micronutrients like manganese, magnesium, potassium, calcium, copper, and vitamin B6.

That same cup provides 2 grams of dietary fibre, helping to keep your gut and heart happy.

In addition to micronutrients, kale is also loaded with antioxidants, which prevent cellular damage and provide a multitude of health benefits. Kale is truly a superfood!

Overhead photo of a serving of kale pasta salad with sundried tomatoes and peppers on a white plate.

More Healthy Pasta Salad Recipes

Did you give this Kale Pasta Salad Recipe a try? Let me know by leaving a comment and recipe rating below!

If you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram or Pinterest – seeing your creations always makes my day. You can also subscribe to my email list to never miss a new recipe or nutrition education post!

Get the Recipe: Kale Pasta Salad With Sun-Dried Tomatoes

This kale pasta salad is made with sun-dried tomatoes, red bell peppers, parmesan, and a simple red wine vinaigrette. It's an easy, delicious, and nutritious make-ahead meal! Recipe is vegetarian and can easily be made gluten-free.
Overhead photo of a kale pasta salad with sundried tomatoes and peppers in a large white bowl.
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Ingredients

  • 2 cups small pasta shape, dry (e.g. farfalle, cavatappi, penne, rigatoni, etc.)
  • 1 large bunch curly kale, torn or chopped into smaller pieces (or 2 smaller bunches – roughly 3-4 cups)
  • 1 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped into smaller pieces
  • 1/3 cup parmesan, freshly grated
  • Approx. 10 leaves fresh basil, chopped

Dressing:

Instructions

  • Boil a pot of water and cook pasta according to package directions.
  • Meanwhile, prepare all other salad ingredients and add to a large mixing bowl.
  • Make vinaigrette by whisking together all dressing ingredients in a small bowl or shaking together in a small jar with a lid. Set aside.
  • Once pasta has cooked, drain it and add to the salad. Pour dressing overtop and toss everything to combine well. Season with salt + pepper, as needed.
  • Cover and refrigerate salad for at least 30-60 minutes, or overnight. This recipe is best enjoyed cold and letting the kale sit in the dressing will help to soften it!

Notes

*STORAGE: leftovers will keep for about 4 days in an airtight container in the fridge. The best part? Kale doesn’t get soggy like other lettuces and will only taste better with time.
*RECIPE MODIFICATIONS:
  • Feel free to serve this with an additional protein source. It would taste great with some hard-boiled eggs, sautéed shrimp, grilled/baked chicken, or even some chickpeas (for a vegan version).
  • For gluten-free option, simply use a certified gluten-free pasta. Alternatively, you could use a legume-based pasta which would increase the protein content as well.
  • For a vegan or dairy-free version, swap the parmesan with a vegan alternative.
  • Instead of parmesan, you could also enjoy this with crumbled feta or goat cheese!
  • If you have any cooked veggies sitting around in the fridge (like mushrooms or broccoli or zucchini), feel free to throw them in here too. That’s the beauty of pasta salads – they’re so good for eating everything up!
  • If you can’t find curly kale and/or would prefer to use lacinato/dinosaur kale, I would recommend massaging the kale a bit with a little olive oil and salt OR with some of the dressing. Lacinato kale is a little bit tougher than curly kale and this will help to soften it quite a bit!

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know by leaving a recipe rating below, or by tagging @walderwellness on Instagram. I love seeing your beautiful creations!

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This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy.