Hello, my beautiful chickpeas! This recipe has been on my list of ideas for a long time, and I’m so excited that it finally made it to the top of the list and is now here to be shared with you! Today we are learning how to make my Vegan Tomato Ricotta Pasta with Kale. It’s creamy, it’s bright, it’s fresh, it’s got some great nutrients packed in, and it’s pretty simple to make. Really, it’s the ideal vegan pasta.
I grew up in a pasta-loving household, and I still get major pasta cravings from time to time. When that happens, this Vegan Tomato Ricotta Pasta with Kale hits the spot every time. I love that it is cozy and comforting, while also tasting fresh and wholesome. It’s really the best of both worlds and I think you’re going to love this vegan pasta dish. Let’s do this!
Inspiration for Vegan Tomato Ricotta Pasta with Kale
My first year out of college, I had a lot of fun finding staple recipes to make in my kitchen. At the time I was only vegetarian, and one of my go-to recipes was a simple pasta from Meatless by Martha Stewart. Her recipe combined pasta, kale, and tomatoes, and was topped with a dollop of ricotta cheese.
I recently had the idea to create a recipe inspired by those flavors, but with a few twists. First of all, I wanted to veganize things so that it was a vegan pasta dish! I also wanted to keep things oil-free for all of my WFPB readers. The thing that really inspired this recipe, though, was the idea of incorporating a vegan ricotta into more of a sauce so that the pasta was nice and creamy with every bite. In addition, I loved the idea of incorporating some bright and fresh lemon flavor into the dish somehow.
When I recently released my Lemon Tofu Ricotta, I instantly knew what I wanted to do with it! Eventually I landed on this recipe, and I couldn’t be happier with how it came out. I hope it becomes as loved in your house as it has in mine!
You do have to make a Lemon Tofu Ricotta for this recipe, but other than that there are only 4 other ingredients! And honestly, they’re some of my absolute favorite ingredients.
- Lemon Tofu Ricotta: SO. GOOD. I am so excited to be sharing a recipe with you that highlights my Lemon Tofu Ricotta, it’s honestly the star of the show. It gives us that creamy texture we are looking for, and the lemon pairs with our other flavors so well.
- Garlic: Honestly, all good vegan pasta recipes need some garlic.
- Cherry tomatoes: These will be sauteed to bring out their flavor. This also allows them to get nice and juicy so that they incorporate well into the ricotta. If you haven’t ever cooked cherry tomatoes this way, you have been missing out!
- Pasta: You can use whatever type of pasta makes your heart happy! My favorite for this one is penne.
- Kale: The kale is honestly so beautiful in this dish because it adds a pop of green, but of course it is also nutritious and the flavor pairs well with our tomatoes and lemon ricotta!
How to Make Vegan Tomato Ricotta Pasta with Kale
As always, keep on scrolling for the full recipe! But here are the basics:
- Cook your pasta
- Cook your kale
- Sauté garlic and tomatoes
- Combine ricotta with tomatoes
- Add pasta and kale
Tips & Tricks
I always welcome you guys to experiment with my recipes. Here are a few ideas for you:
- Not a fan of kale? No worries! You could add in any greens you want here. Just note that kale cooks longer than many other greens, so if you are using a softer green (such as spinach), you likely won’t have to cook it for the full minute. I haven’t used softer greens myself so I’m not certain how long they will need, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was less than 30 seconds. Throw it in at the very end and keep an eye on it!
- I kept it simple here by just using tomatoes, garlic, and kale, but feel free to add in additional veggies if you’d like! To do this, you can simply sauté additional veggies with the garlic and tomatoes (or cook them separately if they require a drastically different cook time). I’d love to try bell pepper, broccoli, or onion!
- Depending on how much sauce you like on your pasta, feel free to add in extra Lemon Tofu Ricotta as you wish. The more you add, the creamier and more lemon-forward it will be!
- A note of caution that you absolutely CAN eat this as leftovers, but it’s definitely at it’s best the day it is made! The ricotta tends to clump up the longer it sits in the fridge, and the kale gets more wilted. I’ve had it as leftovers many times, but it’s always best when fresh!
- Looking for other delicious vegan pasta dishes? Check out my Taco Pasta or Pumpkin Pasta with Spinach & Mushrooms next!
Vegan Tomato Ricotta Pasta with Kale
This Vegan Tomato Ricotta Pasta with Kale is cozy and comforting, while also tasting fresh and nourishing. The tomatoes burst with so much flavor, and our Lemon Tofu Ricotta makes our pasta dish nice and creamy. This is a great go-to recipe for any pasta-loving plant based kitchen!
*Note that “From Start to Finish” is an estimate that includes 25 minutes to make your Lemon Tofu Ricotta (only 5 minutes of which is hands-on time), and then 30 minutes to complete the steps of this recipe. Feel free to prep the Lemon Tofu Ricotta ahead of time if you want to be able to jump straight into the recipe!
1 bunch kale
12 oz pasta of choice
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups cherry tomatoes
- Pull the kale leaves from the woody stems and tear them into small pieces. Discard the stems.
- Cook pasta according to package directions. In the last minute of cook time, toss your kale leaves into the boiling water with your pasta. Reserve 1/3 cup of the pasta water and set it to the side. Drain the pasta and kale.
- Bring a medium/large pot to medium heat. Add a small splash of water to prevent sticking, then add your garlic and cherry tomatoes to the pot (the cherry tomatoes are not chopped, they are full cherry tomatoes!). Sauté the garlic and tomatoes over medium heat until the majority of the tomatoes have bursted (generally about 8-12 minutes). Stir occasionally and add small splashes of water as needed to prevent sticking.
- If desired, set a few of the tomatoes off to the side to top your pasta later (this is mostly for aesthetics – totally optional!). Add your Lemon Tofu Ricotta to the pot with the remaining tomatoes. Stir to combine so that the tomatoes and ricotta form sort of a creamy “sauce”. This may take a couple minutes, but as the ricotta is heated it should become easier to stir. Add reserved pasta water, 1 Tbsp at a time, as needed to thin your sauce.
- Once your ricotta “sauce” is heated through and has reached your desired consistency, add the cooked pasta and kale to the pot. Give everything a stir so that the pasta is evenly coated with the ricotta.
- Give it a taste test and add a couple more Tbsp of Lemon Tofu Ricotta if desired (for a stronger lemon flavor). Serve and top with the optional reserved tomatoes. Enjoy!
Stay joyfully balanced!