Pesto Goat Cheese Pasta Recipe (Creamy & Delicious)

Creamy Pesto Goat Cheese Pasta will be on your table in 20 minutes! Swirled with a dreamy, lemony-kale pesto. It’s basically heaven in a bowl. 

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Two bowls of goat cheese pasta next to small bowl of kale pesto.

In about the time it takes to cook a pot of pasta, you’ll have this yummy lemon goat cheese pasta on your table. 

When I dreamed up this recipe in my head, I was originally going to make a garlic goat cheese pasta with bits of sauteed kale running through it. But then visions of this broccoli pesto started running through my head and I decided to make a kale pesto instead, and swirl it together with the creamy pasta. 

It was a good decision. 

I’m totally obsessed with this recipe, and I hope you will be too! 

The kale pesto comes together in just 5 -minutes with the help of your food processor. Put that together while your pasta is cooking, then saute some shallot and garlic in a large skillet, add in the pasta, goat cheese and a splash of pasta cooking liquid to loosen things up, and once that pasta is nice and coated in the goat cheese, swirl in some of that gorgeous green, lemony kale pesto. 

Hello easy weeknight dinner! 

Ingredients for goat cheese pasta on tray

Ingredients needed

  • Pasta – You can use any pasta shape that you prefer. See suggestions in the FAQ section below.
  • Goat Cheese – Look for goat cheese labelled as soft ‘chèvre’. It’s most often sold in the specialty cheese case near the produce section of many markets. It is packaged in logs. You can use plain goat cheese, but I used an herb goat cheese to give my pasta extra flavor. 
  • Olive Oil
  • Shallot & Garlic
  • Kale
  • Basil
  • Walnuts
  • Lemon
  • Salt

How to make it

  • Cook the Pasta – to al dente, reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking liquid for later. 
  • Make the Pesto – pulse together kale, basil, olive oil, walnuts, garlic and lemon. 
  • Saute Shallots & Garlic – until softened. 
  • Combine Pasta – with shallots and garlic, goat cheese, and a splash of pasta water. 
  • Swirl in the Pesto – here’s where it really gets good! 
  • Serve – garnished with extra basil, goat cheese, and/or walnuts. 

Tip: You want to cook your pasta to just al dente as it will continue to cook when it gets combined with the goat cheese. This ensures that you won’t have soggy pasta. 

Recipe FAQs

Does goat cheese melt well?

The goat cheese will melt right into the warm pasta when combined with a bit of the pasta cooking liquid and heated over medium heat. Add additional pasta cooking liquid as needed to reach your desired creamy consistency. 

Is goat cheese better for you than cow cheese?

Yes! There are some great benefits to using goat cheese in this pasta recipe: 
It is lower in calories than cow cheeses like cheddar and mozzarella. 
It has more essential nutrients – vitamins A & B, potassium, and magnesium. 
It has less lactose than cow cheeses and can be more easily digested. 

What types of pasta can I use?

I used cavatappi pasta in this recipe. I just love the curly-q shape. However, you can use any type of pasta that you prefer. Other great options are rigatoni, linguini, spaghetti farfalle, and shells. 

What do you serve with it?

This recipe is a meal all on its own but is extra delightful when served alongside a fresh salad, crusty bread, and any of these light sides:

Wine pairings

Overhead shot of bowl of goat cheese pasta

More recipes using goat cheese

More pasta recipes

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Bowl of goat cheese pasta tossed with kale pesto and topped with dollops of goat cheese.

Goat Cheese Pesto Pasta

Creamy Goat Cheese Pasta will be on your table in 20 minutes! Swirled with a dreamy, lemony-kale pesto. It’s basically heaven in a bowl. 
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6 people

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces cavatappi (or any pasta)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 shallot (diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 4 ounces soft goat cheese (chevre) (herb or plain)

Kale Pesto:

  • 3 cups torn kale (stems removed (about 1 large bunch))
  • 1 cup basil leaves (tightly packed)
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup walnuts
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 lemon (zested and juiced)
  • ½ teaspoon salt (plus more to taste)

Optional Garnish:

  • Fresh chopped basil
  • Chopped Walnuts
  • Crumbled Goat Cheese

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta to al dente according to package directions. Before draining the pasta, reserve 1 cup of the cooking water.
  • Meanwhile, pulse the kale, basil, olive oil, walnuts, garlic, lemon zest & juice and salt in a food processor until smooth. Set aside.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-heat. Add the shallot and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until just softened, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the goat cheese, pasta and ½ cup of the reserved pasta cooking water to the shallot/garlic mixture. Cook, over medium heat, stirring gently, until the cheese coats the pasta, adding additional cooking water if needed to loosen the sauce.
  • Add the pesto and stir gently to combine.
  • Serve garnished with additional chopped basil, walnuts and goat cheese, if desired.
Did you make this recipe?Mention @platingsandpairings or tag #platingsandpairings!

Equipment

Food processor
Large Skillet

Nutrition

Calories: 521kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 281mg | Potassium: 363mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 3753IU | Vitamin C: 51mg | Calcium: 109mg | Iron: 2mg

This post was originally published in 2020. It was updated in 2023 to add new information. The goat cheese pasta recipe remains the same. Enjoy!

3 thoughts on “Pesto Goat Cheese Pasta Recipe (Creamy & Delicious)”

5 from 2 votes

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