Goat Cheese Pasta with 5-Minute Lemony Kale Pesto

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. 

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! 

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. 

How to cook pasta to al dente? 

  • Begin checking your pasta a minute before the package cooking time directs. You will want your pasta to still have a bit of a bite to it. 

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 type of goat cheese should I use? 

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

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. 
Overhead shot of bowl of goat cheese pasta

If you loved this pasta recipe I would appreciate it so much if you would give it a star review! Also, be sure to snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #platingsandpairings and tagging me @platingsandpairings.

For more great Platings and Pairings recipes, be sure to follow me on Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

More recipes using goat cheese: 

More pasta recipes

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

Creamy Goat Cheese 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
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6 people


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


  • 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!


Food processor
Large Pot
Large Skillet


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

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