Kale & Hempseed Pesto Pasta with Baked Salmon

Yum. yum yum yum. That's pretty much all I can that say that describes this recipe. And as usual, it's HEALTHY. No but seriously, this is gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan (without the salmon), and a super satisfying and filling meal. The pesto is made of hemp seeds, which are a great source of essential fatty acids (omega 3 and such), plus they're full of protein (you can find hemp protein powder everywhere!). It also includes kale, cashews (or any time of nut you want), lemon, basil, and a few other things I decided to throw in to make it taste a little cheesier and richer. 

Hemp Seed Pesto Pasta // The Casual Classic

I've made this twice already in the past couple weeks. The full recipe lasts me a couple days worth of lunches (or dinners). The only unique tool you need is a food processor... If you don't have one, I'd seriously consider investing in one, because so many recipes these days require one. Or at least recipes that involve nuts seem to require one. I have a teeny tiny one because when I originally wanted to buy it, I didn't want to spend a lot of money. Now, I'm considering investing in a larger one since I use it so darn often! 

Read on for instructions and ingredients!

Hemp Seed Pesto Pasta // The Casual Classic


  • Gluten free pasta or soba noodles (I used an entire package of gluten free rice pasta)
  • 1 filet of salmon
  • 1 bunch of lacinto kale - stalks removed (about 2 large handfuls)
  • handful of parsley
  • 1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup hemp seeds
  • 1/2 cup cashews (or pine nuts)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 tbsp of nutritional yeast (optional)
  • Pinch of sea salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees (for the salmon - you can omit this if you aren't cooking salmon).
  2. Rub the salmon with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place it on an baking tray covered with aluminum foil skin down. Bake for 4-5 minutes per half inch of thickness. 
  3. Cook the pasta per the instructions on the package.
  4. Throw the rest of the ingredients for the pesto into a large food processor and process until you reach a smooth consistency. 
  5. You can omit the garlic & nutritional yeast if you prefer - the original recipe didn't call for it, but when I made it the first time, it was just missing something. The nutritional yeast gives it a little bit of a cheesy flavor that normal pesto has, and the garlic was just a great addition also.
  6. Mix the pesto with the pasta, top with the salmon, and enjoy!

*Recipe adapted from The Chalkboard Mag