Linguine with Pumpkin Seed Kale Pesto

Pumpkin Seed Kale Pesto is a wonderful sauce to make in the fall and winter months. It’s quite versatile, but especially delicious when paired with fresh linguine, creamy burrata and toasted breadcrumbs.

Close up of inguine with Pumpkin Seed Kale Pesto in bowl with cilantro, burrata and breadcrumbs

My morning was shaping up to be one of those mornings. My internet has been intermittent to nonexistent for the last few days, and when I finally got around to calling them this morning I spent the better part of an hour on hold or being given the trouble shooting run around. And it still doesn’t work! They’re sending someone out tomorrow, so it looks like I’ll be spending one more day sapping internet connection from my phone.

Fresh linguine on a baking sheet, pumpkin seeds, kale leaves

But it’s ok! It’s first world problems, right? And no need to let a wobbly start set the tone for the day. Moving on! Plus I’m more than happy to tether my Iphone to my laptop for an internet connection until my data usage is completely depleted if it means I can finally share this Linguine with Pumpkin Seed Kale Pesto with you.

Fresh linguine on a baking sheet

I’ve been meaning to get this recipe out for a couple of weeks now, but you know…those pesky first world problems keep getting in the way.

Pumpkin Seed Kale Pesto in jar with ingredients

This time of year pumpkins are ubiquitous, and I’m certainly not immune to their fall charm (see my Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Pancakes and Pumpkin Sage Hummus recipes for proof of that), but I love making things with pumpkin seeds as well. I recently developed, styled and shot a few recipes featuring pumpkin seeds as the star ingredient for our local paper, where I’m a food contributor, and this was one of them.

This Pumpkin Seed Kale Pesto is not much different to prepare from traditional pesto. The pumpkin seeds stand in for the pine nuts and in addition to fresh herbs, I like to add a handful of kale leaves, blanched to shock their vibrant green hue, for extra nutrition.

Hand sprinkling breadcrumbs over bowl of Linguine with Pumpkin Seed Kale Pesto on surface with bowl of breadcrumbs

Pumpkin Seed Kale Pesto is super versatile, just like other pestos. Use it to top meat, fish or vegetables, spread it on a sandwich, or use as a pizza sauce. You can even mix it into bread dough, which I haven’t tried, but thinking I need to ASAP.

Hand sprinkling breadcrumbs over bowl of Linguine with Pumpkin Seed Kale Pesto

My favorite way to enjoy this Pumpkin Seed Kale Pesto, however, is tossed with fresh linguine, and topped with dollops of hand torn burrata and toasted, seasoned breadcrumbs. If you’ve never added breadcrumbs to your pasta before, you must! It’s a total game changer. Sometimes I toast a batch of breadcrumbs in a small cast iron pan with a little olive oil, fresh grated garlic, lemon zest, dried oregano and basil (and salt and pepper, of course) to keep on hand for easy sprinkling on dishes like this Linguine Pumpkin Seed Kale Pesto.

Close up of inguine with Pumpkin Seed Kale Pesto in bowl with cilantro, burrata and breadcrumbs

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Linguine with Pumpkin Seed Kale Pesto, Burrata and Breadcrumbs

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4


For the Pesto:

  • 1 bunch of kale hard stems removed and roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled
  • 1 cup toasted pumpkin seeds or pepitas plus more for garnish
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro or basil leaves plus more for garnish
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the Pasta:

  • 8 ounces linguine cooked until al dente and drained (reserve about 1/2 cup of pasta water)
  • 4 ounces burrata
  • 1/4 cup toasted breadcrumbs


  1. Place kale leaves into a pot of boiling water. Cook for about 1 minute, then drain and place in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking and shock the leaves to remain a vibrant shade of green. Drain and squeeze out as much excess liquid as possible.
  2. Place kale, garlic, pumpkin seeds and herbs into a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. With the motor still running, add the olive oil in a steady stream. Add the lemon juice, sea salt and black pepper and pulse once more.
  3. Transfer linguine to a pot over medium-low heat. Toss with approximately 1 cup of pumpkin seed kale pesto. Add starchy pasta water as necessary to help evenly distribute the sauce. When pasta is warmed through, divide evenly amongst bowls. Top with burrata, breadcrumbs, pumpkin seeds and fresh herbs. Dollop with additional remaining pesto, if desired.

 inguine with Pumpkin Seed Kale Pesto in bowl with silverware

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  1. Esse D

    The pictures are VERY editorial! While I’m interested, it does look a bit intimidating to me. I think I would get over it and try it despite my reservations.

    1. Denisse Post author

      Thanks! Food photography and styling is my favorite part about blogging 🙂 Please don’t be intimidated to try this! This whole recipe only takes about 20 minutes, and pumpkin seed pesto is no more difficult to make than regular basil pesto, I promise!

    1. Denisse Post author

      That’s awesome that you’re so close! I don’t own a restaurant actually, my company offers event catering and private chef services- but my husband is in the beginning stages of opening an artisan donut shop in SB, so hopefully soon you can come check that out!


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