Skillet Kale and Pumpkin Pasta Recipe

This quick and easy single skillet meal of pasta with pumpkin and black kale is perfect for a Halloween feast!

Overhead shot of Kale and Pumpkin Pasta on a plate.
This quick and easy one-pot meal delivers a hearty serving of kale and pumpkin over farfalle, tied together with a generous topping of nutty Parmesan cheese.

Serious Eats / Yasmin Fahr

Why It Works

  • Bat wing-like farfalle pasta and Tuscan kale (a.k.a. cavolo nero) paired with bright orange pumpkin pack some Halloween spirit onto your plate.
  • If you're short on time, pre-cut pumpkin from the supermarket will speed up your prep, so you can have dinner on the table in 20 minutes.

As I get older, I find myself embracing the childish pleasures of holidays like Halloween, though you have to admit that adults get a little shortchanged on this one. So even though I'm technically not allowed to trick-or-treat on my own anymore and don't have kids, I decided to have a little Halloween fun in the kitchen.

With a fanciful stretch of your imagination, farfalle pasta becomes bat wings and Tuscan kale, a.k.a. cavolo nero (literally, "black cabbage") adds some requisite darkness. Pair it with bright orange pumpkin and you've packed some Halloween spirit onto your plate!

But regardless of whether you're a Halloween enthusiast, this is a light and super easy dish to put together. In one bowl, you'll get a hearty serving of kale and pumpkin, tied together with a generous topping of nutty Parmesan. The most time-consuming part is cutting up the pumpkin. On the bright side, that means you can whip up some roasted pumpkin seeds for snacking on the next day. But if you're short on time, see if your supermarket carries pre-cut pumpkin. That way, you'll have dinner on the table in 20 minutes—not bad for a weeknight meal!

October 2013

Recipe Facts

Active: 30 mins
Total: 30 mins
Serves: 4 servings

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  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving

  • 3 1/2 cups cubed, peeled, and seeded sugar pumpkin or kabocha squash

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 medium shallot, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)

  • Pinch dried red chile flakes

  • 1 clove garlic, minced or grated with a Microplane (about 1 teaspoon)

  • 4 cups homemade or store-bought low-sodium vegetable or chicken stock

  • 1 pound farfalle pasta

  • 3 cups chopped lacinato kale (Tuscan or cavolo nero), stemmed and leaves removed from ribs and cut into 1-inch ribbons

  • 1 tablespoon fresh juice from 1 lemon

  • 2 ounces finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving


  1. Heat oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add pumpkin, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Push to the side and add shallot and chile flakes and cook until softened, about 1 minute more, then add garlic and cook until fragrant, another 30 seconds.

  2. Add stock and pasta and adjust heat to maintain a vigorous boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until pasta has about 4 minutes left to finish and stir in kale leaves. Allow pasta to finish cooking and kale to wilt. Remove from pan and toss with lemon juice and cheese. Season to taste. Serve drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with more cheese.

Special Equipment

12-inch skillet

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
648 Calories
16g Fat
104g Carbs
22g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 648
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 16g 21%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 12mg 4%
Sodium 989mg 43%
Total Carbohydrate 104g 38%
Dietary Fiber 8g 27%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 22g
Vitamin C 51mg 255%
Calcium 253mg 19%
Iron 6mg 32%
Potassium 908mg 19%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)