Pasta with Caramelized Sweet Potatoes and Kale

Pasta with Caramelized Sweet Potatoes and Kale

Pasta with Caramelized Sweet Potatoes and Kale

Easy35 minsQuick

This seasonal Pasta with Caramelized Sweet Potatoes and Kale recipe is quick and easy to make, it’s seasoned with savory balsamic vinegar and garlic, and it’s so beautiful and delicious!

Ever since I started working from home about five years ago, I’ve faithfully spent my lunch break most days with a bowl of leftovers from whatever recipe I happen to be testing or photographing that morning and…Trevor Noah.  Or, pre-2015, Jon Stewart.  Or on the weeks that they have taken off, I catch up on my John Olivers.

And oh my goodness, I look forward to my lunch dates with these guys every day. 💛

Partly because…they’re the best.  And partly because their 22-minute episodes are perfect for a quick little lunch break in the middle of the day.  And partly because it’s nice to shift my brain space from thinking about curry to current events for a bit.  But mostly because they make me smile and laugh so hard every single day.  Which…for a “3” on the Enneagram, who tends to get hyper-focused when in work mode, and has a habit of taking life a little too seriously sometimes…is much needed literal comic relief.  😂

Thankfully when I met Barclay, he was just as big a fan of “The Daily Show” as I was.  So now that he’s freelancing and working from home alongside me, he’s happily joined in on these lunch dates…and also happily volunteers to taste-test whatever’s cooking in the kitchen that day.  And our fave meal last week?  This clean-out-the-fridge simple pasta dish, with balsamic caramelized sweet potatoes, kale, garlic and pine nuts.

Lunch date FTW!

Ha, I should probably note that this recipe came about because we have approximately zero free fridge space in our half-sized Spanish fridge.  So when we had a batch of leftover soup last week that needed a home, the big bunch of kale in there taking up half of the shelf had to go.  😂

Hence, this pasta.

Nine times out of ten, if I give Barclay the choice between sautéing up some leftovers to make a simple stir-fry, a rice bowl, a soup, or a pasta…he will vote “pasta” in a heartbeat.  And I’m happy to report it ended up being a great decision with this one.

The combination of the sweet red onions, sweet potatoes and balsamic paired perfectly with the savory garlic, kale, pine nuts and pasta.  And when piled high with lots and lots of Parmesan cheese for serving?  (<– I insist!)


That said, in true clean-out-the-fridge fashion, I want to point out that this recipe is also incredibly customizable with whatever random veggies or proteins you might have on hand.  For example…

Want to add some protein? Some cooked Italian sausage, shrimp, chicken or bacon would be fantastic here.

Love butternut squash?  Feel free to swap it in here in place of sweet potatooes.

Not a huge fan of kale?  Nearly any other greens would also work here, such as spinach or collards.  Or, feel free to just stir in some fresh baby arugula at the very end.

No pine nuts?  Literally any toasted nuts would be delicious.  (Here’s lookin’ at you, walnuts, almonds, pepitas, pecans, pistachios…)

Vegan or dairy-free? Feel free to sprinkle on some nutritional yeast in lieu of Parmesan.

But if you do eat cheese, I recommend going big on the Parmesan here.  I mean, just look at that bowl below.  😍

And of course, all the better with a side of TDS, if you ask me.  😉

Enjoy, friends!

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Yield: 6-8 servings

Pasta with Caramelized Sweet Potatoes and Kale

This Pasta with Caramelized Sweet Potatoes and Kale recipe is full of delicious savory Fall flavors.  And it’s also totally easy to customize with whatever ingredients you have on hand.  See above for suggestions!

Total Time: 35 mins

Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 20 mins


  • 12 ounces uncooked pasta (I used orecchiette)
  • 4 tablespoons butter or olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 cups roughly-chopped kale leaves, tough stems removed
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine (or chicken or vegetable stock)
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar (or traditional balsamic vinegar*)
  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
Read the whole recipe on Gimme Some Oven