Sweet Potato Noodles with Kale Pesto (Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Vegan, Paleo)

Sweet potato “noodles” are slicked with a hearty green pesto made from winter greens like kale or chard.

sweet potato noodles, paleo noodles, vegetable noodles, kale pesto

I found myself with an inordinate amount of kale last week.  A two for one sale may have had a little something to do with it, but regardless my fridge was overflowing with bunches of the dark leafy greens waiting to be put to good use.

The first couple bunches went into smoothies and the rest made their way onto these sweet potato noodles.

sweet potato noodles, pesto recipe, kale pesto

Here’s the idea, you take a couple of sweet potatoes and make yourself a pile of noodles. The sweet potatoes’ delicate flesh is easily transformed into slender ribbons with the help of a vegetable peeler or spiralizer.

Meanwhile, put a pot of water on to boil and blanch some greens.  After a quick bath in some salted boiling water to take the edge off the hearty winter greens, they hit the food processor, with some lightly toasted nuts, a squeeze of lemon juice and a handful of parsley for brightness and a good pinch of red pepper flakes too.

Whirred to a paste in the food processor with a glug of extra virgin olive oil, the ensuing pesto is lovely in its own right but even better against the then quickly blanched sweet potato noodles.

sweet potato noodles with pesto, vegetable noodles with kalr pesto, paleo noodles

Tiny flecks of green coat each strand with lively, clean grassy flavors that pop, while the nuts add a subtle richness and nuttiness.  Grate some Pecorino over the whole thing if you’d like or top it with some extra toasted nuts.

Substantial without being heavy this is the kind of dish to turn to if a case of the winter blahs has you craving the slippery comfort of a plate of noodles.

Serves serves 4

Sweet Potato Noodles with Kale Pesto

Sweet potato “noodles” are slicked with a hearty green pesto made from winter greens like kale or chard.

30 minPrep Time

5 minCook Time

Save Recipe


  • 2 large, long sweet potatoes
  • 1 large bunch leafy greens like kale or chard, ribs and stems removed
  • A small handful of fresh flat leaf parsley (optional but it does give the pesto a nice fresh flavor)
  • 3 Tablespoons/ 22g pine nuts or blanched almonds, lightly toasted
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled and chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon/15ml of lemon juice
  • A pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea or Himalayan salt
  • 2 Tablespoons/30ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 to 2 Tablespoons reserved cooking water to thin as necessary
  • ¼ cup finely grated Pecorino Romano, for serving (optional)


  1. Wash and peel the sweet potatoes. Using a spiralizer , mandolin or vegetable peeler , create long strips of sweet potato “noodles”. Set aside.
  2. Wash and coarsely chop the greens, setting aside a handful.
  3. Quickly blanch the greens in a large pot of boiling salted water for about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the fresh parsley, nuts, garlic, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, and salt to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped.
  5. Remove the blanched greens using a strainer from the boiling water, pressing to remove excess water (reserve the water to cook the sweet potato noodles) and transfer to the food processor bowl. With the motor running, add olive oil in a steady stream and process until smooth adding in a Tablespoonful of the cooking water as needed to achieve a smooth sauce.
  6. Bring the water back to a boil and blanch the sweet potato noodles until tender but still holding their shape, about 1 to 2 minutes depending on the thickness of your noodles.
  7. Toss the cooked sweet potato and greens with the pesto and top with grated Pecorino Romano if desired.
  8. Serve immediately.


Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Vegetarian, Paleo, Vegan (omit Pecorino for Paleo and Vegan)


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For more vegetable noodle recipes check out my Eat Your Veggies Noodle Recipes Collection on Foodie.com below:
(This collection is sponsored by Foodie.com. Click on the slideshow above to see all the recipes.)  



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  1. says

    They’re gorgeous noodles! I tried years ago using my spiralizer to spiralize sweet potatoes but they’re so hard they about broke my gadget so I never had success. I need to try with a peeler b/c they’re so pretty! Pinned

  2. says

    Sylvie, you are a genius! Love, love the idea of sweet potato noodles! Nom. Cannot wait to try this with a veggie peeler. I think it would be much easier than a spiralizer. Your kale pesto looks divine. Thanks for sharing, m’lady!

  3. says

    What a beautiful dish! I almost always take excess greens and pesto-ize them. I think it’s the best and most efficient way to enjoy them. I would have never thought to turn sweet potatoes in noodles but it’s a great idea.

  4. says

    These are fabulous noodles! I have been wanting to get a vegetable noodle maker of some kind and this is a great reason. It would also be a great way to get my son to eat more veggies! 🙂

  5. says

    I fell in love with kale pesto this winter, but sweet potato noodles are new to me. Gorgeous! The dish sounds really delicious.

    And your photographs are stunning, as always.

  6. says

    Excited to try this recipe! I’ve been eating zucchini noodles (with scallops) all summer. Now that the nights are cooler, I’m yearning for some comfort foot. This looks like a winner!