Creamed Kale and Kimchi Pasta

This creamed kale and kimchi pasta features a creamy kale and coconut milk sauce with plenty of crunchy, funky kimchi. #kale #kimchi #pasta #entree

i don’t know how many lectures i’ve gone to. i’ve gone to ones on south east asian religion, ones on databases, ones that aren’t really lectures at all (i had a business class where our main task was to take bs quizzes featuring questions like, what’s the name of a bosnian croat convicted of war crimes who died after drinking poison in front of a united nations tribunal in the hague?). but the biggest lesson i learned in college? it’s not what you do, it’s who you do it with.

sure, there are some unredeemable activities (i’m not sure if i’d love backpacking, even if i was with the best people ever). but i wasn’t in a diy art club because i’m artsy, nor was i on the executive board of an information technology club for two years because i’m a technical person. it’s the people who made my time worthwhile. the people who i want to get trashy diner food in the middle of the night with, the people i want to sing jesse mccartney and brittney spears songs with, the people i chat at 2am while writing this blog post bc i don’t sleep enough. i’m going to be spending less time with some of these people in the very near future though: i’m bidding adieu to my presidency this week. so long, farewell, i’ll even say goodbye.

Top this creamed kale and kimchi pasta with as many sunny-side up eggs as you want! #kale #kimchi #pasta #entree

and because i apparently only know how to celebrate anniversaries and changes in my life with carbs, voila creamed kale and kimchi pasta. it was inspired by this number from food52, and i thought i got the idea of adding kimchi from the comments. however, kimchi is nowhere to be referenced on the page, no matter how many times one might ctrl + f that query. the idea of adding kimchi probably came from the part of my brain that continuously craves korean food.

this creamed kale and kimchi pasta is deliciously balanced between decadence and health: the (full fat!) coconut milk makes things luxurious, and the kale and kimchi pack a one-two punch of hearty vegetables. the kimchi stands out here as the star, but this creamy, cheesey (do you see that showering of parm?) pasta is also a good way to gentle a wary eater into this spicy, aggressive condiment. fried eggs on top are optional, though i do recommend some sort of protein to make this more of an entree instead of a pasta course.

Grate a generous amount of parmesan cheese on top to round out this creamed kale and kimchi pasta. #kale #kimchi #pasta #entree

1 year ago: spaghetti squash lasagna with scallion gremolata | lunar new year festival at california adventure
2 years ago: caramel banana upside down cake | yaki onigiri
3 years ago: ucla, will jay and fonuts | green tea mochi ice cream
4 years ago: sakamoto namul (marinated bean sprouts) | mediterranean baked chicken

Creamed Kale and Kimchi Pasta

This creamed kale and kimchi pasta pairs a creamy coconut milk and kale sauce with plenty of crunchy, tangy kimchi.
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American, Korean
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 8 people
Calories 414 kcal


  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 medium fennel bulb chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • leaves from 1 bunch kale torn
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • soy sauce, fish sauce and lemon juice to taste
  • 1 cup kimchi chopped
  • 1 lb pasta cooked
  • 1 cup grated parmesan
  • 8 fried eggs


  1. In a medium pan, heat some oil over medium heat. Add the onion, fennel and garlic, and saute until the onion is translucent. Add the kale, and cook until wilted.
  2. Add the coconut milk, and cook until slightly reduced. Transfer the mixture to a blender (be careful!), and blend until your desired consistency is reached (I like a chunkier sauce). Add soy sauce, fish sauce, and/or lemon juice to taste.
  3. Toss the kimchi, pasta and creamed kale sauce together until well-coated. Divide the creamed kale and kimchi pasta among 8 bowls, top with fried eggs and parmesan, and serve hot.

Recipe Notes

If you find that your kimchi is a bit too pungent raw, feel free to saute it to tame it. Add it to the pan with the onion, fennel and garlic, before you add the kale.

more pasta

This spaghetti squash lasagna with scallion gremolata has the typical lasagna flavors, but with a pop of freshness from a herby, citrusy topping. #spaghettisquash #lasagna #gremolata #pasta

spaghetti squash lasagna with scallion gremolata

This weeknight cauliflower pasta with pecans and feta is also topped with a hardboiled egg, and a generous sprinkling of scallions.

weeknight cauliflower pasta with pecans and feta

If you're into creamed spinach, but are also down to experiment, might I suggest this creamed kale and kimchi pasta? #kale #kimchi #pasta #entree

33 Replies to “Creamed Kale and Kimchi Pasta”

  1. Heather, that looks so amazing, I would eat it all in one sitting…YUM! 🙂

    1. thanks, kim! it’s creamy but not heavy, so it’s the kind of the thing that i keep going back for bites of.

  2. Mmmm I want all the pasta! And the egg!! And I totally agree that it’s the people you work with that make all the difference. Xoxo

    1. eggs are such an easy source of protein that i basically but them in everything lol. but they do look nice when you fry them sunny side up, which is a nice side benefit (;

  3. I like to celebrate with carbs as I have never had kimchi but this looks like a great place for it!

    1. you’ll have to try kimchi soon then! it’s kind of like spicy sauerkraut :3

  4. Heather – this sounds so good! I love the egg on top, too! I’ll add kimchi to almost anything – I love the way it tastes so different when cooked than raw. And, for what it’s worth, I’m not sure what you could substitute for carbohydrate delights in a celebration. I’m not switching my celebration cake for a chunk of tofu. So there! Thanks for the recipe!

    1. ooh if you wanted, you could cook some of the kimchi and leave some of it raw here! that would be tasty (: HAHA i can’t imagine subbing tofu for cake either (;

  5. Ohhhhh, I love kale AND kimchi, so this is right up my alley!!! –

    1. thanks, gingi! they’re both staples in my kitchen, and so tasty/healthy (:

  6. There is nothing wrong about celebrating with carbs, I think it’s a great choice and this dish is simply so yum!

    1. haha thanks emma (:

  7. This looks so good! I have been craving the spicy and sour flavour of kimchi lately and putting it in a pasta with kale is a genius idea! I love the egg on top too.

    1. oooh then you’ll have to make this before the weather turns warm! or just eat kimchi with rice and seaweed- such a good snack (:

  8. What an interesting combination of ingredients. I will keep the tip in mind about lightly cooking the kimchi.

    1. whenever i forget about the kimchi in my fridge or can’t use it up fast enough, i cook it! you get all the great kimchi flavor, without the aggressive vinegar quality that super fermented kimchi has (:

  9. College is awesome! Glad you’re connecting with people in lots of different settings from all walks of life.
    Thanks for sharing your college experiences and thanks too for sharing this recipe.

    1. i wasn’t a huge fan of college for the first year or so, but grateful i’ve had the chance to go! i might not have learned much in my classes, but i’ve been able to experience so many cool things that have shaped me into a better person. (cliche, but true).

  10. The recipe sounds delicious to the core!! Love that creamy flavorful coconut milk sauce..the idea of adding kimchi is amazing! So much more flavor!

    1. thanks, deepika! adding coconut milk automatically makes things delicious in my book (;

  11. love the touch of kimchi in pasta recipes 🙂 seems delicious…

    1. i feel like creamy pasta dishes can be kind of bland sometimes, so the kimchi helps ensure that this pasta stays flavorful and exciting (:

  12. This is such an excellent post-workout dish which is making my mouth water, Heather! Can I use red onion for this dish?

    1. of course! you could do shallots or anything in that sort of family if you want (:

  13. Adding coconut milk is such a great idea! This must be delicious!!!

    1. thanks, makos! i gravitate towards coconut milk more than usual cream, since i love the gentle hint of coconut that it adds (:

  14. wow. I just couldn’t wait to see what this looked like, and it’s beautiful! You’re very creative!

  15. Dang girl this post is all kinds of delicious looking. True confession time – sometimes I like kimchi, other times it’s too fishy for me. I kinda want to make it myself so I can add the ingredients I want. I heard/read it’s not hard to make, just time-consuming. Have you ever made kimchi before? Also, I’ve never had creamed kale before so I’m definitely intrigued! Awesome job 🙂

  16. Kale is my jam, I eat kale 5-6 times a week, but I always make it the same way so this pasta will defiantly go into my cooking dinner rotation. I also love the addition of kimchi, I bet it’s crazy delicious. Ahhh goodbye Presidency 🙁

  17. Oh man, I hate it when there are questions in quizzes that are SO SPECIFIC. I find myself asking: “how is this going to help me in life again?” Hope you’ll make the most out of the last few days of your presidency! I know that feeling, haha.

    The creamed kale kimchi pasta looks delicious! Pretty cool that you added your own twist to the recipe from food52. I love how coconut milk makes a big difference in taste!

  18. My neighbour just gave me a jar of homemade kimchi – now I know what to do with it!!

  19. This pasta takes fusion to a whole new level!! I can only imagine the tantalizing taste with such amazing combination of flavors. I would eat that entire bowl in one sitting:)

  20. You have so much to look forward to but you are going to look back fondly on your college years…the good, the bad, and the ugly. I think it’s wonderful that you have so many good things throughout these past few years to reflect on. I love your creativity on this dish! Pairing kimchi with kale and pasta is really thinking outside of the box. It sounds delicious!!

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