3 Healthy Pesto Pasta Recipes to Satisfy Your Carb Cravings

Are you looking to be healthier but don’t want to eliminate pasta from your diet? No need to choose between the two. Here are a few of our favourite healthy pasta recipes to satisfy those carb cravings.

Wholemeal Pasta Spirals with Rocket Pesto, Green Beans and Potatoes

This wonderful pasta dish serves four people and only takes 30 minutes to create. If you’re looking to make this wonderful recipe all you’re going to need is:

  • 300g of chat potatoes
  • 300g of wholemeal pasta spirals
  • 200g of green beans
  • 150g rocket and cashew pesto tub
  • 1/3 cup or 25g of parmesan

To make this dish you are going to want to start by making sure the potatoes are quartered. Once that has been done, place them in a large pan of cold, lightly salted water. Bring the water to a boil and cook the potatoes for five minutes.

After that, add the pasta and cook for another five minutes. From there add the beans and cook for a further two minutes. Your end result is to have the beans, potatoes and pasta tender, if this is not the case after the allotted time and continue to cook.

Once the ingredients have been properly cooked, drain the pan well (reserving 80ml of cooking liquid) and then return the ingredients and the reserved water back into the pan.

Now for the final touches; add the pesto and stir well until the sauce is evenly distributed. Season well and then divide the pasta into bowls. Top with parmesan and serve.

Pasta Salad with Lentils, Pesto and Beans

Lentils are a great source of protein and this recipe is perfect for vegetarians. This pasta dish also serves four people and only takes 25 minutes to make. To make this delicious recipe you are going to need:

  • 250g of baby tomatoes
  • 200g of Barilla gluten free penne
  • 200g of green beans
  • 400g can of brown lentils
  • 1/3 cup of shaved parmesan
  • 60g of basil pesto
  • 1/3 cup of fresh basil leaves
  • Olive oil

Start by preheating the oven to 170*C (or 150*C fan forced). Before cooking commences you are going to want to halve your baby tomatoes, slice your green beans, and rinse then drain your lentils.

From there, line a baking tray with baking paper and place the tomatoes on it. Spray the tray with olive oil and then place in the oven. Roast the tomatoes for 15 minutes or until softened. Once cooked, set the tray aside to cool down.

Meanwhile, you can start cooking the pasta. Grab a large saucepan and place the pasta in the slightly salted boiling water. Cook the pasta until it is al dente, and then add the beans into the saucepan in the last two minutes of cooking.

Once the pasta and beans have been cooked, drain the contents of the saucepan into a colander and refresh under cold running water.

Once the pasta has been properly drained transfer the pasta and beans into a large bowl and add in the lentils, tomatoes, parmesan, pesto sauce and basil leaves. Mix it together and then serve.

Spaghetti with Chicken and Broccoli Almond Pesto

Here’s another recipe that serves four people, but this one takes a little longer to make. It takes a total of 50 minutes to prepare and cook, but if you have the time, will be worth it! For this lovely, hearty pasta dish you will need:

  • 500g of chicken breast fillets
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon of whole black peppercorns
  • 375g of dried whole grain spaghetti
  • 250 cherry tomatoes
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Chopped toasted almonds, ready to serve

For the broccoli pesto the ingredients are:

  • 600g of broccoli
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • ½ cup of almond kernels
  • 4 small garlic cloves
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup parmesan

To start, halve the tomatoes and peel the garlic, then quarter it. Now place the chicken in a deep frying pan. Add lemon, peppercorns and enough water to cover the chicken.

Bring the pan to a boil over medium heat, reduce the heat to low, cover and let simmer for five minutes. After that, remove it from the heat and let it sit for 15 minutes. Remove the chicken from the cooking liquid and then thinly slice it.

Now we’re going to make the broccoli pesto; for this you will need your food processor. First cook the broccoli in a saucepan of boiling water for five minutes. Then you’re going to want to drain it and refresh it under cold water.

Place the broccoli, basil, almonds, garlic and oil in the food processor. Process the ingredients together until they are almost smooth; from there transfer the mixture into a bowl. In the bowl, add the parmesan and stir well.

With the pesto and chicken done, now it’s time to cook the pasta. Place the pasta into boiling water and cook until tender. Drain the saucepan, reserving one cup of cooking water.

Place the pasta back into the pan over low heat and add in the pesto, tomato and reserved cooking water. Cook for five minutes, mixing it during this time.

Serve the pasta topped with chicken, basil leaves and extra almonds.

And there you have three wonderfully delicious and healthy pesto pasta dishes that will settle your carb cravings. “Getting healthy” does not have to mean cutting food groups. Enjoy your pasta!

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