We are big pasta lovers around here. When our newest contributor, Julia Long, shared this Power Pesto Pasta dish with us, we were ecstatic to try a Food Friendly™ version of one of our favorite sauces. Of course, you can also enjoy this pesto sauce with some of your other favorites including over grilled chicken or salmon.
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Food Friendly™ by Julia
Julia is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who currently works as a Professional Sports Dietitian. In this role, she helps support professional athletes’ performance with the superpowers of real food. In fact, in each of her recipes, she’ll tell you exactly what body function the ingredient supports.
Power Pesto Pasta Recipe Tips
- We know you may be reading this recipe and thinking wait… where are the pine nuts? Cashews are a delicious (and cheaper) nut alternative for this recipe. You can also use almonds if you have some on hand! Of course, if you want to go with a more traditional option, we won’t stop you from using the tried and true pine nut.
- Bet you’re surprised to see beet greens listed as one of the ingredients! The reason Julia wanted to include them is because there are SO many health benefits to this leafy green! And when you add it to the pesto sauce, you can’t taste them at all – promise!
- You can incorporate a bunch of different roasted veggies in this recipe. Carrots or broccoli florets would also be delicious.
Power Pesto Pasta Recipe
- Pesto Sauce
- 1/2 cup cashews, (heart health)
- 1/2 cup basil, (anti-inflammatory)
- 1 bunch beet greens, (increase oxygen to brain)
- juice from 2 lemons, (boost immunity)
- 2 garlic cloves, (regulate blood sugar)
- 4 tbsp Parmesan cheese, (strengthen bones)
- 1 tbsp olive oil, (heart health)
- 2 - 4 diced chicken, (muscle repair)
- 3 beets, (increase oxygen to the brain)
- 1 sweet potato, (energy for brain)
- 1 - 2 cups whole grain pasta, (replenish energy + satiate)
- olive oil, (heart health)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Throw all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.
- This sauce can also be enjoyed over chicken or salmon!
- Preheat the oven to 375° F.
- Wash and peel the beet and sweet potato. Dice into bite-sized pieces.
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper to taste.
- Rub the veggies with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Place chicken and veggies on a lined baking sheet and bake for about 30 min, flipping the veggies halfway through.
- Continue cooking until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165° F and veggies are fork-tender.
- While chicken & veggies bake, cook pasta according to the directions on the package.
- Cut up the chicken in bite-sized pieces
- Mix together pasta, chicken, and roasted veggies and toss with pesto sauce.
Love this recipe? Make sure you check out our other Food Friendly™ recipes here.