Spinach Pesto Pasta Recipe

Leafy and green, spinach is a versatile superfood that is low in calories and fats and high in fiber and iron.

Just one cup gives you 56% of your daily value of Vitamin A and 14% of your daily value of Vitamin C, and there are plenty of simple and delicious ways to introduce it into your diet. It’s no wonder Popeye was such a fan! 

Spinach Pesto Pasta

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Recipe by Nutrition WorldCourse: DinnerCuisine: Italian
Servings

4

servings

    This flavor-packed, meat-free pasta is ready in minutes, making it a simple and delicious weekday dinner.

    Ingredients

    • 3 cups

      fresh spinach, stems removed

    • 1 cup

      fettuccine pasta

    • 1 tablespoon

      olive oil

    • 1

      clove garlic, minced

    • 1 cup

      fresh basil leaves, stems removed

    • ½ cup

      low-fat, low-sodium chicken broth

    • ¼ cup

      Parmesan cheese, grated

    • One 15 oz.

      can of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

    • 1 cup

      red bell pepper, chopped

    Directions

    • Cook the pasta according to package directions and drain. 

    • Blend the olive oil, garlic, spinach, basil, Parmesan cheese, and chicken broth until the leaves are broken down. 

    • Add the sauce to the pasta and mix until coated. Add the beans and red bell pepper and toss to combine.

    Healthy Tips:

    • Go Fresh. - If you can, use fresh instead of frozen spinach, as freezing the leaves takes away some of its nutritional value.
    • Turn on the heat. - Cooked spinach has more health benefits than raw. This is because if you eat spinach uncooked, your body can’t completely break down the nutrients.
    • Juice it! - Research shows that juiced spinach (like a healthy green juice or smoothie) actually provides the most amount of nutrients.

    Notes about Spinach

    How to Store Spinach

    If you have leftover uncooked spinach, the best way to store it is in a plastic bag or container lined with a dry paper towel. Avoid excess moisture, as this will cause the leaves to rot more quickly. If it’s stored correctly, you can keep it up to three weeks before it’s ready to toss. 

    Spinach Season

    Spinach is a hardy green that can endure cold temperatures, making it a great option in winter. If you have a yard (or even a big pot) you can give spinach growing a shot with a cool-season garden. Late winter is one of the best times to plant spinach, so start planning now!