Golden Beet Pasta with Basil-Almond Pesto

Golden Beet Pasta with Basil-Almond PestoRecipe
Photo: Brian Woodcock; Styling: Cindy Barr
Embrace April's 12 Healthy Habits goal with a whole-wheat pasta bowl. This bright, earthy springtime dish uses the entire beet--stems, leaves, and all.


Serves 4 (serving size: 1 1/2 cups)
Total time: 29 Minutes

Recipe from

Cooking Light

Recipe Time

Hands-on: 29 Minutes
Total: 29 Minutes

Nutritional Information

Calories 419
Fat 16 g
Satfat 3.1 g
Monofat 8.6 g
Polyfat 2.1 g
Protein 15.7 g
Carbohydrate 55.7 g
Fiber 10 g
Cholesterol 9 mg
Iron 4.2 mg
Sodium 596 mg
Calcium 254 mg


8 ounces uncooked whole-wheat penne (tube-shaped pasta)
2 (8-ounce) golden beets with greens
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3/4 cup water, divided
1/3 cup organic vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup dry-roasted unsalted almonds
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 ounces fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice


1. Cook pasta according to the package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain.

2. Remove greens and stems from beets; rinse and drain. Coarsely chop greens and stems to measure 4 cups. Peel beets, cut in half vertically, and cut into 1/8-inch slices.

3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add beets; sauté 3 minutes. Add beet greens and stems, 1/2 cup water, broth, salt, and pepper; cover. Reduce heat to medium; simmer 8 minutes or until beets are tender.

4. Combine remaining 1 tablespoon oil, basil, almonds, and garlic in a food processor; process until smooth. Add cheese and remaining 1/4 cup water; process until blended. Add pasta, pesto, and lemon juice to beet mixture; toss to combine.


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