Pasta with Green Beans and Pesto

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Traditionally made with ground basil, garlic, pine nuts, and parmesan cheese, pesto sauce is one of our favorite vegetarian pasta sauces. But the beauty of Italian cooking is that, when you choose seasonal ingredients that are fresh and complement one another, you can reinvent almost any sauce or dish and turn it into an even healthier version of the original. This pesto with green beans is a prime example of taking a classic recipe and adding fresh ingredients that amp up its health quotient, and its flavor!

You’ll find traditional pesto flavors in this sauce. We would never skimp on the healthy, delicious ingredients that make pesto so popular! But we’ve enhanced this traditional sauce by adding green beans. Cook them for just a few minutes, so that they still retain their crunch and their nutrients, and blanch them for that delightfully green pop in your pasta! And of course, green beans always taste better when paired with almonds, so we’ve added almonds to this sauce as well. Almonds add fiber and protein to this healthy pasta dish.

The second you look at your bowl, brimming with green pops of veggie color, you’ll feel proud of yourself for making yourself such a healthy dish. And when you take a bite, you’ll forget all about the nutrients and fiber in this recipe, because the taste and textures will blow you away. This is the perfect dish for a weeknight or for any night. It’s easy to put together, easy on the eyes, and a treat for the taste buds.

Pasta with Green Beans and Pesto

This recipe provides delightful Italian flavors with warm pasta and perfectly cooked green beans.
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Budget-Friendly, Pasta, Plant-Based, Quick and Easy
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 298kcal


  • 4 ounces green beans ends cut off and sliced to 1-1/2 inches long
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces whole-grain penne or any short pasta
  • 1 cup pesto
  • 1/8 cups almonds slivered or flaked
  • 8 basil leaves big, fresh, coarsely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


  • Over medium to high heat, bring a medium pot of water to a boil. When it boils, add the 1/2 teaspoon of salt then drop the green beans. Cook for 5 minutes then take them away with a slotted spoon and drop them in a bowl with a lot of ice to blanch them. When they cool down, drain them and set the green beans aside.
  • In the same pot of boiling water, cook the pasta. Follow the cooking time to make them al dente. When they are cooked, drain.
  • In the serving bowl, mix the hot pasta, green beans, pesto, almonds and basil.
  • Drizzle with the extra virgin olive oil and serve immediately.


Calories: 298kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 511mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g
SmartPoints (Freestyle): 9

More Healthy Vegetarian Pasta Dishes:

Easy Pasta Salad with Cucumbers & Tomatoes

Sicilian ‘Cart Drivers’ Pasta

Orecchiette Pasta with Broccoli

Penne Pasta with Lentils & Kale

Pasta with Cauliflower and Raisins

Pasta Salad with Grilled Vegetables

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8 Comments on "Pasta with Green Beans and Pesto"

  1. Katie  March 8, 2016

    Is this recipe to be made with traditional pesto sauce or with dry pesto seasoning?

  2. Laura  June 2, 2018

    I made this tonight and it was superb! I added some yellow and red cherry tomatoes for color and taste. We loved the taste and crunch of the almonds. Thanks for the wonderful recipe.

    • Erin Milller  June 5, 2018

      We’re glad that you enjoyed it, Laura! 🙂

    • Erin Milller  June 5, 2018

      You’re welcome! We’re so glad that you enjoyed it!

  3. Robert Baldwin  June 7, 2018

    Maybe it is 298 calories without the Pesto? If you do the math on 1 cup of your pesto (140 cal X 16 servings) and then divide it by the 6 servings you say this pasta dish makes, it is over 370 calories for the pesto alone.

  4. Alexis  October 2, 2018

    How much is one serving size?

    • Nichole Furlong  October 6, 2018

      About 1 to 1 1/2 cups.


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