Green Pesto Pasta Salad

July 6, 2015

Hope everyone had a long, fantastic weekend. Mine was a little bit of a mixed bag — lots of fun, but I broke my freaking YOGA 3. I’ve never before cracked a screen on any electronic device (knock on wood that I don’t break anything else now!!), including when I accidentally threw my old Dell (what I’m currently on) across the room and hit our coat rack treadmill.

Green Pesto Pasta Salad @hiddenfruitnveg

How’d I do it? It fell, closed a whopping 5 inches to the floor. And we’re not talking a little baby crack, the screen totally shattered. All because I wanted to watch Pretty Little Liars in the bathtub. Have you seen that show? I know in my heart that I’m a 26 year old woman and I should probably just say “No thanks” to anything that airs on ABC Family, but I just can’t stay away. It’s SO good — no spoilers please! I just barely started season 4 and it’s basically like a PG version of Desperate Housewives aka some of the best trash I’ve ever watched.

Green Pesto Pasta Salad @hiddenfruitnveg

After a weekend of many beers, less-than-clean eats, and trashy, trashy TV, I need some greenery in my life. But still some carbs, because I did just break a $1600 laptop and those noodles hold the key to happiness. Also, pesto. Pesto holds the key to happiness — why am I not eating it every day of my life? This recipe was inspired by one I saw on Pinch of Yum. I’ve made it a handful of times now and I just love having crunchy green veggies the same shape/size as the noodles — then it’s impossible to pick out the noodles as you’re eating, basically forcing you to eat tasty veggies.

Green Pesto Pasta Salad @hiddenfruitnvegGreen Pesto Pasta Salad @hiddenfruitnveg

Green Pesto Pasta Salad
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 


  • 8 oz small/tiny tubular pasta
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 very large handfuls fresh green beans (thawed from frozen okay in a pinch, canned not okay)
  • 1 lb asparagus
  • 1 c pesto (jarred or homemade)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 5 oz spinach
  • ¼ c balsamic vinegar
  • ½ c shaved Parmesan
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

  1. Cook the pasta according to package instructions.
  2. Meanwhile, wash and trim the veggies, chopping into pieces about the same size as the pasta will be once cooked (you should have about 2 c of each asparagus and green beans). Mince garlic and finely chop spinach.
  3. Heat a pan over medium heat. You can use EVOO, spritz with nonstick spray or put a little water in the pan to prevent sticking — if using jarred pesto, I recommend using the oil pooled on the top of the jar and replacing it with water before stirring the pesto up. Add the garlic, asparagus, and green beans, sauteing until the veggies turn bright green but still have crunch.
  4. Strain the pasta and toss with the sauteed veggies. Stir in the pesto and set aside to cool (about an hour at room temp, 20 minutes if you stick it in the fridge). Cooling everything down prevents the spinach from wilting and cheese from melting.
  5. Once cool, stir in the spinach and remaining ingredients to the pasta.
  6. I personally find this to be more delicious the next day. If preparing it in advance, wait until the day of to stir in the spinach to prevent wilting.

This serves 4 – 6 as a meal, and about 10 as a side.
Use whole wheat or gluten free pasta, based on your dietary preferences.


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    marcie Jul 15, 2015

    I could eat this entire bowl — no joke! There’s something about a pesto pasta loaded with veggies and parmesan. This looks amazing!

    Joanne Jul 10, 2015

    UGH total bummer about the laptop. I have broken screens of things before and it is never fun. This pasta salad is so gloriously green!! I love it.

    Izzy Jul 06, 2015

    Haha, I always want to throw my computer across the room, but I never get up the courage! That sucks that you cracked the screen of the one you do like though 🙁 I’m so sorry! We had a very uneventful 4th of July, but we did light some sparklers and eat pizza!

    I LOVE pesto pastas and this one looks so good! I love the little noodles 🙂