Golden Beet Pasta

Enjoy a healthy meal of golden beet pasta with basil-almond pesto.

By Katie Bowles 

Photo courtesy of Subbotina Anna/Shutterstock.


Golden Beet Pasta with Basil-Almond Pesto

Prep/Cooking time: 30 minutes

Cristin Wipfler (MPH, RD) of Compleat Nutrition, LLC in Middleburg (who also provided us with this delicious Grilled Shrimp with Quinoa recipe) recommends this light-but-filling dish for springtime. Adapted from a recipe by Ivy Manning in Cooking Light Magazine, Wipfler suggests this meal as a good source of fiber and nutrients, heart-healthy fats and vitamins and minerals. The beets in the dish are rich in vitamins and minerals such as folate, manganese, potassium and iron, as well as beneficial nitrates and are also a unique source of the phytonutrient betalain, which provides antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and detoxification support. According to Wipfler, beet greens are also a very rich source of nutrients and contain carotenoids such as beta-carotene and lutein (which boost heart-health and the immune system). Get your daily dose of vitamins with this quick and easy-to-prepare dish.

Makes 4 servings.


-8 oz uncooked whole-wheat penne pasta

-2 (8 oz) golden beets with greens

-2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided

-¾ cup water, divided

-1/3 cup organic vegetable broth

-½ tsp. kosher salt

-½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

-2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves

-¼ cup dry-roasted unsalted almonds

-3 garlic cloves, chopped

-2 oz fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated (about ½ cup)

-1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice



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

-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.

-Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 Tbsp. oil to pan; swirl to coat.  Add beets; sauté 3 minutes.  Add beet greens and stems, ½ cup water, broth, salt and pepper; cover.  Reduce heat to medium; simmer 8 minutes or until beets are tender.

-Combine remaining 1 Tbsp. oil, basil, almonds, and garlic in a food processor; process until smooth.  Add cheese and remaining ¼ cup water; process until blended.  Add pasta, pesto, and lemon juice to beet mixture; toss to combine.


Nutritional Information per 1 ½ cup serving

-Calories: 419

-Fat: 16g (sat. 3.1g; mono. 8.6g; poly. 2.1g)

-Protein: 15.7g

-Carb: 55.7g

-Fiber: 10g

-Cholesterol: 9mg

-Iron: 4.2mg

-Sodium: 596 mg

-Calcium: 254mg