Healthy Pesto Pasta

Healthy Pesto Pasta

Healthy Pesto Pasta recipe: a quick, easy, and delicious weeknight dinner. It uses a healthy twist with only three simple ingredients – pasta, pesto, and Greek yogurt!

Healthy Pesto Pasta in a bowl.

With spring and summer just around the corner, I know that life is about ready to speed up again.  I can’t seem to help myself, but I like having lots to do on long pretty days. I’d rather be outside and enjoying the weather than in the kitchen, so I fall back on some of my easy cooking favorites.  Life is too short to spend all summer in the kitchen.

Enter my Healthy Pesto Pasta recipe!  It’s the perfect CREAMY pesto pasta but without any actual cream.  It lets all the fresh flavors of summer shine tough without a lot of fuss.

A bowl of healthy pesto pasta.

Here’s why you’ll love my Healthy Pesto Pasta recipe…

My Healthy Pesto Pasta recipe uses pasta, pesto, and GREEK YOGURT!  It’s no big surprise that I’m including one of my favorite healthy swaps.  Greek yogurt is my secret weapon in the kitchen these days.  Pesto and Greek Yogurt are a dreamy combination.

The cheese is a bonus ingredient… more of a garnish really…


Ingredients laid out for healthy pesto pasta.

Depending on how simple you want to go with this, you can use a packaged pesto or one you prepare from your garden and chill or freeze.  With summer gardening season just around the corner, I can’t wait to be swimming in big fragrant basil leaves like these.  Hopefully, I can get through garden seasoning without breaking my elbow this time though. ๐Ÿ™‚

This three-ingredient recipe is one you have to try and it really doesn’t get any simpler than this to get dinner on the table in less than 15 minutes.

Ingredients in This Recipe

  • Orecchiette pasta: You can also use other pasta shapes in this recipe, but I love how the orecchiette acts like a “scoop” for the sauce.
  • Pesto: Pesto is so easy to make! This almond pesto would be perfect in this dish.
  • Plain Greek yogurt: Rather than using cream or other fattening ingredients, this recipe uses Greek yogurt.
  • Basil: It’s the perfect garnish that also adds a nice flavor.
  • Parmesan: You really can’t go wrong with adding just a little bit of parmesan on top!


What is the best pasta with pesto?

Any pasta that has curves or grooves to hold pesto is great!  I personally love the orecchiette pasta because it has little cups to hold the sauce.


How to Make the Pasta

  1. Boil the pasta, cooking until pasta is al dente.
  2. Stir in pesto and Greek yogurt.
  3. Garnish with basil and parmesan.

Healthy Pesto Pasta in a black bowl.

Healthy Pesto Dishes

The end result is delicious, carby, and wonderful!  It satisfies all those pasta cravings in a package perfect for healthy pesto dishes.  You can make this dish even healthier by using whole wheat pasta or protein pasta.  Or you can use plain white pasta too.  I eat it all depending on my mood and don’t judge you for doing this same.  I’m a big believer that all foods can fit into your healthy diet.

This is a perfect CREAMY pesto pasta sauce without cream.

Either way, this recipe is sure to become one of your go-to weekday meals!  It’s one of mine and a family favorite.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.


Is Pesto Pasta Healthy?

Pesto pasta is naturally healthy! Pesto is filled with fresh basil, garlic, lemon, and pine nuts which are all healthy.  Olive oil is also a key ingredient that is considered a healthy fat.


Low-Calorie Pesto Pasta Recipe?

This recipe is great as written, but to lighten it up and make it a low-calorie pesto pasta recipe cut back on the pesto and add more fresh basil.  Although pesto is a healthy ingredient the olive oil in it can make the dish have a higher calorie count.  Adding more fresh basil and less pesto will give you that rich flavor without the higher calorie count.  You can also substitute different types of pasta.

If you are curious about how to make pesto pasta healthy… this is it!

Healthy Pesto Pasta in a black bowl.

I love this combination of pesto and greek yogurt!  It’s something the entire family loves and I know you will too.


Also try these healthy vegetarian pasta recipes…


If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear what you think! Leave a comment and a star rating ★ below. Make sure to follow me on InstagramPinterest, and Facebook too!

Healthy Pesto Pasta

Julie Wunder
Healthy Pesto Pasta is a quick, easy, and delicious weeknight dinner. It's a healthy twist that only uses three simple ingredients - pasta, pesto, and Greek yogurt!
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Vegetarian
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6
Calories 452 kcal


  • 1 pound orecchiette pasta, or bow tie
  • 1 cup pesto
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • garnish: basil
  • garnish: parmesan, shredded


  • Boil the pasta according to package instructions, making sure to salt the water well. Drain when pasta is al dente.
  • Stir in the pesto and Greek yogurt.
  • Garnish with the basil and parmesan.


If you are watching your calories cut back on the pesto!ย  It has a lot of calories.ย  Add some additional fresh basil for more flavor!


Calories: 452kcalCarbohydrates: 60gProtein: 14gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 398mgPotassium: 196mgFiber: 3gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 833IUCalcium: 104mgIron: 1mg
Keyword pasta, pesto
Tried this recipe?Mention @Julie_Wunder or tag #RunninginaSkirt!


Like my Creamy Pesto Pasta recipe?  Find it later by pinning this to your favorite Pinterest board.

3 Ingredient Healthy Creamy Pesto Pasta Pinterest pin

By | 2020-06-27T07:10:42-04:00 June 27th, 2020|All Vegetarian, Dinner, Food, Lunch, Vegetarian Meals|32 Comments


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  6. Mona March 26, 2018 at 3:56 pm - Reply

    This recipe has my name written all over it! I’m a pesto freak but never thought of adding yogurt. Awesome Idea!

  7. Erinn March 22, 2018 at 2:42 pm - Reply

    YUM! I’m a pesto fanatic and always looking for a new easy recipe! Thanks for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Emily @ Pizza & Pull-Ups March 22, 2018 at 8:37 am - Reply

    Yum, my kids love pesto, I think they would love this.

  9. [email protected] March 22, 2018 at 8:29 am - Reply

    This looks delicious, Julie! I love basil. I will admit that I have tried using greek yogurt in dishes and don’t like the tart flavor. Any hints on how you avoid that? I know greek yogurt is healthier than mayo and sour cream, just can’t get past the tartness.

    • JulieWunder March 25, 2018 at 10:35 am - Reply

      Aw bummer! Have you tried Fage? I usually buy that one and love how thick it is for subbing for sour cream.

      • [email protected] March 25, 2018 at 1:27 pm - Reply

        I’ve tried Fage with fruit in it and like it pretty well, but haven’t tried it plan. Maybe I need to give the plain a try.

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  12. Beverley Cheng May 6, 2015 at 10:18 am - Reply

    i love those little pasta shells! never seen that before.
    i’ve used greek yogurt to substitute in baking, but haven’t tried it yet with pasta. thanks for the idea!

  13. Sarah May 4, 2015 at 1:43 pm - Reply

    Yum! My girls love greek yogurt in their pasta sauces!

  14. Jess @hellotofit April 23, 2015 at 12:32 pm - Reply

    Such a spring/summery dish! Love the addition of Greek yogurt into the mix. HAPPY THURSDAY!

  15. Jenny April 23, 2015 at 10:28 am - Reply

    Oooh this sounds delicious! No surprise, my favorite pasta is spiralized veggies (butternut squash or zucchini)and spaghetti squash. ๐Ÿ™‚ We don’t do too many ‘real’ carbs over here. And when we do, they usually look like cupcakes. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  16. Jaime April 23, 2015 at 9:49 am - Reply

    5 stars
    I love it! I love anything with pesto and I’ll definitely be trying this over the summer.

  17. Stacie @ SimplySouthernStacie April 23, 2015 at 9:45 am - Reply

    Oh, I love a good creamy pasta!

  18. Susie @ SuzLyfe April 23, 2015 at 7:40 am - Reply

    I’m pretty sure that you could put greek yogurt on my shoe and I would love it. That stuff is just so versatile!

  19. I love subbing greek yogurt to make things creamy! Will definitely try this out!

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