by Olena

Healthy Pasta

by Olena

Healthy Pasta is an easy 30 minute vegetable pasta skillet recipe with pesto, tomato, broccoli and Parmesan cheese. Follow simple video instructions and make tasty dinner even if you don't know how to cook.

Healthy Pasta Recipe

This healthy pasta is one of the most popular recipes on iFOODreal. And there is a good reason for that – it’s flavorful, veggie packed, cheese-sprinkled for balance and comes together in less than 30 minutes including the prep and clean up.

It is an older recipe with brand new video (hence, different pots), so you can see how easy it is to put together. This vegetarian pesto pasta was delicious!

healthy pasta dishes

Is Pasta Healthy?

Before anyone says anything, yes I know it’s white pasta and it might seem like an oxymoron to show up in “a healthy pasta recipe”. I get you, my friends. Good news is that you can use any pasta you want, ANY. Whole wheat, brown rice, quinoa, kamut, white etc.

Pictured is my kids’ favorite organic Garofalo brand from Costco. It’s one of the best quality pasta I ever tried. So be it, once in a while. Healthy living is about balance and moderation, rather than stress. That’s in my books.:)

How to Make Healthy Pasta

Ingredients for vegetarian pesto pasta
1. Prepare your ingredients. Tomato pesto pasta dish cooks fast, like a stir fry, so timing is everything for the most flavour and an al dente pasta.

Is Pesto Healthy?

Try to find pesto with as less additives as possible. All there is to pesto – olive oil, basil, garlic, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts and salt. Sun dried tomatoes can be dry or packed in oil.

how to make healthy pasta

2. While pasta is cooking, give your veggies a quick blast on medium-high heat with pesto.

3. Then combine everything. Just watch the video. Easy-peasy.

premade pesto and parmesan cheese for healthy veggie pasta

Parmesan Cheese Hunk Vs. Shaker

And a word on Parmesan cheese. Forego the shaker-faker, it’s full of additives like cellulose (ground wood chips, by the way) and other crap. Buy a hunk of fresh Parmigiano Reggiano at Costco (best price ever => my healthy Costco shopping list) and grate a good amount at a time. Then refrigerate in an airtight container for a few weeks. Freeze the rest of the hunk.

Be healthy!

More Healthy Pasta Dishes to Try:

And may I suggest you look through these 45 dinner ideas?! Wink-wink.

Watch Olena Make Vegetarian Pesto Pasta

And don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube Channel for weekly cooking videos!


Healthy Pasta

5 from 7 reviews

Follow simple video instructions and make tasty vegetarian pasta dish. Even if you “are not a cook”.

  • Author: Olena of
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stove
  • Cuisine: Italian


  • 2 cups any shape pasta, uncooked
  • 1 cup pasta water, reserved
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp pesto, divided
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, cut in halves
  • 4 cups broccoli florets, coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup (2 oz) Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
  • Ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Cook pasta as per package instructions. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water, draining the rest. Set aside.
  2. While pasta is cooking, get all ingredients ready. Preheat large deep skillet or a dutch oven on medium heat, add olive oil and garlic. Sauté for 30 seconds, stirring frequently. Add 1 tbsp pesto, tomatoes and stir. Cook for 1 – 2 minutes and stir again. Cook another 1 – 2 minutes. Move to one side of the skillet and make sure the empty side of is positioned directly over heat. Add 1 tbsp pesto and broccoli, stir and cook for 4 minutes, stirring once.
  3. Remove skillet from heat and add remaining 1/4 cup pesto, sun dried tomatoes, salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, pasta and pasta water. Stir gently and let flavours marinate for a few minutes. Do not cover because broccoli will become a mushy mess. I also like to add half Parmesan cheese in this step and the other half right before serving. Serve hot.

Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 – 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

 Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating in the comments.

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About Olena

Hi, I’m Olena and this is my healthy family recipes blog. Originally from Ukraine, I now live on magic Vancouver Island in British Columbia. I’m here to help you with “What’s for dinner?”.

Made a recipe? Tag @ifoodreal or #ifoodreal on Instagram. I would love to share in the “Look what you made” stories.

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