Spinach Pasta Salad

Photo: Spinach Pasta Salad
Versatile and yummy, pesto is a great way to add (or sneak!) more greens in your diet by incorporating a healthy leafy green like spinach. Experiment with other greens such as kale, broccoli or collards.
6-8 Servings


  • 8-ounces short pasta such as penne
  • Olive oil
  • 2 cups spinach leaves

Spinach Pesto:

  • 1 cup spinach leaves
  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • ¼ cup macadamia nuts
  • ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ⅔ cup extra virgin olive oil


  • ½ cup artichoke hearts
  • ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • ¼ cup sliced red onion
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup toaste
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. After draining and rinsing, leave pasta in colander in sink. Drizzle with a little olive oil to keep pasta from sticking. Place 2 cups spinach leaves on top of pasta to steam. Let cool to room temperature.
  2. Prepare Spinach Pesto: Combine 1 cup spinach, basil, garlic and nuts in a food processor. Pulse until coarsely chopped. Add cheese and seasonings. Continue processing – pouring olive oil through feed tube – until pesto is fully incorporated and smooth. Yields about 1 cup pesto.
  3. Transfer pasta with spinach to a large mixing bowl. Add artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes and red onion to bowl. Pour Spinach Pesto over pasta and vegetables. Toss all ingredients well to coat evenly with pesto.
  4. Cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours up to overnight. Before serving, toss with lemon juice to brighten up the flavor. Garnish with toasted pine nuts and Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!