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5-Ingredient Nut-Free Protein Pesto Pasta

If you need an easy weeknight meal that is going to fuel you post-workout and be something the whole family will enjoy, this is it. This 5-Ingredient Nut-Free Protein Pesto Pasta is full of nutrients that satisfy hunger, boost the immune system and promote gut health. Not to mention it is free of nuts, gluten, dairy, soy and eggs making it an allergen-friendly meal!

There’s just nothing more comforting than a bowl of pasta at the end of a long day. Traditional pasta is made of highly refined carbohydrates, making this favorite Italian dish something that we often shy away from when focusing on a healthier plate.

Thanks to a few simple swaps and additions to the bowl, this 5-Ingredient Nut-Free Protein Pesto Pasta can satisfy your comfort food craving while still sticking to healthy habits.

Instead of traditional white pasta, swap for a more protein and fiber-rich alternative made from lentils and/or chickpeas. In one serving of lentil pasta, you get 6g of dietary fiber and 13g of protein, double that of white pasta.

Traditional pesto is made with a base of pine nuts, but this recipe calls for sunflower seeds. Did you know that 1 ounce of sunflower seeds provides over half of the recommended daily amount of vitamin E? This nutrient is critical in fighting off infection in the body and keeping the immune system strong.

This is one of those recipes that gets better with age, making it a fantastic meal prep option. Serve as is, with grilled chicken or a side of salmon for an extra boost of protein!

5-Ingredient Nut-Free Protein Pesto Pasta

Serves 4

  • 1 box lentil pasta
  • ½ cup sunflower seeds
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package, boiling in heavily salted water for added flavor.

To make the pesto, add the remaining ingredients to a food processor and blend until finely chopped and thoroughly mixed.

Drain the pasta and toss with the pesto. This dish is delicious with sliced grape tomatoes, chopped kale and/or roasted vegetables mixed in.

Enjoy!

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