Meatless Monday–Penne with Spinach Yogurt Pesto, White Beans, and Tomatoes

I’ve been looking forward to this post for quite some time because it gave me the chance to cook “with” some of my favorite bloggers!  We may live far away from each other, but that didn’t stop us from accepting Jessica’s invitation to make this delicious, lightened and brightened pesto compliments of Stonyfield yogurt.

I absolutely love Greek yogurt and I eat it nearly everyday with some fruit or granola for a healthy breakfast that helps keep me full all morning long.  I also love to substitute it for sour cream in just about any recipe I can.  It’s an easy way to decrease fat and calories while increasing protein.  By using plain yogurt, the unmistakable tang you normally get from sour cream remains.  If you haven’t tried substituting Greek yogurt in your favorite sour cream recipes, this would be a great one to start with.  

By adding white beans and fresh cherry tomatoes to Stonyfield’s original recipe, I added one more recipe to my Meatless Monday rotation.  Jessica has the full round up of adaptations from the girls.  Head on over to her blog to see them all!

pasta spinach yogurt pesto

Penne with Spinach Yogurt Pesto, White Beans, an Tomatoes
adapted from Stonyfield Yogurt

4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 c. baby spinach leaves
3/4 c. tightly packed fresh basil
1/2 c. toasted pine nuts
1 TBSP fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. lemon zest
1/2 c. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 c. plain Greek yogurt, such as Stonyfield 0%
3/4 tsp. Kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1 lb. penne or other short shape pasta
1 (15-oz.) can cannellini beans
1 c. halved cherry tomatoes

1.  In a food processor, combine garlic, spinach, basil, pine nuts, lemon juice, and lemon zest.  Process until finely chopped, scraping own sides of the bowl to incorporate all ingredients.  With the motor running on low, stream in olive oil.  

2.  Scrape mixture into a medium bowl and stir in Parmesan cheese and yogurt.  Season with salt and pepper, then taste and adjust seasonings.  Sealed tightly, pesto will keep up to 3 days in the refrigerator.

3.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions.  Reserve 1/2 c. cooking liquid the strain pasta and return it to the pot.

4.  Add in white beans and stir to combine.  Pour pasta into one large serving bowl or individual bowls.  Add tomatoes an serve immediately.

Yield: 4-6 main course servings 

***Stonyfield provided the yogurt and recipe for this post.  All adaptations and opinions are my own.

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  1. Kim (Feed Me, Seymour)
    January 27, 2014 / 12:39 pm

    I love how bright and fresh this looks! Delicious!

  2. Pretend Chef
    January 27, 2014 / 12:48 pm

    This looks so delicious and the perfect dinner option for Meatless Monday.

  3. Jessica of My Baking Heart
    January 27, 2014 / 5:24 pm

    Beautiful dish, Kelsey – I'm definitely going to try this variation soon! Thanks again for joining me, love! 🙂

  4. Krystal Regueiro
    January 27, 2014 / 9:36 pm

    Ahhh what a gorgeous MM dish as always Kelsey! Too bad we can't have all our dishes together in real life because that would be sooo much fun!

  5. Amy
    January 28, 2014 / 3:53 pm

    I absolutely love the Meatless Monday spin that you put on the dish! It makes the dish look so colorful, and makes me look forward to the summer, too. 🙂

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