Pasta with Parsley-Walnut Pesto

Pasta with Parsley-Walnut Pesto

10 Reviews
From the EatingWell Kitchen

Remaking this classic high-calorie, high-fat pasta sauce was a great success. By adding fresh breadcrumbs to the pesto, we were able to use much less oil. The pesto still coats the pasta nicely and its herbal flavor remains intense and vibrant. Parsley is more than just a garnish—it's a rich source of carotenoids and vitamin C.

Ingredients 4 servings

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  • 2 tablespoons walnuts
  • 2 slices whole-wheat country bread, crusts trimmed
  • 1 cup packed fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons nonfat plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons walnut oil, or extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 12 ounces whole-wheat fusilli, or penne
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Put a large pot of lightly salted water on to boil. Toast walnuts in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring, until fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool.
  2. Tear bread into large pieces and pulse in a food processor to form fine crumbs. Add parsley, garlic and the walnuts and pulse until finely chopped, scraping down the sides as needed. Add yogurt and oil; process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Cook pasta until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes, or according to package directions. Drain and place in a warmed large shallow bowl. Toss with pesto until well coated. Sprinkle with Parmesan and serve.

Nutrition information

  • Per serving: 439 calories; 10 g fat(1 g sat); 9 g fiber; 75 g carbohydrates; 13 g protein; 27 mcg folate; 2 mg cholesterol; 1 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 1,289 IU vitamin A; 20 mg vitamin C; 62 mg calcium; 1 mg iron; 255 mg sodium; 127 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (33% daily value), Vitamin A (26% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 5
  • Exchanges: 5 starch, 2 fat

Reviews 10

October 01, 2018
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By: Mariah
The pesto was quite bad.. Using the proportions listed, it came out as a dough ball in the food processor. I added another portions of the yogurt, another portion of olive oil, and approximately a half cup of pasta water. That made it at least a smoother texture. The whole wheat bread made it so dry though. I would not use that ingredient at all. My bf said it felt grainy. This was a total bust. Only two stars because I really like the pasta
November 23, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
parmesan is not vegetarian friendly came across this recipe on a vegetarian diet plan. for anyone who has done the same please note that parmesan is not vegetarian friendly.
April 15, 2014
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By: stephaniequiez
i used seeds-crackers and cashews+hazelnuts sooooo good
June 07, 2012
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By: sapna.shah
i added more water to make the sauce thinner without adding calories. worked well
January 11, 2011
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By: wkchristiansen
Way too dry as is! Wish I'd read the reviews first! Tasty, but pesto needs a lot of help with the consistency being right. I would try I again though. I'm not a fan of parsley so went the more traditional basil route, but loved the walnut addition.
December 07, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
I loved this! I added the sauteed mushrooms as recommended. My sauce was creamy - I used 1/3 cup packaged bread crumbs and added about a 1/4 cup of the pasta water to the sauce, which I blended in my Magic Bullet. I couldn't believe how rich it was with so little oil.
August 27, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
I also had to add more yogurt to this to get it to be more of a pasty consistency. I also added sauteed crimini mushrooms, which in my opinion MADE the dish. Cheap dish, leftovers are pretty decent, will make again!
September 23, 2009
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By: EatingWell User
This was generally a good recipe but the pesto was much too dry. Like others, I had to add more yogurt and oil to get the consistency of sauce. Guess it wasn't so low calorie after that! Christine, Holmsund, Sw
September 23, 2009
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By: EatingWell User
I agree with the other comments- dry and crumbly, so I had to add more yogurt and oil to make it more sauce-like. If I make this again, I will use an angel hair pasta and add walnut pieces to the finished product to give it more texture. This was a pretty inexpensive meal though, so hurrah for that! Caren, Renton, WA
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