Zucchini and Pesto Spaghetti

AdobeStock_210055435-659x519-min6 Servings
Serving Size: 2 1/2 cups

Keeping the heat out of the kitchen is a summer priority. Here’s a heart-healthy and tasty recipe where you can use your creativity to add ingredients if you wish. Make pesto ahead of time and have on hand for a last-minute weeknight dinner.


  • Cooking spray
  • 4 medium zucchini, chopped (about 8 cups)
  • 12 ounces whole-wheat spaghetti
  • 2 cups tightly packed fresh basil, spinach, arugula, or mint
  • 1 garlic clove, minced OR 1 teaspoon jarred minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted walnuts or almonds
  • 2 tablespoons fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth and 1 to 2 tablespoons fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth as needed
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or canola oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons shredded or grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper


  1. Lightly spray a large skillet with cooking spray. Cook the zucchini over medium-high heat for 10 to 12 minutes, or until tender.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the pasta using the package directions, omitting the salt. Drain in a colander, reserving 1/4 cup pasta water.
  3. In a food processor or blender, process the basil, garlic, walnuts, 2 tablespoons broth, oil, Parmesan, salt, pepper, and 2 cups zucchini for 1 minute, or until well blended. Add 1/2 tablespoon broth for a thinner consistency. Process for 30 seconds. Repeat until the desired consistency.
  4. In a large bowl, stir together the pasta, pesto, and 1 tablespoon reserved pasta water. One tablespoon at a time, add the remaining pasta water until the desired consistency.
  5. Top with the remaining zucchini.
Recipe courtesy of American Heart Association

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