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Gluten Free Green Goddess Pesto Pasta

Dive into spring with my Gluten-Free Green Goddess Pesto Pasta! This fresh and vibrant spring pasta combines the freshness of greens with the lean protein of ground turkey. Perfect for those focusing on protein, fiber, and managing blood sugar. Enjoy the delightful flavors of dill cilantro pesto, asparagus, broccoli, peas, and spinach, all wrapped in high-protein pasta.

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Homemade Pesto Pasta Recipe

Spring is in the air! I love witnessing the little buds on flowering bushes, crocuses and tulips breaking through the crust of old man winter. The sun is up and stays longer which brings a deep sigh of relief for all living things. This winter was rough on me. The lack of sun really sent me spiralling. I had never felt the effects of SAD before this winter. At last, Spring is officially here and now we can switch gears into lighter and fresher meals. My focus this Spring will be on PROTEIN, FIBRE and BLOOD SUGAR so if that sounds like something you’re into, read on.

I have really been into ground turkey these days. I love how lean and versatile it is! I wanted to keep this pasta focused on the GREENS but I also needed protein. Ground turkey to the rescue! This would also be amazing with ground chicken or sauteed chicken breast. I am trying to stick to lean meats and turkey really fits the bill.

Also if you’ve been following around long enough you’ll know how much I love pesto! My dill cilantro pesto is the absolute BEST and I try to always have some on hand. If you’ve never made it then click here for the recipe – store bought pesto will also do but let me tell you; something about making your own really changes things. I love making large batches of my homemade pesto and freezing in silicone ice cube trays for the days when I don’t have any fresh. I wanted to keep this pasta green so I chose my veggies for that reason. Asparagus, broccoli, peas, and spinach. Such a delightful medley don’t you think? As per usual I opted for a gluten free pasta and found this high protein option from Garofalo that I love as it’s made with corn, brown rice and quinoa.

Ingredients for Pesto Pasta

  • Gluten Free Gnocchi Sardo: A gluten-free version of the traditional Sardinian pasta, known for its perfect flavor holding shape. If gluten isn’t an issue for you, regular gnocchi sardo or any other pasta shape like penne or fusilli can serve as an excellent substitute. This is the pasta I used in this recipe.
  • Olive Oil: A heart-healthy oil that adds a subtle, fruity flavor to dishes.
  • Chili Flakes: These add a spicy kick to the dish, enhancing the overall flavor profile. These can also be omitted if spice isn’t your thing.
  • Ground Turkey: A lean protein choice that makes this dish satisfying and nutritious. Ground chicken, lean ground beef, or even a plant-based ground meat substitute can be used.
  • Broccoli: Adds crunch and a wealth of nutrients to the pasta. 
  • Asparagus Spears: Their tender, slightly sweet flavor complements the other greens in the dish. 
  • Frozen Peas: Provide sweetness and a pop of color. Edamame or fresh peas can be used when in season for an equally vibrant addition.
  • Baby Spinach: This leafy green wilts nicely into the pasta, adding nutrients and color. 
  • Vegan Dill Cilantro Pesto: The whole reason this pasta exists! My homemade pesto knocks the socks off everyone who tries it, so I highly recommend making yourself a batch! However; traditional basil pesto can be used as a substitute.
  • Grated Parmigiano Cheese: Adds a salty, umami depth to the pasta. Grated pecorino or a vegan parmesan alternative can be used for those with dietary restrictions or preferences.
  • Pasta Water: Keep your pasta water as the starchy water helps to bind the sauce to the pasta, creating a silky texture.
  • Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper: Essential seasonings that enhance the natural flavors of the ingredients.
  • Fresh Dill: Adds a fresh, slightly tangy flavor that brightens the dish. This is optional but really does elevate and add a final touch to the pasta.

How to Make Pesto Pasta

Start by bringing a pot of water to a boil and generously salting it, then cook your pasta in the salted water until it reaches al dente. Be sure to reserve a cup of pasta water before you drain the pasta; this starchy liquid is a key ingredient for achieving the silky, well-embraced sauce that defines this dish. Meanwhile, as your pasta cooks, warm a large pan over medium-high heat and combine olive oil, a pinch of chili flakes, and ground turkey, seasoning the mixture with salt and pepper to taste. Add broccoli and asparagus, giving the pan a good stir to ensure even cooking. Next, incorporate frozen peas into the mix, seasoning again with salt and cracked pepper for enhanced flavor.

With the vegetables tender and the turkey cooked through, introduce baby spinach to the pan along with a splash of the reserved pasta water to help wilt the spinach and bring the dish together. Layer in the cooked pasta, adding another splash of pasta water to help meld the flavors and textures. Now it’s time to add your pesto, drizzled over the pasta, stirring gently to ensure every strand and vegetable is coated in its herby, vibrant goodness. Fold in half of the grated Parmigiano cheese and the remaining pasta water, stirring until the mixture is thoroughly combined and seasoned to perfection with additional salt and pepper. To serve, garnish with fresh dill and an extra sprinkle of cheese, adding a final layer of flavor and richness to this green goddess pesto pasta dish.

The Best Pasta Shape for Pesto Pasta

I chose to go with Gnocchi sardo. It’s unique texture proves to be an excellent choice for holding all that tasty pesto, ensuring each bite is as flavorful as the last. Its gluten-free composition makes this dish accessible to all, without compromising on taste. Realistically you can make this recipe with any pasta of choice but I find that a pasta with more texture is better for holding onto sauce!

What to Serve With Pesto Pasta

This pesto pasta recipe is perfect all on its own but pairs wonderfully with a crisp, green salad or a slice of garlic bread for those desiring a bit more indulgence.

How to Store Pesto Pasta

Leftovers, if any, can be refrigerated in an airtight container, with a little extra olive oil drizzled on top to keep the pasta moist. To reheat this meal, do it slowly and add a splash of water to revive the sauce.

Want Some Other Pasta Recipes to Try

Simply Pasta Spaghetti Alla Norma

Marry  Me Chicken Pasta

Spring Vegetable Pasta


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Gluten-Free Green Goddess Pesto Pasta

Teri-Ann Carty
Dive into spring with my Gluten-Free Green Goddess Pesto Pasta! This fresh and vibrant spring pasta combines the freshness of greens with the lean protein of ground turkey. Perfect for those focusing on protein, fiber, and managing blood sugar. Enjoy the delightful flavors of dill cilantro pesto, asparagus, broccoli, peas, and spinach, all wrapped in high-protein pasta.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Canadian, Italian
Servings 4


  • large pot, deep sided pan, chefs knife, spatula or tongs


  • 400 grams gluten free gnocchi sardo
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • pinch chili flakes
  • ½ lb ground turkey
  • 4 cups broccoli roughly chopped
  • 10 asparagus spears trimmed and chopped
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 fistfuls baby spinach
  • ½-¾ cup dill cilantro pesto
  • 1 cup grated parmigiano cheese
  • 1 cup pasta water
  • sea salt and cracked pepper
  • fresh dill optional


  • Boil water for pasta and heavily salt the water. Cook pasta until al dente. Reserve 1 cup pasta water before draining.
  • While pasta is cooking heat a large pan over medium high heat. Add olive oil, chili flakes and ground turkey. Season turkey with salt and pepper.
  • Add broccoli and asparagus to the pan stirring to combine. Add in frozen peas and season with salt and cracked pepper.
  • Add in spinach with a splash of pasta water. Add cooked pasta on top with a splash more pasta water. Stir mixture togehter.
  • Add pesto on top of pasta mixing gently to combine. Add half of the cheese, and remaining pasta water. Stir until well incorporated. Season well with salt and pepper.
  • Finish with fresh dill and more cheese if desired.
Keyword dairy free optional, easy dinner, gluten free, high protein, pesto pasta, spring pasta recipe

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