Watercress Pesto Spaghetti

Watercress Pesto Spaghetti

Thank you to B & W Quality Growers for sponsoring this Watercress Pesto Spaghetti recipe post, and thank YOU for supporting the brands that help make Meal Prep On Fleek possible. All opinions are our own. 

Watercress Pesto Spaghetti

Watercress stands in for basil in this herby pesto full of fresh garlic, heart-healthy walnuts, and Vitamin-K rich watercress!

Watercress Pesto Spaghetti

One thing we love around here is sauces! They can transform an ordinarily bland meal into something magical in minutes! Plus, they are usually very versatile. Take for example this watercress pesto. Yes, that’s right! We said watercress pesto! We paired the pesto with a simple pasta meal prep idea, but it would also work nicely on chicken, fish, atop of eggs for breakfast, etc. In a matter of a few minutes, this nutrient-packed recipe will change the flavor game on almost anything! 

Ok, so we know you are wondering why we used watercress in this recipe instead of traditional basil. If you’ve been hanging around here for a while then you know how much we love simple and vitamin-packed recipes! But more than that, we love creative flavors! That’s where the watercress comes into play. 

What is watercress?

If you aren’t familiar with watercress, it is a green leafy vegetable that is rich in vitamins and minerals. It is part of the broccoli and kale family. You have probably seen it used as a garnish on a soup or salad at a restaurant. It has a slightly peppery taste that adds such a nice depth of flavor to dishes! 

Health benefits of watercress.

Watercress also has a ton of health benefits! We talked about 6 of our favorite health benefits here. Did you catch them? We bet if you did then you are very interested in learning how to incorporate more watercress into your meals. If you missed them, head over and check them out and then meet us back here! You aren’t going to want to miss this easy recipe idea! 

Over the last few years, watercress is becoming more prominent in the health community. It is going from being a simple garnish to the main star of the dish! Here are 6 delicious ways to eat watercress:

  1. On top of a pizza
  2. In smoothies
  3. In Soups
  4. Layered in sandwiches
  5. In pesto
  6. In a stirfry

But, the fun doesn’t stop with these 6 ideas! As you will see over the next few months, the ways to incorporate watercress are endless! 

BONUS!

Not only is watercress full of nutrients and delicious, but it’s very low in calories and contains almost no carbs. One cup of watercress has only 0.4g of carbs and 4 calories making it a great choice for any dietary type; vegan, vegetarian, whole30, paleo, keto, low carb, gluten-free, etc. Despite its low-calorie count, watercress still manages to pack in 21% of your Vitamin A and 24% of your Vitamin C for the day. Now that is a nutrient win! 

Watercress Pesto Spaghetti Ingredients: 

For Pesto

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 cups loosely packed watercress
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

For Serving

  • 8 oz. gluten free spaghetti
  • 4 (4 oz.) boneless/skinless chicken breasts
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup watercress (for top)

Watercress Pesto Spaghetti

Simple ingredients. Bold flavors. 

Watercress Pesto Spaghetti

Start by making your pesto with that beautiful watercress. 

Watercress Pesto Spaghetti

Then serve it atop cooking gluten-free pasta and grilled chicken for a balanced meal of protein, carbs, and healthy fats! If you’re looking for even more ways to use Watercress today, head over to B & W Quality Growers for an endless list of meal prep friendly ideas! 

Watercress Pesto Spaghetti

Watercress Pesto Spaghetti

Watercress stands in for basil in this herby pesto full of fresh garlic, heart-healthy walnuts, and Vitamin-K rich watercress!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 16 minutes
Total Time: 26 minutes
Course: dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: gluten free
Servings: 4 meals
Calories: 537kcal
Author: Sarah Kesseli

Ingredients

For Pesto

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 cups loosely packed watercress
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

For Serving

  • 8 oz. gluten free spaghetti
  • 1 lb boneless/skinless chicken breasts 4-4 ounces breasts
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup watercress for topping

Instructions

  • Cook spaghetti according to package directions. While spaghetti cooks, heat a cast iron grill pan over medium heat and lightly grease with olive oil. Season chicken breasts with sea salt and black pepper and place onto grill. Grill 8 minutes on each side. Place on cutting board and slice chicken.
  • Combine ingredients for the pesto in a food processor and pulse until thoroughly combined. Drain pasta and toss with 1/2 of the pesto. Divide between 4 MPOF black containers and top with watercress and sliced chicken. Spoon remaining pesto over chicken.

Nutrition

Calories: 537kcal | Carbohydrates: 33.3g | Protein: 52g | Fat: 28g | Fiber: 5.6g
Tried this recipe?Mention @mealpreponfleek or tag #mealpreponfleek!

About the Author

Sarah Kesseli
Sarah Kesseli is a Certified Eating Psychology & Intuitive Eating Counselor at www.sarahkesseli.com She spent the first eight years of her career working in the fitness industry before making the jump into the food, ‘mood’ and nutrition side of the wellness world. Sarah also creates healthy and simple recipes on her website Ingredients Of A Fit Chick as well as for a few well-known, industry leading companies. In her free time, Sarah loves to attend yoga classes, hike, read and spend time at the beach.

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