BHG Delish Dish

Stirring Up Ideas In The Kitchen


quick and easy spinach pesto

We’re lucky enough to live next door to a farmer, so when she started up her weekly markets recently, I knew that a batch of pesto was in order. This easy pesto pasta recipe is one of my family’s favorites: It’s easy to make, filled with flavor, and a nice change of pace from the more traditional red sauce. And in the spring, when baby greens are starting to pop up at local markets but basil isn’t quite in season yet, it’s the perfect dish.

ingredients for spinach pesto
I used this recipe for Angel Hair with Walnut Pestoand made just a few simple swaps to turn it into Spinach Pesto:

  1. Instead of the basil, I used baby spinach.
  2. Rather than walnuts, I traded in roasted almonds.
  3. I decreased the olive oil to 1/3 cup and added the juice of one small lemon to brighten the flavors a bit (and to add a bit of needed moisture).

blended spinach pesto

My 3 year old loves pesto. I’m not sure exactly how it became one of her favorite meals, but I’m really glad that it did because it’s a super simple way to serve up a load of nutrients in a kid-friendly form. We stock our freezer with a kale version when we have too much of it growing in our garden in the summer and eat it on pizza and pasta all winter long. This spinach version is my new go-to for the spring until the more traditional basil (and our kale) is back in season.

easy dinner of spinach pesto pasta

Angel hair pairs particularly well with pesto, though we like the quinoa-rice pasta from Trader Joe’s as a gluten-free option. I also added frozen petite peas to my strainer before pouring in the pasta and hot cooking water (the peas thaw almost immediately that way without the need of a second pot) to add a little vegetarian protein. I highly recommend that you make a double batch of this pesto—it’s so yummy, one meal won’t be enough!

Get the original recipe for Angel Hair with Walnut Pesto here.

Get our best kitchen-tested recipes.

Hi, everyone! I’m Lisa Lin from Healthy Nibbles & Bits, a blog where I share healthy, gluten-free recipes with a dash of fun. I love fusion cuisine, so you can expect to find a lot of fusion recipes on my blog, like these General Tso’s Brussels Sprouts. Come join my food adventures on my blog and YouTube!

Gluten-Free Baked Mac and Cheese with Butternut Squash

I have been craving comfort foods lately, big time. When I was browsing through BHG’s vast library of recipes for my guest post, this Three-Cheese Baked Mac and Cheese immediately caught my eye. The challenge for me, though, was to adapt the recipe into a gluten-free one.

Beginning in July 2015, I switched over to a gluten-free diet, and one of the things I thought I would miss most is pasta. Nothing is easier to throw together than a pasta dish, and it’s one of my go-to dinners on weeknights. I was skeptical about being able to find quality gluten-free pasta, one that didn’t turn mushy when cooked. Much to my surprise, I’ve found a few quality pasta brands that could withstand both boiling and baking! Don’t believe me? I’ll show you with this baked mac and cheese dish.

Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Butternut Squash

I’ve lightened up BHG’s original recipe several ways. First of all, I used only 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of gluten-free all-purpose flour for my roux. I stuck with 2 cups of 2% milk for the sauce, but used half of the amount of cheese. I also swapped the types of cheese used to make the recipe even healthier. The original recipe called for 2 cups of swiss cheese, 2 cups of sharp cheddar cheese, and 1 cup of gouda cheese. I used 1 cup of shredded part-skim mozzarella, 1 cup of shredded white cheddar, and 1/3 cup of shredded parmesan. Don’t worry, there’s still enough cheese action here!

Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Butternut Squash

I’m sure you’re wondering where that golden color of the cheese sauce came from. It’s butternut squash! I cooked about 2 cups of butternut squash cubes in a saute pan for 10 minutes, then used an immersion blender to make it into a puree. Then, I mixed the butternut squash puree with the rest of the cheese sauce. The butternut squash adds a wonderful sweet flavor to the dish and balances out very nicely with the cheeses. If you think cooking butternut squash is too much, substitute it with 1 cup of canned butternut squash or pumpkin puree.

Finally, I didn’t have any dry mustard on hand, so I swapped that out for 1 teaspoon of dried thyme and 1 teaspoon of dried oregano. Just toss the cheese sauce with some cooked gluten-free penne pasta, and you’re all set to give the mac and cheese a toasty bake. Of course, you can enjoy the mac cheese without baking or broiling. However, I must admit that the browned cheese on the top of this casserole was my favorite part. If you have an extra 20 to 25 minutes to spare, that extra baking step is so worth it!

Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Butternut Squash

Consider my comfort food cravings sorted.

We couldn’t choose just one! That’s why we took the best of both jambalaya and gumbo worlds and brought them together to create one strong comprising of southern style eats.

Yumm! Gimme Some Oven‘s Jambalaya takes comfort food to a whole new level.


With spicy sausage, chicken, and shrimp, The Cozy Apron‘s “Gumbo-laya” Stew is difficult to pass up.


One of the perks about making jambalaya is its flexibility. The southern style dish pairs well with almost any carbohydrate you have available in your pantry—whether it be quinoa, lentils, rice, bread, or pasta. If you’ve got extra boxes of pasta laying around, then consider using up the groceries you already have with Creole Contessa‘s Cajun Jambalaya Pasta recipe.


This Vegetarian Gumbo from Spicy Southern Kitchen is so loaded with flavor (not to mention it’s extremely filling) that you won’t even miss the meat!


Cooking great food doesn’t have to mean dirtying every pan in your kitchen. For a five-star meal with little to no mess, check out Food Faith Fitness‘s One-Pot Gluten Free Jambalaya recipe.


How delightful does Local Kitchen‘s Chicken & Sausage Gumbo look? Simply scrumptious!


With seafood and spice, Baker by Nature‘s Shrimp & Chorizo Cajun Jambalaya recipe has the famous New Orleans dish down to a ‘T’.

M’mm M’mm Good. Running with TweezersSeafood Gumbo is every fish enthusiast’s dream.


What better to come home to after a long day at the office than a warm bowl of Add A Pinch‘s Gumbo?

Happy “gumbo-laya” making!


slow cooker marinara sauce

It might feel like fall, but there are still plenty of flavors of summer around—including piles of fresh tomatoes coming out of the garden. We’ve had a banner year with preserving the tomatoes from our yard, in our CSA, and from our neighbor who happens to be a farmer. And while my husband focuses his efforts on making our yearly supply of salsa, I’m in charge of the marinara sauce supply. This Slow Cooker Marinara Sauce recipe is a nice one since it’s easy to customize, it’s totally hands off once the chopping is done, and it makes enough to feed a hungry family—or to stock the freezer for the winter.

fresh tomatoes and zucchini for slow cooker sauce

I used the vegetables that I had on hand—I use light colored squash so my 3 year old doesn’t notice anything unusual in her pasta dish!—and swapped in fresh tomatoes for the canned ones called for in the recipe. I also skipped the tomato paste since I knew that it would thicken up pretty well when I pureed it, though if you like a thicker sauce, do add it in. I choose to do the recipe on the high setting on my slow cooker and I let it cook for closer to 8 hours since the fresh tomatoes tend to have more liquid. The house smelled amazing and it was so nice not to have to worry about stirring the sauce like you do when you simmer it on the stove top and need to prevent it from burning on the bottom.

Pasta with slow cooker marinara sauce

I used my immersion blender to puree the finished sauce and let it cool while I made the pasta. I used half on our dinner and let the other half cool and packed it away into the freezer, in a zip top freezer bag with as much air removed as possible for a future dinner. And just one final note: This sauce easily doubles as tomato soup. Simply swirl a little butter on top and serve it up with a classic grilled cheese!

Get the full Slow Cooker Marinara Sauce recipe here.

Hi! I am Julia from the food blog (you can also find me on PINTEREST), bringing you today a delicious Pasta Salad with Roasted Vegetables – a delicious way to utilize lots of veggies in a healthy, satisfying main dish! For the list of the ingredients and instructions, follow this Better Homes and Gardens’ recipe. Bell pepper, zucchini, red onion, and asparagus can be grilled, or roasted on high heat in the oven or on the stove top – I love that this recipe is so easy to adjust!

Healthy Pasta Salad with Roasted Vegetables: Bell Peppers, Zucchini, Asparagus

I pretty much followed the recipe instructions, except that I did not want to use the grill, so I roasted the vegetables in the skillet on the stove top instead. I sliced all the veggies and roasted them, in two batches, in a large skillet on high heat, using the same amount of olive oil as the recipe calls for. Then, I mixed everything up with the cooked pasta in the same skillet. The presentation was so pretty, with so many colorful and vibrant veggies:

Healthy Pasta Salad with Roasted Vegetables: Bell Peppers, Zucchini, Asparagus

The recipe is super easy. First, slice the veggies into smaller pieces:

Healthy Pasta Salad with Roasted Vegetables: Bell Peppers, Zucchini, Asparagus

Then, roast them, in two batches, on the stove top, until just softened:

Healthy Pasta Salad with Roasted Vegetables: Bell Peppers, Zucchini, Asparagus

Finally, mix the roasted veggies with the cooked pasta, balsamic vinegar, season with salt and pepper, and add a sprinkling of fresh or dry oregano (optional), and serve:

Healthy Pasta Salad with Roasted Vegetables: Bell Peppers, Zucchini, Asparagus


And, here are the changes I made to the original BHG recipe:

- The recipe calls for grilling the vegetables. You can grill them or, instead, you can pan-roast them on the stove top like I did – the result is pretty much the same! Here is how to pan-roast the veggies: heat up 1.5 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet, slice the vegetables into smaller chunks, and roast them in a large skillet on high heat, in 2 batches, using 1.5 tablespoon of olive oil for each batch of vegetables. You will use a total of 3 tablespoons of olive oil for both batches.

- I used at least 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, doubling the amount in the recipe. Use more salt, to your taste.

- The recipe calls for 4 cups cooked rotini pasta – that’s 2 cups of uncooked, dry pasta. I used 2 cups of uncooked, dry penne pasta, which I cooked, drained and mixed in with the rest of the ingredients. This recipe easily converts to gluten free – just use gluten-free pasta.

Hello! This is Julia from the food blog (you can also find me on PINTEREST) with a delicious pasta recipe today. Pesto Chicken, Tomatoes, and Carrots with Parmesan Noodles – this Better Homes and Gardens’ recipe is definitely a winner! You’ll love all the flavors in this Mediterranean style pasta dish! The chicken breast is sliced into smaller bites and each bite is coated in delicious basil pesto, and the pasta is generously tossed both in basil pesto and finely shredded Parmesan cheese – so good!

Pesto Chicken with Parmesan Pasta and Tomatoes

And, it takes only 30 minutes from start to finish – perfect choice for busy cooks! The recipe uses common ingredients easily found in most pantries. I used store-purchased pesto, which worked great. Homemade basil pesto will work even better, of course!

Pesto Chicken with Parmesan Noodles and Tomatoes

Just take a look at the easy recipe instructions – there are basically 3 simple steps to making this recipe. Cook the carrots, chicken, then add pesto and toss to coat. Add a few halved grape tomatoes if you like:

Pesto Chicken with Parmesan Noodles and Tomatoes

Toss cooked pasta with butter and pesto, then combine the cooked chicken, the veggies, and the pasta together:

Pesto Chicken with Parmesan Noodles and Tomatoes

Mix everything together, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese right before serving:

Pesto Chicken with Parmesan Noodles and Tomatoes


And, here are the changes I made to the original BHG recipe:

- The only real change I made to this recipe is that I added 1 cup of grape tomatoes (halved). I actually saw them on the photo for the original recipe even though they were not listed in the ingredients’ list – they are a great addition!

- I used regular spaghetti pasta instead of angel hair pasta. Use gluten-free pasta to make this dish gluten-free.

- I ended up using more pesto than what the recipe calls for. I used at least 8 tablespoons of it.

- I sliced chicken breast into small bite-size pieces, and then cooked the sliced chicken in butter until no longer pink, per recipe instructions.

© Copyright , Meredith Corporation. All Rights Reserved | Privacy Policy | Data Policy | Terms of Service | AdChoices