Low-Calorie Pesto Sauce Recipe, Weight Watchers Friendly Recipes

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Hi Hungry Girl,

Would you please give us the stats on your Simply the Pesto Spaghetti without the tofu shirataki noodles? I'd like to make it with whole-wheat pasta and maybe use the pesto as a sandwich spread. Thank you!

Pining for Pesto



Okay, here's the deal. If you use whole-wheat spaghetti instead of Tofu Shirataki in that recipe, each serving (about a cup) will have 335 calories, 11g fat, 465mg sodium, 48.5g carbs, 6.25g fiber, 2g sugars, and 13.5g protein (PointsPlus® value 9*) -- not bad at all, considering the average pesto pasta has more than 550 calories and 30g fat for the same amount! Just prepare 4 ounces of whole-wheat spaghetti according to the package instructions, and then toss with the HG pesto sauce. And I love the idea of using the sauce itself on sandwiches, in wraps, over grilled chicken, and more. For anyone who hasn't tried it, it's creamier than most pesto sauces and super-delicious! Here's the recipe and stats so you can whip up a batch...

Simply the Pesto
PER SERVING (1/4th of recipe, about 2 tbsp.): 68 calories, 5g fat, 228mg sodium, 3g carbs, 0.25g fiber, 0.5g sugars, 3g protein -- PointsPlus® value 2*

1 cup fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup fat-free ricotta cheese
2 tbsp. reduced-fat Parmesan-style grated topping
2 tbsp. pine nuts
1 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. chopped garlic
1/4 tsp. salt, or more to taste
1/4 tsp. black pepper, or more to taste

Place all ingredients in a small blender or food processor, and blend/process until a smooth paste forms. If you like, add additional salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve!


Enjoy! P.S. If you really love the stuff and plan to use it often, make a double batch -- it'll be easier to blend that way!

Hi HG,

Will you be coming out with cookbooks that work well with the new Weight Watchers plan? And where can I find PointsPlus® values for recipes in the existing books? Thanks!

Hungry Fan in Feasterville

Hi Hungry Fan,

Yes! I really like the new WW plan and have definitely been keeping it in mind during recipe development. We just finished up the recipes for 300 Under 300: 300 Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Dishes Under 300 Calories, and that book will be PACKED with dishes that are PointsPlus® friendly. In fact, there's not a single recipe in there with a PointsPlus® value greater than 8*, and there are more than 100 recipes with a value of 4 or less* each. In addition to aiming for low fat and high fiber counts here, HG recipes tend to keep protein high and carbs low. So the new plan -- which takes all these things into account -- is right in line with HG's approach. Go, WW (and go, us)! Now, as for the PointsPlus® values for the HG books already out there, they can be found on the HG book site... Right here, here, here and here! Thanks for the email, Hungry Fan. BTW, you are lucky to live in a town with feast in its name...

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*The PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® values for these products and/or recipes were calculated by Hungry Girl and are not an endorsement or approval of the product, recipe, or its manufacturer or developer by Weight Watchers International, Inc., the owner of the PointsPlus® registered trademark and SmartPoints
® trademark.

SmartPoints® value not what you expected? Click here for more info on how the values are calculated, plus more FAQs about PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® values on our website.

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