Caitlin Havener holds a Pesto Brown Rice Quinoa Pasta with Italian Chicken Sausage

Pesto Brown Rice Quinoa Pasta with Italian Chicken Sausage

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Also note: While I am a certified nutrition coach, I am not a medical doctor. Information here is not intended to be a replacement for the advice you should seek from your doctor.

This recipe includes a light pesto recipe with a gluten-free whole grain brown rice quinoa pasta. I’ve included chicken sausage so that it is lighter and healthier. I was first inspired to make pesto because the basil in my garden was out of control!

Why This Brown Rice Quinoa Pasta is Awesome

I made a lot of modifications to the traditional pesto to make it lighter, which is basically less olive oil and cheese. Instead of a sausage, which would be much fattier, I opted for a chicken sausage. I used a quinoa brown rice pasta that I got at Walmart just to have some variation from the usual wheat. No one in our family has wheat problems, but this recipe happens to be gluten free. I can’t find an equivalent on Amazon to suggest unfortunately, but this chickpea pasta is gluten free and pretty awesome too. Substitute any bean or whole grain pasta you would like! Due to the high fiber content of the whole grain pasta, it won’t cause as much of a glycemic response as would a bleached enriched wheat pasta. This dish is super easy to make and to get your family to want to eat. Your kids will definitely ask for seconds! This recipe also has a lot of good complex carbohydrates to fuel my runs. However, you certainly don’t have to be an endurance athlete to enjoy this healthy pesto brown rice quinoa pasta recipe. 🏃‍♀️

Watch the Recipe Video

The video embedded here is from my YouTube channel. It happens to be my very first video so it is far from perfect! 😂 Make sure you follow that channel if recipe videos are your thing, in addition to social media and newsletter of this blog. 😉

Finally, if you love this recipe, be sure to check out my other dinner recipes here. 🍴

Please let me know how this recipe goes when you make it! Post a picture and tag one of the below social media accounts:

Pesto Brown Rice Quinoa Pasta with Italian Chicken Sausage

Pesto Brown Rice Quinoa Pasta with Italian Chicken Sausage

No ratings yet
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6
Calories 458 kcal



  • Boil pasta and drain
  • Make pesto in a food processor combining the following ingredients: 2 of the garlic cloves, 5 tablespoons Olive Oil, the fresh basil, parmesan, lemon juice, walnuts, and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Heat oil in pan on medium and cook last minced garlic clove until fragrant (~1-2 min)
  • Add onions and zuchinni to the pan and cook for a few minutes
  • Add chicken sausage and cook until they are 165 degrees and the vegetables are tender
  • Turn the skillet down low. Add the tomatoes, pesto, and pasta into the skillet. Stir together and continue to cook until tomatoes are slightly cooked, pasta has been reheated, and all ingredients are well incorporated – ~3 min.
  • Serve with fresh parmesan and top with fresh basil (optional)



Sodium: 668mgCalcium: 80mgSugar: 2.5gFiber: 3gPotassium: 278mgCholesterol: 58mgCalories: 458kcalSaturated Fat: 5.4gFat: 26.6gProtein: 24.2gCarbohydrates: 34.4gIron: 2mg
Keyword Gluten-free, Healthy, Italian, Kid-friendly, Low Sugar, Pasta, Pesto, Quinoa, Tasty
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