Food For Thought

Rainbow Buckwheat Pesto Pasta

Posted on Wednesday, November 30, 2016 by Pam Anderson


  • 1 x 250g pack of buckwheat pasta
  • 1 x medium sweet potato
  • 2 x medium sized whole beetroot
  • 3 x medium sized carrots
  • 3 x chicken thigh
  • 1 x bunch of asparagus chopped into 1cm long pieces
  • 1 x 250g bag of spinach
  • 1 x onion chopped roughly
  • 2 heaped tablespoons of pesto
  • Olive oil for cooking


  • Step 1: Preheat oven to 200 degrees and in a large bowl, combine the chopped vegetables (sweet potato, beetroot and carrot only) with a little olive oil until just coated and a generous pinch of sea salt. Lay these on a baking tray lined with baking paper and cook in oven about 20 minutes or until starting to brown while you prepare the rest of the meal.
  • Step 2: Heat a large shallow fry pan over medium heat with a tablespoon of olive oil. Once hot, add the chicken thighs. Cook on one side until browned – about 5 minutes. Then flip over and cook until just cooked through. Remove from pan. Roughly chop into bite sized pieces and set this aside.
  • Step 3: Cook pasta. To do this, take a large saucepan with about 3 litres of water and bring to the boil. Add your packet of pasta and simmer about 8 minutes until just tender. It can simmer whilst doing step 4.
  • Step 4: In the same pan you cooked the chicken, using the same juices, heat it back to warm then add in the chopped onion and cook for a few minutes until translucent. Then add in the chopped asparagus and cook a further 3-4 minutes. Then add your chicken back into this pan and cook for a few minutes to ensure chicken definitely cooked all the way through.
  • Step 5: Drain the cooked pasta, running a bit of water over it to drain any excess starch. Allow liquid to run off.
  • Step 5: In a large bowl combine the chicken mixture and remove the roast vegetables from the oven and add these too. Mix everything up. Then add in your bag of spinach. The spinach will naturally wilt through the dish.
  • Step 6: Finally, add in your buckwheat pasta and a couple of tablespoons (heaped!) of pesto. Stir well. Add more pesto to achieve desired taste.


  • Any pasta would work. Buckwheat is gluten free, high in fibre and technically not even a grain. Has a slightly nutty flavour. If you are using ordinary pasta at least go for wholemeal variety.
  • Vegetables – you could use different vegetables during any part of this process. This happened to be what I had available in my fridge when I made this dish originally and it worked beautifully, plus it created a beautiful rainbow in the bowl.
  • Similarly, I am sure this dish would work nicely with a tin of salmon OR prawns instead of chicken. For a vegetarian option you can use organic tofu or tempeh.

This is a GREAT dish as once you have cooked it once you will see how SIMPLE it is and how many variations are possible. This will be a staple in your home!

This recipe was supplied by Katie King, The Balanced Nutritionist – our nutritionist in residence.