Pesto pasta with spring roasted veggies comes together with roasted mushrooms and asparagus, sun-dried tomatoes, and whatever pesto you have on hand! A healthy and easy weeknight meal.
I am fully convinced that any version of pesto pasta is the answer to the sometimes-chaos that is getting weeknight meals on the table. Not only does pesto go over really well with kids, but it also transforms any dish into the most beautiful herby, salty flavor. With a need for quick weeknight meals and a craving for all the spring produce, today we're making pesto pasta with spring roasted veggies.
We'll make this one plant-based with legume rotini and our very own vegan parsley pesto, but feel free to add meat, cheese, and/or parmesan-based pesto!
Roasted mushrooms and asparagus are our spring veggie features, which give this dish some lovely earthy, umami, and grassy flavors.
- Pasta - use your fave! I love curly noodles because the pesto gets all tucked into those beautiful ridges. Legume or whole grain pastas are what I usually use for nutritious, protein-packed meals. My favorite brands are Tolerant (for legume pasta) and Delallo (for all other pasta).
- Asparagus - for earthy & grassy flavors, plus SO delicious when roasted.
- Mushrooms - for a meaty texture and earthy, umami flavor.
- Sun-dried tomatoes - the kind packed in oil... SO flavorful.
- Parsley - for a freshness boost.
- Pesto - vegan parsley walnut pesto, or your favorite pesto!
First, you'll roast the veggies, so get your oven to a nice and hot 425 degrees. Chop the asparagus into one or two-inch pieces, and chop the mushrooms into quarters. Line everything up on a sheet pan (line with parchment paper for low mess), drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, and sprinkle with salt. Get those veggies all nicely coated, then pop them in the oven for about 25 minutes. You know roasted veggies are done when they're nicely browned and collapsed.
About halfway through the veggie roasting time, you can start boiling water for pasta. Make sure to generously salt your pasta, and cook according to package instructions. Because we want the pasta dish to be warm when served, drain the pasta but don't rinse it with cool water. Instead, add it right into the bowl where you'll be tossing it all together.
Once the veggies are done, take them out of the oven and transfer them to pasta bowl, along with the sun-dried tomatoes. Toss together and coat the pasta in some of that lovely sun-dried tomato oil.
Then, spoon plenty of pesto over the top, and toss to coat! Add some chopped parsley before serving for some extra freshness.
Hint: Dry toast a large handful of walnuts in a skillet until fragrant, then roughly chop them for a crunchy pasta topping!
Substitutions & Variations
Pasta is SO versatile. You can easily make substitutions or variations to fit your cravings, available ingredients, and/or nutritional needs.
- Spicy - Sprinkle some red pepper flakes on top before serving.
- Veggies - Mushrooms and asparagus are some of my favorite spring vegetables, both for roasting and for enjoying with pasta, but other spring veggies (such as leeks and cauliflower) would also be delicious. At the end of the day, it's hard to go wrong with veggies and pasta smothered in pesto!
- Even more salty - Toss in a bunch of kalamata olives (or your favorite kind of olive), and if you don't need to keep it plant-based, sprinkle parmesan over the top. Both olives and parmesan add delicious saltiness!
- Extra protein - Add some chopped chicken (grilled, rotisserie, or however you like it prepared), tuna, or sautéed chickpeas for some additional protein, flavor, and texture.
- Gluten free - Just make sure to use gluten free pasta! Legume-based, brown rice, or quinoa pasta are all excellent options.
Pesto pasta with spring roasted veggies is super easy to make with standard kitchen materials (a sheet pan for roasting veggies, and a pot for boiling pasta). If you plan on making your own pesto, you'll need a food processor as well.
Other than that, a cutting board and knife for chopping up veggies, a spoon for tossing, and a bowl for serving are the primary pieces of equipment you'll need.
Store leftover pasta in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. To freeze, allow pasta to cool completely before placing pasta in an airtight container in the freezer for up to three months. Let the pasta thaw in the fridge before reheating in a pot on the stove.
Pesto Pasta FAQs
Since pesto is traditionally made with parmesan cheese, it is not vegan. However, this pesto pasta recipe calls for a vegan pesto, making it vegan. If you decide to use pesto containing parmesan, it will still be considered vegetarian if there is no meat.
Um, heck yes, and it's delicious. This pasta dish is intended to be served warm, but you bet I ate leftovers cold straight from the fridge.
If you need a way to use up extra pesto, we love this simple pesto pasta salad with chicken.Print
Pesto Pasta with Spring Roasted Veggies
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: ~6 cups
- Category: Pasta
- Method: Oven & stovetop
- Cuisine: Italian
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 16 ounces mushrooms, chopped
- 16 ounces asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 8 ounces chickpea rotini (or your favorite pasta)
- ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed in olive oil, lightly drained
- ½ cup pesto
- ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- Freshly cracked pepper, for serving
- Preheat and prep. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Roast mushrooms and asparagus. Spread the mushrooms and asparagus into an even layer on the sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and mix everything together in the pan to coat. Roast at 425 for 25-30 minutes while you make the pasta.
- Make the pasta. Once the veggies have been roasting for 15 minutes, cook the pasta according to instructions on the package. Once al dente, drain but do not rinse to cool down (we want to serve the pasta warm).
- Combine pasta ingredients. Once the veggies are done, combine cooked pasta, roasted veggies, sun-dried tomatoes (with some of their olive oil), and pesto in a large bowl and toss to coat. Serve the pesto pasta warm with fresh parsley, freshly cracked pepper, and optional parmesan cheese (if not vegan).
- Storage & freezing. Store leftover pesto pasta in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. To freeze, place pasta in an airtight container and store in the freezer for up to three months. Thaw in the fridge and steam in a pot in the stove to reheat.
- Pesto. If you make one recipe of parsley walnut pesto, you'll have extra. You're welcome 🙂
Keywords: healthy pesto pasta, vegan pesto pasta