Veggie Pasta Pesto is a simple, Italian-inspired meal with roasted chickpeas, tomatoes, broccoli, and yellow squash mixed with creamy, pesto-coated pasta.
There are some nights when only a comforting, Italian-inspired pasta dinner will do. This recipe is made for just such an occasion.
With creamy pesto sauce (I use oat milk instead of dairy-based cream), high-protein chickpeas, and a slew of fiber-rich vegetables, this pasta dinner is balanced, nutritious, and satisfying.
Leftovers are great for lunch the next day (you can even eat this at room temperature, so there's no need to reheat it). Smaller portions make a hearty, vegetarian side dish, as well.
These are the basic ingredients you'll need to make Veggie Pasta Pesto at home.
- Chickpeas (one 15.5-ounce can)
- Cherry tomatoes
- Yellow squash
- Grapeseed oil (or cooking oil of choice)
- Pasta (I use campanelle here)
- Oat milk (or plain milk or cream of choice)
- Pesto (homemade or store-bought)
- Fresh basil for garnish (optional)
Prepare the Vegetables and Chickpeas
The first step is roasting the chickpeas and vegetables that you'll serve with the pesto pasta.
Start by preheating the oven to 450ºF and prepare a baking sheet (I like to line it with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat for easy cleanup).
Spread the chickpeas, broccoli, tomatoes, and yellow squash on the baking sheet. Drizzle some oil on top (I like grapeseed oil because it has a neutral flavor and stands up to high heat) and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Use your hands to mix everything together.
Then, transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake for about 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and just starting to turn brown.
Cook the Pasta
While the vegetables are in the oven, cook the pasta.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the dry pasta and cook until it's al dente (tender but still has a firm bite). I use campanelle pasta, but any type works for this recipe. You'll just need to adjust the cooking time for the pasta according to the instructions on the package.
Once cooked, drain the pasta and set it aside.
Using the same pot that you used to cook the pasta, mix together the pesto and oat milk over medium heat. Continue stirring until the sauce is warmed through. Then turn off the heat.
Finally, add the cooked pasta back to the pot and stir until it's evenly coated in the sauce.
How to Serve Veggie Pasta Pesto
To serve, transfer the pasta to a dish and top with the cooked vegetables and chickpeas.
Garnish with basil leaves if you want. You can leave it as is or gently toss to mix.
Making Ahead and Storage Information
If you are making this recipe ahead of time, cook the pasta for a couple of minutes less than the instructed time. This prevents the pasta from getting too mushy when it's reheated.
Stir in 1-2 additional tablespoons of milk if the pasta is too dry after you reheat it.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
- Substitute white cannellini beans for chickpeas.
- Use whatever cooking oil you like in place of the grapeseed oil.
- Instead of oat milk, use whole milk, half and half, or cashew milk.
- If you don't like/have one of the vegetables, you can replace it with more of the others. (For example, if you don't like broccoli, add in more yellow squash.)
- Substitute green zucchini for yellow squash if desired.
Recipes to Serve with Veggie Pasta Pesto
- 5-Minute Walnut Pesto
- Roasted Red Pepper Polenta Squares
- Vegan Roasted Cabbage Caesar Salad
- Meal Prep Salad
- Pan-Fried Asparagus with Sun-Dried Tomato and Feta
Frequently Asked Questions About Veggie Pasta Pesto
You can easily make this recipe vegan and dairy-free by using vegan pesto sauce. If you're making your own pesto, substitute nutritional yeast for the parmesan cheese.
Substitute your favorite gluten-free pasta, such as chickpea pasta, for regular pasta. Use whole milk or a dairy-free nut milk alternative, such as cashew milk, instead of oat milk. Double check that all packaged ingredients, such as store-bought pesto, are gluten-free.
Yes, you can freeze this Veggie Pasta Pesto in a freezer-safe bag for up to three months.
Veggie Pasta Pesto
- Sheet pan
- pasta pot
For the vegetables:
- 1 (15.5-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 ½ cups chopped broccoli (1-inch pieces)
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 medium yellow squash, chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil or cooking oil of choice
- ¼ teaspoon salt or to taste
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper or to taste
For the pasta:
- ½ pound (8 ounces) dry pasta (I use 3 cups dry campanelle pasta)
- ¾ cup pesto sauce (homemade or store-bought)
- ½ cup plain full fat oat milk or plain milk of choice
- Basil leaves for garnish (optional)
Prepare the vegetables:
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare a baking sheet.
- Spread chickpeas, broccoli, tomatoes, and yellow squash on the baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss until mixed.
- Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until tender and starting to brown.
Prepare the pasta:
- While the vegetables are in the oven, bring a large pasta pot of water to a boil. Add pasta (and salt if desired) and cook for 9 minutes, or until al dente. (Follow the cooking time on the package instructions if you use another type of pasta.) Drain the pasta and set aside.
- In the same pot that you used to cook the pasta, stir pesto and milk over medium heat until warmed through. Turn off the heat.
- Add cooked pasta back to the pot and stir until it's evenly coated with sauce.
- Transfer to a serving dish and top with the cooked vegetables and chickpeas. Garnish with basil leaves and gently toss to mix if desired.