This bright and cheerful Vegetable Pesto Pasta, often known as pesto primavera or pasta primavera, is a light and fresh warm pasta dish loaded with delicious seasonal vegetables, basil nut pesto, and tender spaghetti.
Keep this vegetable pesto pasta as is for a vegetarian side dish or light lunch, otherwise, add in some chicken or seafood for a hearty main meal.
Pasta - I’ve used spaghetti in this dish but you could also use pasta such as Rotini or fusilli since the shape and texture allows the pesto to get stuck well, enhancing the flavor of the dish. Other options include farfalle, penne, or other noodles that work well when tossed in pesto and sauces.
Vegetables - These include cremini mushrooms, cubed butternut squash, diced bell pepper, broccoli florets, diced tomatoes, spinach, and diced brown onion. Go ahead and use other vegetables that suit your preference.
Pesto - You can make a homemade pesto or buy green basil nut pesto for this pasta recipe. I’ve used ½ cup of pesto but you can increase the amount if you enjoy a more generous amount of sauce. If you opt to make your own pesto, cashew nuts are a great pesto ingredient that offers a rich and creamy flavor and texture.
Parmesan cheese - Freshly grated from a block of cheese is always best for taste and texture. Use a vegan cheese for a vegan vegetable pesto pasta.
Basil - Fresh for garnish.
For the full list of ingredients, please scroll down where you'll find the recipe card.
Cook the noodles and leave the starchy cooking water aside.
Place the butternut squash cubes onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Season the squash with salt, pepper, and oil. Bake at 400 F for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile in a bowl mix spaghetti and pesto.
In a nonstick skillet saute onion and mushrooms, stir in tomatoes, bell peppers, broccoli, and spinach last.
Add the roasted butternut squash.
Lastly, stir in pesto noodles, add more pesto if needed, some noodle-cooking water.
Top with plenty of grated parmesan before serving. Serve right away!
It’s always advised to be generous when adding salt to pasta water prior to adding the dried uncooked pasta. It really makes a huge difference in taste.
I’ve used spaghetti in this recipe but you can use any pasta that you prefer.
Make sure that you don’t overcook the pasta. It should be cooked al dente otherwise you risk it becoming a mushy consistency.
Fresh basil is particularly reactive to heat, turning a blackish color when in contact with heat. This is just something to note when working in the kitchen with your fresh ingredients. If you intend adding some fresh chopped basil as a garnish to this pesto pasta, do so only when serving each plate instead of mixing it in with the ingredients in a hot pan/skillet.
If you are serving to a larger crowd, you can easily double or triple this vegetable pesto pasta.
Turn this vegetable pesto pasta into a meaty dish by adding some cooked crumbled bacon, shredded chicken, shredded turkey, pulled pork, or diced ham to the mixture.
Adding pasta water to the dish just prior to serving helps to add extra flavor as well as thickens the pesto sauce.
Absolutely! You can use a vegan cheese instead of the Parmesan cheese to make this completely vegan.
Yes, you can. Simply use gluten-free noodles or pasta for this dish. You could even use spiralized zucchini or serve it over rice instead.
This dish is intended to be served warm but you can certainly enjoy chilled leftovers without heating it up - that’s a great option for a cold pasta salad to pair with grilled meat on a hot summer day.
“Primavera” in Italian means “spring” which is apt for this light and fresh dish that calls for seasonal vegetables. Although there are many variations to this dish, vegetable pesto pasta is certainly one such version of a pasta primavera recipe.
Thank you so much for reading about the Vegetarian Pesto Pasta recipe. Please feel free to comment with any questions you may have! I love reading your feedback.
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Easy Vegetarian Pesto Pasta
- 8 oz pasta of choice I used spaghetti
- 5 oz cremini mushrooms
- 1 cup butternut squash cut into ½ inch cubes
- ½ cup bell pepper diced small
- ½ cup broccoli florets
- 2 small tomatoes diced
- 2 cups spinach
- 1 small brown onion diced
- ½ cup Homemade or store-bought green basil nut pesto you may need more depending on how much sauce you’d like to have
- Grated parmesan for serving
- Fresh basil for garnish
- Cook the noodles and leave the starchy cooking water aside.
- Place the butternut squash cubes onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Season the squash with salt, pepper, and oil. Bake at 400 F for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile in a bowl mix spaghetti and pesto.
- In a nonstick skillet saute onion and mushrooms, stir in tomatoes, bell peppers, broccoli, and spinach last. Add the roasted butternut squash.
- Lastly, stir in pesto noodles, add more pesto if needed, some noodle-cooking water, and top with parmesan before serving.