Are you looking for a recipe for pesto pasta that is packed with both nutrients and flavor? Then check out this recipe for pesto pasta with veggies! This pasta is topped with a creamy pesto sauce that is made with heavy cream, parmesan cheese, and pesto. Onions, broccoli, tomatoes, garlic, and spinach are added to the pesto pasta to give it even more flavor.
We make this recipe for creamy pesto pasta with veggies with gluten free pasta and gluten free all purpose flour so that it will be entirely gluten free. That being said, you can also use regular flour and pasta if you do not have a gluten intolerance. A simple 1:1 substitution will work perfectly!
Pesto pasta with veggies
- 8 oz gluten free penne
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup spinach (lightly packed)
- 1 cup broccoli florets (chopped)
- 1 onion (about 2 cups chopped)
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp salt (plus more to taste)
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
Creamy pesto sauce
- 1 cup parmesan cheese (vegetarian parmesan-style cheese)
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup pasta water
- 1/4 cup pesto
- 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
- Heat a pot of lightly salted water over high heat until it boils. After the water starts to boil, add the pasta and cook it according to the instructions on the box. Reserve some of the pasta water for the sauce.
- Chop all of the vegetables. The garlic should be mined into very fine pieces and the onions should be diced into small pieces.The broccoli should be roughly chopped into small to medium sized pieces.
- Heat a pan over medium low to medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the onions then sprinkle the salt and pepper over them. Cook the onions for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.The very edges of the onions should just be starting to brown at this point.
- Add the broccoli to the pan with the onions and cook the broccoli for another 7 – 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add tomatoes, spinach, and garlic to the pan with the broccoli. Cook the vegetables for another 2 – 3 minutes.
Creamy pesto sauce
- Make a cornstarch slurry by mixing the cornstarch with equal parts cold water.
- Heat a medium sized pot over medium low to medium heat then add the pasta water and heavy cream. Cook the sauce for a few minutes until it is hot throughout.
- Add the cornstarch slurry to the sauce. Continue to cook the sauce until it thickens, stirring occasionally.
- After the sauce thickens, remove the pan from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes before adding the pesto and parmesan cheese. Stir the sauce continuously until the parmesan cheese melts. Combine the creamy pesto sauce, pasta, and vegetables .
Substitutions for creamy pesto pasta with veggies
- Gluten free pasta. We make this recipe with gluten free pasta so that the dish will be entirely gluten free. That being said, you can also use regular pasta if you do not have a gluten intolerance. A simple 1:1 recipe will work perfectly.
- Gluten free all purpose flour. We also use gluten free all purpose flour to ensure that this recipe is gluten free. If you do not have a gluten intolerance then regular all purpose flour will work just fine.