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Dig into a bowl of delicious Cilantro Pesto Pasta with Roasted Vegetables, an easy recipe that's packed with bold flavors and fresh veggies!
I love cooking for family and friends. Catching up over a delicious meal is such a wonderful way to spend time together.
And with my sister and niece visiting recently, I couldn't wait to test out a few new recipes on them!
My niece is only five, but she's a pretty adventurous eater. There isn't much she'll turn her little nose up at, so I decided to get a little creative.
This Cilantro Pesto Pasta with Roasted Veggies was a hit with everyone who tried it, including my sweet niece. I know you are going to love it, too!
Cilantro is one of those divisive ingredients that most people either love or hate. Personally, I like to sprinkle it on everything. It's adds such a fresh burst of flavor.
If you're a cilantro lover like me, then you have to try this pasta with cilantro pesto. This is pesto with a twist, and the bold flavors of this vibrant green sauce will make your mouth water!
I like pairing pesto sauce with spaghetti since it coats the strands of pasta so well. And I always choose Barilla, because it cooks up perfectly al dente every time.
How to Make Cilantro Pesto Pasta with Roasted Vegetables
This vegan cilantro pesto recipe is easy to make and pairs perfectly with Barilla spaghetti and roasted veggies!
Once you start cooking, this recipe moves quickly. So gather and prep all your ingredients before getting started.
I used a combination of grape tomatoes, zucchini, and yellow bell peppers in this cilantro pesto pasta recipe. The colors look so pretty together!
You'll toss the veggies with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then roast them until tender.
While the veggies are roasting, you'll cook the pasta and make the pesto.
Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil, then cook your spaghetti until it's al dente. Before draining the pasta, make sure to reserve a little pasta water, because you'll need it later.
While you're waiting for the pasta water to boil, you can work on the star of the dish, the cilantro pesto sauce!
You'll use a food process to mince a serrano pepper (add as much or as little as you'd like), garlic, and toasted almonds together. Then, you'll add equal parts cilantro and parsley, along with fresh lemon juice and salt. If you'd like more cilantro flavor, feel free to use all cilantro and skip the parsley.
Once the cilantro and parsley are minced, you'll add the olive oil with the motor running to create a beautiful, vibrant green pesto.
Taste your finished cilantro pesto sauce and add more salt if necessary. It should be well seasoned.
The last step is to combine all the delicious components together.
Return the drained pasta to the pot you cooked it in (off the heat), then top it with the cilantro pesto. Mix the spaghetti and pesto together, adding just enough of the reserved pasta water to help the sauce evenly coat the pasta.
The roasted veggies are a little tender, so you'll mix them in last.
Then, it's time to eat ... I like to serve this pasta with cilantro pesto in bowls for easy twirling.
This pasta recipe is vegan, but if you'd like, you can top it with a little crumbled queso fresco like I did. To keep it vegan friendly, top the pasta with toasted, chopped almonds instead.
However you serve it, this Cilantro Pesto Pasta with Roasted Vegetables is sure to become a favorite!
Cilantro Pesto Pasta with Roasted Vegetables
For Roasted Veggies:
- nonstick cooking spray
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved if large
- 2 small zucchini, quartered and sliced
- 1 large yellow bell pepper, sliced
- salt and pepper
For Cilantro Pesto:
- ½ cup slivered almonds
- ½ to 1 whole serrano pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
- 1 large garlic clove, roughly chopped
- 1 cup cilantro (packed)
- 1 cup flat leaf parsley (packed)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 (1-pound) package spaghetti
- crumbled queso fresco, optional*
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Place almonds (for pesto) in a medium skillet over medium heat. Cook almonds, watching closely and stirring frequently, until golden. Set aside to cool.
Prepare Roasted Veggies:
- Lightly spray a large baking sheet with nonstick spray, then top with tomatoes, zucchini, and yellow pepper.
- Drizzle veggies with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Mix well.
- Roast veggies for 15 minutes, then flip. Continue roasting for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, or until veggies are tender and staring to brown.
- Remove from oven and set aside until ready to use.
- Once veggies are in oven, combine cooled, toasted almonds, serrano pepper, and garlic in a food processor. Process until minced.
- Roughly chopped cilantro and parsley, then add to food processor, along with lemon juice and salt. Process until minced.
- With food processor running, slowly add olive oil. Continue processing until the ingredients combine and form a sauce. Adjust seasoning to taste with additional salt, if desired, then set aside.
- Once veggies are in oven, bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil.
- Add spaghetti to pot and cook until al dente.
- Reserve ½ cup pasta cooking water, then drain pasta.
- Return pasta to pot (off heat), then top with pesto. Mix pasta with pesto, adding just enough of the reserved pasta water so that the pesto evenly coats the pasta. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt, if necessary.
- Gently mix the spaghetti with the roasted veggies.
- Serve pasta in bowls, topped with crumbled queso fresco, if desired. Enjoy!
How to Use Cilantro Pesto
I hope you enjoyed this Cilantro Pesto Pasta recipe. Let me know if you try it ... I'd love to know what you think!
There are lots of uses for this yummy cilantro pesto sauce beyond pasta, too. Try:
- Drizzling it over a salad.
- Mixing it with cooked rice.
- Using it as a sauce with steamed or roasted veggies.
- Serving it as a dip.
- Spreading it over dough for a unique pizza sauce.
Now that you know how to make this tasty vegan cilantro pesto with pasta, make sure to grab some Barilla coupons before heading to the store for the ingredients (I found everything at my local Tom Thumb). Then, follow Barilla in Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter for more delicious ideas!
Are you a fan of cilantro, too? What is your favorite way to use it?