This recipe may pull you out of your fresh produce comfort zone, but it’s worth it.
Meatless Monday Pesto Pasta with Roasted Root Veggies recipe is a colorful and healthy garden fresh dinner that I hope will inspire you to be adventurous in the produce aisle and try some new items! We’ll be roasting Turnips, Parsnips and Rutabaga for dinner. Parsnips look like big yellow carrots, but they definitely have their own crisp taste. Turnips and Rutabaga are similar in looks, but Rutabaga is much larger. All these root vegetables should be pretty standard in most produce sections, and should be clearly labeled, so you can pick them out with confidence.
How to cook Turnips, Parsnips or Rutabaga
In this recipe for Pesto Pasta with Roasted Root Veggies, the turnips, parsnips and rutabaga will be peeled, chopped, and tossed with olive oil, Italian seasonings, salt and pepper before being roasted in a 400°F oven. I love using my food processors’ chopping feature to power through these root veggies; then I just stir the oil and seasonings around right in my food processor bowl.
Next, spread the chopped roots out in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and pop it in a 400°F oven until soft and edges are golden brown. You’ll want to stir them at least once, about half way through, to help them brown more evenly.
The roasted root veggies are then tossed with al dente penne pasta, basil pesto and roasted red bell pepper (from a jar, usually found in the Italian condiment section of the grocery store). Little Goldilocks herself helped me out with some meal prep by blotting the canning liquid (oil) off the roasted red bell peppers! (Yeah, definitely NOT my hand… haha)
Basil Pesto Ties It All Together
While the veggies roast in the oven, I cook my penne pasta al dente and chop the roasted red bell pepper. Then when the veggies are ready, just toss everything together with a delicious basil pesto. It can be freshly made with this recipe, or use a commercially produced jar of pesto from the Italian condiment section of your local grocery store. (chances are you’ll find the jar of roasted red bell peppers pretty close).
Sprinkle individual servings of Pesto Pasta with Roasted Root Veggies with grated parmesan cheese and italian parsley and you have a hearty meal and new confidence in the kitchen. I love trying new produce items (new to me anyway), and I challenge you to do the same. Share a comment with me down below about this recipe, and don’t forget to rate if you try it!
Pesto Pasta with Roasted Root Veggies
Yield 8 1 cup servings
A beautiful and healthy garden fresh dinner, this Meatless Monday Pesto Pasta with Roasted Root Veggies recipe makes great use of parsnips, rutabaga, and turnips by seasoning them with Italian flavors and roasting them in the oven. Tossed with basil pesto, roasted red bell pepper and parmesan cheese.
- 8 ounces parsnip, (about 3) peeled and diced
- 1 rutabaga, peeled and diced
- 2 turnips, peeled and diced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 8 ounces (1/2 a standard size box) of penne pasta
- 3 tablespoons basil pesto
- 1/2 cup roasted red bell pepper, chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese to garnish
- Heat your oven to 400 degrees F.
- Toss the parsnip, turnip, and rutabaga in olive oil, Italian seasoning and salt until evenly coated. Spread out on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Roast in the oven for about 30-40 minutes, stirring halfway through, until soft and golden browned on a side or two.
- While the veggies are roasting, cook the pasta to al dente, according to the package directions and drain.
- Place pasta in a large mixing bowl with chopped bell pepper and the root veggies when they're done roasting. Add pesto and toss to evenly coat. Garnish servings with a pinch of chopped parsley and parmesan.
Dice the peeled root veggies with a food processor if possible. Rutabaga is a solid root veggie, and will require a little muscle to power through with a knife.
Serving Size 1 cup
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value
Total Fat 8.9 g
Saturated Fat 4.4 g
Cholesterol 42 mg
Sodium 629 mg
Total Carbohydrates 30.5 g
Dietary Fiber 3.7 g
Sugars 6.9 g
Protein 13.5 g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
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