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white casserole dish with baked pesto pasta
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Easy Baked Pesto Pasta

This Easy Baked Pesto Pasta is a delicious and cozy weeknight dinner. Penne pasta is tossed with broccoli, mushrooms, and homemade hemp seed pesto, then topped with freshly grated parmesan and baked till the cheese gets browned and crisp. A delicious vegetarian option that can be made gluten-free or vegan!
Cuisine Italian
Keyword broccoli, mushrooms, pasta, pesto
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 2 heaping cups penne pasta, or similar shape
  • 1 large crown broccoli
  • Approx. 6-8 large cremini mushrooms
  • Olive oil, to cook
  • Salt + pepper, to taste

Pesto:

Toppings:

  • 1.5 cups freshly grated parmesan
  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Chop broccoli into small florets and slice mushrooms thinly. Set aside.
  • Cook the pasta according to package instructions, being sure not to overcook (al dente is preferable for baked pasta).
  • While the pasta cooks, heat up a large pan over medium with a bit of olive oil. Sauté the broccoli and mushrooms with salt + pepper, for about 7-10 minutes.
  • Preheat your oven to a broil.
  • While both the pasta and veggies are cooking, make the pesto. Simply add all pesto ingredients to a food processor or high-speed blender and pulse until a sauce forms. If needed, you can add a splash of water until pesto reaches your desired consistency.
  • Once all the ingredients are cooked, drain the pasta and remove veggies from heat. Add cooked pasta and veggies to a large baking or casserole dish. Stir in pesto, making sure to combine all ingredients well. Adjust seasonings to taste.
  • Sprinkle the top of the pasta with freshly grated parmesan (I like using parmigiano reggiano) and additional hemp seeds. Place the casserole dish under the broiler for about 5-7 minutes, or until the top of the pasta is lightly browned.
  • Remove from oven and enjoy immediately!

Notes

*Leftovers of this recipe can be stored for about 3-5 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
*My best recommendation for reheating is to do so in the oven (350F x 10 mins). This will maintain the crispness of the top baked layer. If you're in a pinch though, you can use a microwave!
*For a gluten-free option of this recipe, simply swap regular pasta for a gluten-free version. I used penne for this recipe, but feel free to use a similarly sized shape, like rigatoni or farfalle.
*For a vegan option, omit the parmesan cheese on top and swap with nutritional yeast instead. The hemp seed pesto is already vegan!