Warm Pasta Salad with Roasted Vegetables and Pesto Vinaigrette

by on August 19, 2013
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Warm Pasta Salad with Chickpeas, Roasted Vegetables, and Pesto Vinaigrette

I think we all make “clean out the fridge” dishes from time to time. Maybe you just got home from a long day at work without having had time to shop, so you make a gourmet dish out of the still-viable carrots, apples, and celery at the bottom of your crisper drawer. Or maybe you’re just determined not to buy more vegetables until you use that last lonely zucchini and the red bell pepper you grew yourself. In my case, some kind of brain cloud had caused me to buy gargantuan quantities of delicate veggies on Thursday when we were leaving on a 10-day vacation on Monday. Crazy. I realized on Sunday that I’d better use it all up or lose it to the compost pile.

So I did the best thing you can ever do to eggplants, zucchini, peppers, and mushrooms: I roasted them. I stuck them in my toaster oven without actually knowing what the rest of the meal was going to be just because I knew that everything is better roasted. At the very least, they would be the perfect accompaniment to a simple bean dish. But while they were roasting, I caught sight of our flourishing basil and immediately craved pesto. Rather than go to the trouble of making a true pesto, I simply whirled the basil in the food processor with some balsamic vinaigrette, walnuts, and nutritional yeast, poured that over the roasted vegetables and pasta, and added some chickpeas to make it a one-pot meal.

It was one of those spur of the moment, easy, throw-together meals that turned out to be an instant family favorite. Unfortunately, I didn’t take any photos, so I filed the recipe away in my mental recipe box to make again later. Later came this weekend when I needed a dish for a potluck dinner. Everyone in my book group seemed to enjoy this pasta salad, which I dressed up with the addition of Kalamata olives. And because it makes a huge amount, there was plenty to go around.

Warm Pasta Salad with Roasted Vegetables and Pesto Vinaigrette



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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lisa August 19, 2013 at 2:48 pm

Sounds delicious!


2 Sylvia August 19, 2013 at 3:38 pm

Wow!!! Totally lookin forward to trying this- my toddler would be in heaven. Pasta, chickpeas, and tomatoes… Her three favorite food groups.

Do you think this would hold up ok in the fridge with the dressing?
Or am I better of leaving it separately?


3 martha@ simple nourished living August 19, 2013 at 3:45 pm

Just received delicious warm pasta salad post in my inbox and have bookmarked it to try very soon. I’m a big fan of clean out the fridge recipes! Thanks so much.


4 Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) August 19, 2013 at 5:41 pm

I make this dish with my bits of leftover pesto in the freezer all the time. It’s always a hit, no matter what combination of vegetables and pesto flavors I use!


5 moonwatcher August 19, 2013 at 6:05 pm

Hi Susan,

What a wonderful way to use roasted veggies! I really like the idea of adding a prepared vinaigrette as part of the pesto dressing. You’ve got me wondering how my lemony pear vinaigrette (cousin to your apple raisin one) would work in something like this. It looks like a really good dish to serve to a crowd, that’s not a lot of fuss, but combines the roasting with an extra dimension of flavor from the pesto vinaigrette. I’m thinking the roasted tomatoes add a nice juiciness. All the veggies in the photo look so moist and scrumptious I wanted to take a bite. Great pictures!




6 Dina August 20, 2013 at 3:40 am

… Hi Susan … thank you very much for your recipes … i feel warm & happy when ever i get mail from you … i appreciate your effort & your generosity … God Bless you Susan …


7 Lori August 22, 2013 at 6:43 pm

I made this tonight. However, I forgot to buy the basil. So, I just hit it with a little cilantro that I had in the refrigerator. Yummy.


8 Tami@Nutmeg Notebook August 22, 2013 at 8:47 pm

You are so creative! We aren’t big pasta eaters but it could be good with a hearty whole grain such as barley or faro perhaps.


9 Pearly August 25, 2013 at 10:35 am

I will try to buy from your affiliate link :)


10 Jenn August 27, 2013 at 2:03 pm

Made this tonight and was delicious. My boys ate it up. I loved it warm, but had a few bits of the leftovers from the fridge and is very tasty cold as well. They asked if they can have the leftovers in their lunch boxes tomorrow.


11 kum August 30, 2013 at 6:08 pm

I love quinoa. I often eat quinoa with south indian curries.

Thanks for posting incredible vegan dishes!


12 alex clarkson September 4, 2013 at 2:30 pm

Lovely pasta salad, will try this in my kitchen soon


13 daisy September 26, 2013 at 10:00 pm

This was amazing!!! I made it last night and couldn’t get enough. Had it today for lunch as well. It was just as good cold!


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