pesto baked pasta

Pesto Baked Pasta

There is nothing quite like al dente pasta smothered in nutty homemade pesto. This pesto baked pasta is a healthy side dish or dinner that will make you start drooling as it slowly simmers on the stove.

Prep: 20Cook: 40Total: 1 hour
Yield 8 servings 1x


  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 1 8oz bag fresh spinach (divided)
  • 1 cup pine nuts (sub almonds or cashews)
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp salt
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 12 oz dry pasta
  • 14oz jar diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 425F. Grease a 9×13 dish or 10 inch cast iron skillet.
  2. Prepare pasta according to package, then drain.
  3. To a high speed blender or food processor, pack in basil and spinach.
  4. Add pine nuts, garlic, parmesan cheese, salt, lemon, and olive oil.
  5. Blend until totally smooth, adding in a little more oil if necessary. Scrape down sides as needed.
  6. In a large bowl or the saucepan you cooked the pasta in, add the drained pasta back. Add the drained tomatoes and spinach to the warm pasta and stir to combine, allowing the spinach to wilt.
  7. Pour the pesto over top of the pasta and stir until all mixed together.
  8. Add the pasta to a 9×13 dish or 10 inch skillet. Top with mozzarella cheese.
  9. Bake for 15 minutes at 425. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.
Author: ErinCategory: pasta, dinner, lunch, meal prep, pestoMethod: bakeCuisine: ItalianDiet: Vegetarian