Fall Roasted Root Vegetable Pasta with Kale Pesto {Recipe}

Roasted root vegetable pasta with kale pesto is a hearty and nutritious one-bowl meal. A perfect way to celebrate the flavors of the fall season.

Fall Roasted Root Vegetable Pasta with Kale Pesto | Sweet potatoes, beets, carrots, parsnip, and cauliflower are roasted and tossed with whole wheat pasta and kale pesto in this hearty and nutritious one-bowl meal. A perfect way to celebrate the flavors of the fall season. Get the recipe @jlevinsonrd.

If you love roasted root vegetables raise your hand. My hand is raised, is yours?! I know it is because who doesn’t love roasted root vegetables! In fact I love root vegetables in a variety of ways, but it should come as no surprise that roasting is my favorite.

After all, roasting brings out the sweetness in everything and I have one heck of a sweet tooth. Put me in front of a tray of fresh-from-the-oven crispy, caramelized carrots, sweet potatoes, beets, and any winter squash and they may not make it to the plate, or bowl as is the case in this recipe!

I first posted this roasted root vegetable pasta recipe in the fall of 2011, back when my husband had sent me this NY Times recipe for Quinoa with Roasted Winter Vegetables and Pesto. This was almost a year before my girls were born and we lived in the city and belonged to a CSA.

I had just received a bounty of vegetables including a basket full of sweet potatoes, a bunch of kale, a rutabaga, and a small head of broccoli, so it was the perfect way to put all those nutritious and delicious vegetables to use. I think I was out of quinoa the day I made this, so I used pasta instead.

Fall Roasted Root Vegetable Pasta with Kale Pesto | Sweet potatoes, beets, carrots, parsnip, and cauliflower are roasted and tossed with whole wheat pasta and kale pesto in this hearty and nutritious one-bowl meal. A perfect way to celebrate the flavors of the fall season. Get the recipe @jlevinsonrd.

Now five years later, I decided to revamp the recipe once again (it was in much need of new photos – thanks Kaleigh!), and in doing so have changed up some of the included vegetables.

This roasted root vegetable pasta includes so many veggies you will for sure meet your quota for the day. We’ve got sweet potatoes, carrots, beets, parsnip, cauliflower, and onions all in this one dish.

Oh, and kale too, thanks to the kale pesto that lightly coats both the pasta and roasted veggies. I make this pesto with walnuts (something I learned about on a visit many years ago to the California walnut harvest), but you can just as easily make any version of pesto you’d like. Go the traditional route with basil and pine nuts or switch it up and use spinach or arugula pureed with almonds or pistachios.

Or keep it nut-free as I do for my Mushroom-Onion Truffle Pesto Pizza (also in need of a photo makeover!) – you’ll see that pesto also includes ricotta cheese to save on some calories – see, I told you the possibilities are endless!

Fall Roasted Root Vegetable Pasta with Kale Pesto | Sweet potatoes, beets, carrots, parsnip, and cauliflower are roasted and tossed with whole wheat pasta and kale pesto in this hearty and nutritious one-bowl meal. A perfect way to celebrate the flavors of the fall season. Get the recipe @jlevinsonrd.

The great thing about pesto is that you can save some for another use, whether the pizza I just mentioned or as a topping for soup – I have a recipe for that coming next week, so save some pesto and stay tuned!

This Fall Roasted Root Vegetable Pasta with Kale Pesto is super easy to make and quite fast too – roasting the vegetables takes the most time of anything here, and you can get everything else ready while they’re in the oven.

If you’re looking for some additional protein to round out the meal, diced grilled chicken would be a perfect add-in or serve this roasted root vegetable pasta as a side dish to a piece of beef, chicken, or fish instead.

However you serve it, I hope you enjoy! Mangia!

Fall Roasted Root Vegetable Pasta with Kale Pesto | Sweet potatoes, beets, carrots, parsnip, and cauliflower are roasted and tossed with whole wheat pasta and kale pesto in this hearty and nutritious one-bowl meal. A perfect way to celebrate the flavors of the fall season. Get the recipe @jlevinsonrd.

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Fall Roasted Root Vegetable Pasta with Kale Pesto
 
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Sweet potatoes, beets, carrots, parsnip, and cauliflower are roasted and tossed with whole wheat pasta and kale pesto in this hearty and nutritious one-bowl meal. A perfect way to celebrate the flavors of the fall season.
Author:
Recipe Type: Pasta
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Serves: 8-10
Ingredients
For the roasted root veggies and pasta:
  • 1 small orange sweet potato, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 small purple sweet potato, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 2 medium beets, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 6 rainbow carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 large parsnip, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
  • ½ of a large head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • ½ of a medium red onion, chopped into medium chunks
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt, divided
  • 1 pound whole wheat pasta
For the Kale Pesto:
  • 1½ bunches kale, chopped
  • ½ cup walnut halves
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan or pecorino cheese, plus more for garnish (if desired)
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
Instructions
For the roasted root veggies and pasta:
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F and line two large baking sheets with aluminum foil. Spread sweet potatoes, beets, carrots, and parsnips in a single layer on one baking sheet and toss with half the olive oil and half the salt. Spread the cauliflower and onions on the second baking sheet and toss with the rest of the oil and salt.
  2. Place both baking sheets in the oven and roast for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the vegetables are caramelized on the outside and tender on the inside. The cauliflower and onion will need less time than the other vegetables, so keep an eye on them.
  3. While the vegetables are roasting, cook the pasta according to package directions and prepare the pesto. Reserve some pasta water before draining.
For the kale pesto:
  1. Bring a medium pot of water to boil. Blanch the kale by adding it to the pot of boiling water and cooking for about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from pot and run under cold water to stop cooking. Strain and squeeze out excess liquid.
  2. In a large food processor, puree blanched kale, walnuts, garlic, cheese, olive oil, salt, and lemon juice until smooth.
  3. To serve, drain the pasta and gently toss with the roasted root vegetables and pesto. Add some of the reserved pasta water if needed to thin out the pesto and coat the pasta and vegetables. Serve hot with extra parmesan cheese, if desired.

Fall Roasted Root Vegetable Pasta with Kale Pesto | Sweet potatoes, beets, carrots, parsnip, and cauliflower are roasted and tossed with whole wheat pasta and kale pesto in this hearty and nutritious one-bowl meal. A perfect way to celebrate the flavors of the fall season. Get the recipe @jlevinsonrd.

So, do you love roasted root vegetables as much as I do?

If so, what’s your favorite way to enjoy them?

Photo credit: Kaleigh McMordie

This post originally appeared on Nutritioulicious in November 2011.

Fall Roasted Root Vegetable Pasta with Kale Pesto | Sweet potatoes, beets, carrots, parsnip, and cauliflower are roasted and tossed with whole wheat pasta and kale pesto in this hearty and nutritious one-bowl meal. A perfect way to celebrate the flavors of the fall season. Get the recipe @jlevinsonrd.
Fall Roasted Root Vegetable Pasta with Kale Pesto | Sweet potatoes, beets, carrots, parsnip, and cauliflower are roasted and tossed with whole wheat pasta and kale pesto in this hearty and nutritious one-bowl meal. A perfect way to celebrate the flavors of the fall season. Get the recipe @jlevinsonrd.
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27 Responses to Fall Roasted Root Vegetable Pasta with Kale Pesto {Recipe}


  1. Joel Fuhrman M.D. has an ANDI scale of foods that is used by Whole Foods markets. The highest score is 1,000 and kale is 1,000 on that list.

    • Jessica says:

      Kale and other leafy green veggies are extremely healthy!

  2. Looks delish, Jessica! I think the pasta was an even even better choice than the quinoa. 🙂

    • Jessica says:

      Thanks Danielle!

  3. How cute your husband emails you recipes he likes! I’m not sure my husband is on the kale bandwagon yet….he definitely didn’t care for my kale smoothie! But this pesto looks delicious so I may just try this out. More for me if he doesn’t like it 🙂

    • Jessica says:

      I can’t say my husband is on the bandwagon yet – he was extremely skeptical about kale pesto – but he liked it (although definitely not as much as a regular pesto!). The other way he likes kale is when I make kale chips. Maybe your husband will like those!

  4. Oh, I must try this – sounds delicious! EA – our husbands sound very similar! But this might work for him.

    • Jessica says:

      Thanks Ann! You all need to report back whether your husbands liked it!!!

  5. Jill says:

    Excellent Recipe! I just tried it with pine nuts instead of walnuts and I tossed in a few extra veggies I had around the house. DELICIOUS!

    • Jessica says:

      So glad you enjoyed it and were able to modify it based on the ingredients you had on hand!

  6. Sabrina Blum says:

    Going to try this in the next couple of days. Looks delish!

    • Jessica says:

      Yay! Can’t wait to hear how you and the family like it! Please let me know!

  7. Emily says:

    I love the idea for Kale Pesto, I have so much still growing in the garden. It sounds amazing with this dish 😄

    • Jessica says:

      How perfect, you now have what to do with it! Thanks Emily!

  8. Looks delicious Jessica! I make a pesto that is part kale, part spinach and I use walnuts in it as well. My husband is coming around to kale. Or maybe he is just pretending. Either way, I’ll take it. 🙂

    • Jessica says:

      Thanks Sally! That pesto sounds yummy! If I use kale in certain ways my hubby will take it! I can’t say I’m the biggest kale eater either, but in the pesto it’s super yum!

  9. Klara says:

    This looks delicious!! I cannot wait to try this

    • Jessica says:

      Thanks Klara! Hope you enjoy!

  10. Roxana says:

    That looks amazingly delicious! A must try!

    • Jessica says:

      Thanks Roxana, would love to hear if you make it!

  11. Seriously, who doesn’t love roasted root vegetables? The same people who don’t like pizza and puppies! I’m loving that kale pesto in this big ol’ bowl of goodness!

    • Jessica says:

      Haha, seriously! Thanks so much Sonali!

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