Pesto Orzo with Oven-Roasted Veggies
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 2 generous servings 1x
Using pistachios is my favorite way to make pesto. I find their flavor superior and more interesting than traditional pine nuts. Pistachios also cost less than pine nuts which is another bonus. I like to add spinach to pesto because why the heck not? Its flavor is almost undetectable in the pesto but it provides a perfect nutrient boost.
Here, we’re tossing whole-wheat orzo with pesto and folding in oven-roasted zucchini, summer squash (aka yellow zucchini), and cherry tomatoes for a delightful, zesty, and seasonal dish. You can eat this warm or cold, making it perfect for leftovers, too. I think you’re going to love it!
- 1 1/2 cups dried whole-wheat orzo (if you follow a gluten-free diet, you can substitute the orzo with your favorite GF grain.)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cups zucchini. diced (from 1 large zucchini)
- 2 cups summer squash, diced (from 1 large summer squash)
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1/2 cup Pistachio Pesto:
- 1/4 cup shelled pistachios
- 3/4 cup basil, packed
- 1/2 cup spinach
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- Optional: 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 425F. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the zucchini, summer squash, and cherry tomatoes, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 ½ tsp salt, and 1 tsp pepper. Toss to coat the vegetables evenly, then spread them on the two prepared baking sheets. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, until the zucchini and squash are golden brown and tomatoes are blistered and beginning to burst. Remove from the oven and set aside.
- Meanwhile, make the pesto. Combine all ingredients except for the olive oil in a food processor fitted with the steel blade attachment, and pulse until a paste forms. You may need to occasionally scrape down the sides of the food processor where basil tends to accumulate. With the food processor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. This will allow the olive oil to fully emulsify.
- Cook the orzo al-dente according to package instructions.
- Once cooked and drained, place the orzo in a large bowl (wipe down the one you used to toss the veggies). Fold in the pesto, then add in the cooked veggies. Don’t forget to add in all the juices left on the sheet pan for added flavor. Toss to coat, then serve!