BAKED PESTO PASTA WITH TOMATOES — This cheesy, delicious baked pasta comes together in no time and is always a hit. Feel free to add chicken or shrimp for a more hearty meal.
When I need to serve up a hearty dinner that I know the whole family will enjoy, pasta is always the answer! And this Baked Pesto Pasta with Tomatoes is a favorite at my house.
This is a simple recipe, featuring pesto, cheese and tomatoes, but everything comes together beautifully to create a restaurant quality dish.
Of course, if you have a garden full of fresh basil, you can always make your own pesto too!
Make sure to have some fresh basil on had for garnish too. I’m always amazed at how much a sprinkling of fresh herbs does for a recipe!
Whatever you do, don’t skip the step of roasting the tomatoes before you add them to the dish. It’s a simple step that can be done while you cook the pasta, and it adds so much flavor.
If you’re wondering about the breadcrumbs, trust me–they add great texture and crunch. I like to by already seasoned Italian-style breadcrumbs, but you can add your own seasoning to plain breadcrumbs as well.
This is a dish I make again and again, because my family devours it every time I serve it. Which means it’s definitely a keeper.
Whether your feeding your family, or having company for dinner, this Baked Pesto Pasta with Tomatoes is the kind of recipe to have in your repertoire for almost any occasion.
Be sure to save this Baked Pesto Pasta with Tomatoes recipe to your favorite Pinterest board for later.
Tips for Cooking Pasta
Use a big pot: Cook pasta in a large pot–big enough to hold 6 quarts of water per pound of pasta.
Salt: Generously season your cooking water with salt. A few teaspoons per quart of water is a good place to start. Although a little more or less is fine, depending on your preference.
Don’t overcook: Boil your pasta to until it is al dente, which means it’s cooked, but still a bit chewy. You’ll want to test your pasta for flavor and texture every 20 seconds or so during the last few minutes of cooking.
If you’ll continue cooking the pasta in a sauce, or baking it in the oven, remove the pot from the heat a few minutes before it’s done to prevent overcooking.
Here’s what you’ll need to make Baked Pesto Pasta with Tomatoes
- Produce: cherry tomatoes, fresh basil
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Mozzarella cheese
- Parmesan cheese
- Bread crumbs
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 16 ounces short pasta (penne, bucatini, rotini, etc.)
- 1/2 cup basil pesto
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
- Fresh basil, for garnish (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss tomatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper. Arrange on a large baking sheet.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until tomatoes just begin to burst. Remove from oven and set aside.
- Meanwhile, cook the past according to package directions. Drain.
- In a large bowl, toss the cooked pasta with the pesto. Gently stir in the roasted tomatoes along with 1 1/2 cups of the mozzarella cheese.
- Arrange the pasta in a lightly greased, 9x13 inch baking dish. Top with the remaining mozzarella and the Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle with the breadcrumbs.
- Return the pasta to the preheated oven and bake for about 20 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with fresh chopped basil, if desired.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 397Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 570mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 17g
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Who Dished It Up First: Adapted from How Sweet Eats