A simple side dish that is absolutely packed with flavour. My easy to make basil pesto roasted vegetables will give any meal a little Mediterranean twist and bring the flavours of Italy into your kitchen. A delicious way to enjoy your favourite vegetables.
What Makes This Recipe Great!
- Packed with Italian Flavours – With rich basil pesto, roasted pine nuts and parmesan, you have a simple side dish that is full of flavour.
- Customisable – Switch up the choice of vegetables to suit your tastes and the season. From a summery side dish with courgettes and peppers to a comforting winter meal with brussels sprouts and root vegetables.
- Quick to Prepare – Simply peel, chop, toss in pesto and roast. Unless you wish to make the pesto from scratch, this meal offers a speedy prep time. Perfect for mid-week meals or busy nights when you’re in a rush.
About This Recipe – In More Detail
Homemade Pesto doesn’t need to be reserved for pasta dishes, this delicious Italian sauce makes a great addition to plenty of other meals too! These simple Pesto veggies are the perfect side dish to a roast dinner, but they will pair well with plenty of other meals too.
I have taken these simple baked vegetables to the next level with not only the addition of good quality pesto but with a generous sprinkling of parmesan and pine nuts too!
I have also made this recipe easily customisable! You can use different veggies to suit your preference. You can use a variety or vegetables, depending what is in season. Go for an array of green vegetables, like broccoli, brussels sprouts and courgettes, for uniform colour. Or, add in a burst of contrast with some cherry tomatoes, red onion and red peppers. The combination of vegetables is completely up to you, just remember to alter that roasting time a little depending on the vegetable variety you choose.
For this recipe, I have chosen the root variety, choosing sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips and potatoes making this a super comforting and wholesome meal in itself. You can serve up these pesto vegetables with some simple grilled chicken or mix them in with grain bowls with fluffy quinoa, white rice or Couscous.
- Vegetable Peeler: To remove the tough skins from the root vegetables before chopping.
- Sharp Knife: To peel and cut the potatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, and parsnips into small cubes.
- Chopping Board: For ease, make use of a chopping board when creating the vegetable cubes.
- Grater: Used for finely grating the parmesan cheese.
- Large Mixing Bowl: A large bowl big enough to accommodate the vegetables and the pesto-oil mixture for even coating.
- Baking Sheet(s): One or two baking trays, lined with parchment paper to prevent sticking. These trays hold the vegetables in a single layer for even roasting.
- Parchment Paper/Baking Paper: Lined on the baking sheet to prevent the vegetables from sticking to the surface.
- Spatula or Tongs: To flip the vegetables during roasting for even cooking.
- Potatoes: Provide a starchy base and contribute to the heartiness of the dish.
- Carrots: Add natural sweetness and vibrant colour to the roasted mix.
- Sweet Potatoes: Offer a sweeter flavour and a softer texture compared to regular potatoes.
- Parsnips: Contribute a slightly nutty and earthy flavour to the mix, complementing the other vegetables.
- Pesto: Adds herbal and garlicky flavours, acting as a seasoning and coating for the vegetables. If you want the ultimate flavour, try our recipe for homemade pesto too. You just need a food processor and an extra 5 to 10 minutes to create it from scratch.
- Parmesan: Offers a salty and nutty taste, enhancing the overall flavour profile of the roasted veggies.
- Olive Oil: Helps coat the vegetables evenly and aids in the roasting process, ensuring they crisp up and don’t dry out.
- Sea Salt and Black Pepper: Season the vegetables, enhancing their taste.
- Pine Nuts: Add a nutty crunch and extra texture to the finished dish, complimenting the flavours of the roasted vegetables and parmesan cheese.
- Fresh Basil Leaves: An optional extra to sprinkle on the top of the roasted pesto vegetables for flavour and decoration.
Additions and Substitutions
- Vegetables: Experiment with different vegetables based on availability or preference. For instance, zucchini, bell peppers, or butternut squash can replace or complement the existing veggies.
- Pesto: You can try using a sun-dried tomato pesto instead for a different flavour option.
- Parmesan: Substitute parmesan with another hard cheese like Pecorino Romano or Asiago for a similar salty and nutty taste.
- Nuts: Replace pine nuts with chopped almonds, walnuts, or sunflower seeds for a different texture and nutty flavour.
- Olive Oil: Other oils like avocado oil or melted butter can be used as a substitute for olive oil, altering the flavour slightly.
- Herbs: Include additional fresh or dried herbs like rosemary, thyme, or oregano to enhance the flavour profile.
- Lemon Zest or Juice: A sprinkling of lemon zest or a drizzle of lemon juice can add brightness to the dish.
- Garlic: For an extra garlicky flavour, add minced or roasted garlic cloves to the vegetable mix.
- Balsamic Glaze: Drizzle a bit of balsamic glaze over the roasted vegetables before serving to add a sweet and tangy element.
Step-By-Step Guide – How To Make Pesto Roasted Vegetables
Step 1: Preparation:
- Preheat Oven: Set your oven to 180°C (350°F).
Step 2: Preparing Vegetables:
- Prep Vegetables: Peel the potatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, and parsnips. Cut them into small, uniform cubes.
- Grate Parmesan: Finely grate the parmesan cheese and set it aside.
Step 3: Coating and Roasting:
- Mix Pesto and Oil: Combine the pesto with olive oil in a large mixing bowl. Toss the cubed vegetables until thoroughly coated.
- Prep Baking Sheet: Line a large baking sheet pan (or two) with parchment paper.
- Spread Vegetables: Spread the pesto-coated vegetable cubes onto the prepared baking sheet(s) in a single even layer.
- Roast First Half: Place the baking sheet(s) in the preheated oven and roast for 20 minutes.
- Flip and Add Toppings: After 20 minutes, flip the vegetables, sprinkle with pine nuts and grated parmesan cheese. Return to the oven for an additional 10-20 minutes.
Step 4: Final Steps:
- Check for Doneness: Look for a golden-brown colour on the vegetables to indicate they’re ready.
- Season and Serve: Remove the baking sheet(s) from the oven. Season with sea salt and black pepper. Serve the roasted vegetables immediately while hot. Optionally, drizzle fresh pesto and basil leaves over the veggies before serving.
Substitute pine nuts with chopped almonds, walnuts, or sunflower seeds for a similar nutty crunch.
It’s best to roast the vegetables immediately after coating them with pesto to prevent them from releasing moisture and becoming soggy.
Fresh vegetables are recommended for optimal texture and flavour, but if using frozen, ensure they’re thawed and patted dry to prevent excess moisture.
Pro Tips and Guidance
- Even Cubes: Aim for uniformity in cutting the vegetables to ensure even cooking. This helps all the pieces cook at the same rate, preventing some from becoming overly crispy or undercooked.
- Pesto Distribution: Thoroughly coat the vegetables with the pesto and olive oil mixture to ensure every piece gets seasoned and flavoured evenly.
- Single Layer: Spread the vegetables out in a single layer on the baking sheet. Overcrowding can lead to steaming instead of roasting, resulting in less crispy vegetables.
- Flip for Evenness: Turn the vegetables occasionally during roasting to ensure they cook evenly on all sides, achieving a consistent golden-brown colour and texture.
- Watch Carefully: Keep an eye on the vegetables towards the end of the roasting time, as oven temperatures can vary. Adjust the cooking time as needed to achieve the desired level of crispness.
- Serve Hot: Roasted vegetables are best served hot from the oven to retain their crispy exterior and optimal flavour.
Storage: Store leftover roasted vegetables in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. Ensure the remaining vegetables have been cooled completely to room temperature before refrigerating.
Freezing: These roasted vegetables are not suitable for freezing. Freezing may alter their texture and result in a mushy consistency upon thawing due to the moisture content in the vegetables.
Reheating: Reheat the roasted vegetables in the oven at a lower temperature (around 150°C/300°F) to maintain their crispiness and prevent them from drying out. Alternatively, lightly pan-fry them for a few minutes to revive the crispy texture.
Check Out These Italian Recipes
Start your meal with this delicious panko-breaded fried mozzarella served with an irresistible creamy tomato basil sauce.
The perfect compliment to this vegetable recipe is our easy Italian fried broccoli. Combine the flavours of the two and serve up a delicious Italian based meal to friends and family.
For an impressive and flavourful bread to serve with your meal, try this simple to make focaccia that is fluffy and moreish.
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Pesto Roasted Vegetables With Parmesan
- 500 g Potatoes
- 250 g Carrots
- 500 g Sweet Potatoes
- 250 g Parsnips
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 70 g Pesto, plus extra for drizzling (optional)
- 50 g Parmesan
- 30 g Pine Nuts
- Sea Salt and Black Pepper
- Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F).
- Peel the potatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, and parsnips. Use a sharp knife to cut them into small, uniform cubes.
- Finely grate the parmesan cheese and set it aside for later use.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the pesto with olive oil. Add the cubed vegetables to the bowl and toss them well, ensuring all pieces are thoroughly coated with the pesto mixture.
- Line a large baking sheet, or use two if needed, with parchment paper to prevent sticking.
- Evenly spread the pesto-coated vegetable cubes onto the prepared baking sheet(s), arranging them in a single layer.
- Place the baking sheet(s) with the vegetables in the preheated oven and roast for 20 minutes. To ensure even cooking, remove the tray from the oven every 10-15 minutes and
- After 20 minutes remove the tray from the oven flip the vegetables over using a spatula or tongs. Sprinkle the top of the vegetables with pine nuts and the grated parmesan cheese and return to the oven to roast for a further 10-20 minutes.
- Check for a golden-brown colour on the vegetables. Once achieved, remove the baking sheet(s) from the oven.
- Season with sea salt and black pepper and serve the roasted vegetables immediately while hot. For an extra burst of flavour, drizzle some fresh pesto and basil leaves over the roasted veggies before serving.
- Even Cubes: Cut vegetables uniformly for even cooking.
- Pesto Distribution: Coat veggies thoroughly for consistent flavour.
- Single Layer: Spread veggies out to avoid steaming.
- Flip for Evenness: Turn veggies for golden-brown texture.
- Watch Carefully: Monitor and adjust for desired crispness.
- Serve Hot: Enjoy immediately for best taste and crispness.