This balsamic roasted vegetable pasta is an easy, flavorful, satisfying dish that can be eaten warm or cold. It’s a perfect winter lunch, and you can adapt it throughout the year with different seasonal vegetables.
If you’ve been reading for a while, then you know that weekly meal prep is a big part of my routine!
Meal prep is how I managed to stay fed during my post-bacc program. And it’s the tool that helped me to eat homemade, nutritious meals consistently during my busiest moments of grad school.
For a while, I relied on the same staples every time I got around to my weekly meal prep. They would be batch cooked whole grains, dressings or sauces, some form of tofu or tempeh. I often meal prep soup, as well, because it makes a lot of food and can easily be frozen.
This balsamic roasted vegetable pasta is sort of a hybrid of pasta salad and regular pasta, in that it can be eaten either cold or hot. It’s a truly perfect lunch for cold weather, and best of all, it’s a great dish for meal prep. Make the pasta on a Sunday, and you can enjoy four subsequent days of easy, satisfying, ready-to-eat lunch or dinner.
I eat plenty of cold pasta salad dishes in the warm months. A short list of my favorite options would include:
In the winter, I still love the versatility and convenience of pasta salad, but I sometimes crave warmer lunch fare.
This roasted vegetable pasta is a perfect solution. You can absolutely heat it up, if you’d like for it to be warm. But the dish is also really nice when it’s eaten cold. It’s the best of both worlds.
Better still, this is a pasta that can span the seasons. Make it with the root vegetables and/or Brussels sprouts, as directed in the recipe, when it’s cooler out.
When spring comes, the roasted vegetable pasta would be really nice with asparagus and roasted radishes. In the summer, you can try it with zucchini and fresh tomatoes.
The roasted vegetable pasta is very easy to make, and much of the cooking time is hands-off. Here are the steps:
I like to use a mix of Brussels sprouts and root vegetables. These could include:
Butternut squash (or another winter squash) and sweet potato also work very well in the recipe!
The vegetables will need about 35-40 minutes to roast. The goal is for them to be browning slightly and tender.
While the vegetables are roasting, you’ll boil your pasta.
You can use any type of pasta that you like in the recipe. I generally use regular, semolina pasta, and I like a medium shape for this recipe. Some good choices are penne, rigatoni, fusilli, casarecce, cavatappi, and farfalle.
However, the pasta can be prepared with a smaller pasta shape, such as orecchiette, as well.
If you need to a gluten-free pasta, you could certainly use your favorite in the recipe, whether grain or legume-based. I don’t eat gluten-free, but I do sometimes use lentil pasta or chickpea pasta for the extra protein.
Be sure to boil your pasta in salted water, so that it gets some seasoning before you add it to the other ingredients.
Before combining the roasted vegetables and the cooked pasta, you’ll quickly sauté some shallots and garlic. This adds savoriness and depth of flavor to the roasted vegetable pasta.
Then, you’ll add the pasta, vegetables, some vegetable broth, and balsamic vinegar to the hot pan with the sautéed alliums.
You’ll warm all of these ingredients through, taste and adjust the seasonings as needed, and serve. I like to top the pasta dish with some of my beloved cashew parmesan cheese.
I have a weakness for syrupy balsamic vinegar of Modena, but it can be more costly than other varieties. Ultimately, you should use the type of vinegar that you have and are willing to spare in the roasted vegetable pasta. This is a nice option with a mid-range price.
If you love white balsamic vinegar, it will also work well in the recipe.
I think that this pasta dish makes a great, light lunch. You can of course add a cup of soup, a little salad, or some fresh fruit to make it more filling.
If you’d like to add some extra plant protein to the recipe, you can use my baked balsamic tofu, lemon pepper tempeh, or simple tempeh meatballs. You could also throw in some chickpeas or white beans for protein and nutrient density.
I especially like to have the pasta for supper with some sautéed leafy greens. Broccoli rabe is my favorite.
There are many ways to fit this recipe into a weekly meal prep routine!
Both the pasta and the roasted vegetables can be made a few days ahead of actually mixing the pasta together. This will help to break the prep into small steps, which is sometimes nice during a busy week.
Once you make the roasted vegetable pasta, you can store the leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days. The leftovers can be frozen for up to six weeks.
Nothing fancy here, but sometimes the simplest pasta meals prove to be the most valuable, especially when the schedule is busy. I’ve made this roasted vegetable pasta so many times, and I’m hoping you’ll get some pleasure from it, too.