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5 from 1 vote

Roasted Butternut Squash, Zucchini, & Arugula Pesto Pasta Salad

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: main dish
Cuisine: gluten free, soy free, tree nut free option, vegan
Servings: 4 -6 servings
Author: Gena Hamshaw


  • 1 small butternut squash peeled, seeded, and cut into 3/4-inch pieces (about 1 pound/450 grams after preparation)
  • 1 medium zucchini about 12 ounces/340 grams, ends trimmed and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons neutral vegetable oil such as grapeseed, safflower, or refined avocado (30 milliliters)
  • 2 handfuls regular or baby arugula roughly chopped if the leaves are big
  • 8 ounces Chickapea pasta shells 230 grams

For the arugula pesto:

  • 3/4 cup packed arugula 24 grams
  • 3/4 cup packed basil leaves 20 grams
  • 1/3 cup hulled sunflower seeds walnuts pieces, or pine nuts (50 grams)
  • 1-2 cloves garlic roughly chopped (to taste)
  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 75 milliliters
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice 15 milliliters
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast or vegan parmesan cheese 10 grams


  • Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C) and line two baking sheets with parchment or foil. Place the butternut squash in a mixing bowl and toss it with 1 tablespoon of the neutral oil, then transfer it to one of the baking sheets. Toss the zucchini pieces with the remaining tablespoon oil, then transfer them to the other baking sheet. Season the squash and zucchini with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste, then transfer both baking sheets to the oven. Roast the zucchini for 25-30 minutes, or until tender and browning. Roast the squash for 40 minutes, or until the squash is fork tender and browning at the edges.
  • While the vegetables roast, make the pesto. Place all ingredients into a food processor and process till the pesto is relatively smooth, but some pieces of the seeds are still visible. Taste and adjust salt, pepper, lemon, and nutritional yeast to taste.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the Chickapea shells according to package instructions. When the pasta is ready, transfer it to a large mixing bowl. Add the roasted butternut squash and zucchini, then the raw arugula. Add the pesto, using just enough to coat all of the pasta and vegetables well (if you have a couple tablespoons leftover, you can save them for topping roasted vegetables, salads, bowls, polenta, or other pasta dishes, or you can freeze them in an ice cube tray!). Taste the pasta salad and adjust salt and pepper as needed. Serve.


Pesto will yield about 3/4 cup, or 180 milliliters. It can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 6 weeks. Leftover pasta salad keeps well for up to 3 days.