Time for Comfort Food: Try this Baked Pesto Pasta

Now that the cold weather has come, it’s time to enjoy all the warm and comforting foods you have been missing. I was craving this cheesy broccoli mac and cheese I had once from Whole Foods, but didn’t have all the ingredients and the babe was asleep so I couldn’t go out to the store… so I thought about how to satisfy that craving with what I already had at home.

If you know me, I get inspiration from meals I love, but also don’t always have every ingredient, so I improvise quite frequently. I love making substitutions in cooking and baking! I’ll be honest, sometimes they don’t work out quite the way I had envisioned, but this one was different. This one is something we will be making again and again.

I didn’t have broccoli, but I had cauliflower. I didn’t have a ton of cheese, so I added some pesto to give more flavour. I didn’t have macaroni, so I used chickpea rotini. I wanted more colour, so I topped it all off with some sliced tomatoes and threw it in the oven. Ta da! It’s delicious, and packed with protein and flavour. Bonus- even baby O loved it, so we know we have a winner here.

I hope your family enjoys it as much as we did!

Baked Pesto Pasta


1 lb dry pasta

1/2 cauliflower, chopped into bite sized pieces

2 tbsp butter

2 tbsp flour

1.5 cups milk

2 cups aged cheddar

3 tbsp pesto

salt to taste

2 tomatoes, sliced


  1. In a big pot, cook pasta to al dente by directions on the box. In the last 3 minutes of cook time, toss in the cauliflower. Drain and set aside.
  2. In the same pot, add butter and let it melt. Add in flour and whisk until combined.
  3. Add in the milk and whisk until smooth and let thicken.
  4. Add in the cheese and pesto. Stir until the cheese has melted.
  5. Add in the pasta and cauliflower and stir to combine.
  6. Transfer everything to a baking dish and top with tomato slices.
  7. Pop under the broiler until golden brown.

Your Dietitian, Erin 


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