If you’re looking for a hearty vegetarian dinner that also has a fresh summer taste, this Crispy Sausage Pesto Pasta with Veggies is it! Plant based sausage is sliced thinly and then crisped up in a frying pan. The pasta is tossed with fresh pesto sauce and any vegetables you have on hand will work great! Enjoy this healthy and filling vegetarian dinner on a busy weeknight when you want something delicious but don’t have a lot of time.
I don’t use processed vegetarian/vegan meat substitutes very often in my recipes, but have been wanting to try out some plant based sausages for a while now. This Crispy Sausage Pesto Pasta with Veggies was the perfect way to use them, and I think you all will love how nice and crispy the thin slices get! This is also a great recipe to make when you have a few random veggies on hand that need to be used up.
Basil is usually one of the reasons I love having a summer garden, but this year none of my basil plants ended up coming up and I never got around to buying starts to add to the garden. Fresh pesto is always a must make at the end of the summer though, so I ended up buying a big box of fresh basil at the store and whipping some up. While you can use pesto in many different ways, pesto pasta is always a favorite of mine!
Why You’ll Love This Crispy Sausage Pesto Pasta With Veggies!
- It’s a great cross between summer and fall – This pasta recipe is great because it’s cozy and hearty, but you can also make it with fresh basil pesto and summer veggies from your garden.
- You can use any veggies you have on hand – I used zucchini, red bell pepper, red onion and green peas because that’s what I happened to have on hand. This is a great recipe to make if you have a bunch of random veggies that need to be used up.
- It only takes 30 minutes to make – You can cook the sausage and veggies at the same time the pasta is cooking, making this an easy 30 minute dinner, from start to finish.
Crispy Sausage Pesto Pasta Recipe Ingredients and Substitutions
- Pasta – You can use any kind of pasta you like for this recipe. I prefer a smaller, bite sized pasta, like this rotini, but spaghetti can also be used. Gluten free pasta will work great, if needed.
- Pesto Sauce – I used a homemade basil pesto sauce but you can certainly use store-bought as well. I have an easy and delicious vegan pesto recipe here, if you are interested. If you don’t like pesto, you can always use red sauce instead.
- Sausage – I used store-bought vegetarian sausages for this recipe, that I thinly sliced and then browned in a pan. There are quite a few different kinds of vegetarian sausages out there, so you can decide which one you prefer. I posted a photo of the ones I used above and I would recommend them!
- Vegetables – This recipe is great for using up random vegetables you may have on hand. I used a mixture of zucchini, red bell pepper, red onion and frozen peas. Other veggies that would work well: mushrooms, green pepper, broccoli, carrots, kale, spinach, green beans, etc…
How To Make Pesto Pasta with Crispy Sausage and Veggies
- Heat a large pot of water until boiling. Add in your pasta and cook according to package directions. Before draining, I like to reserve a little of the hot pasta water in case the pesto sauce needs to be thinned out. When pasta is finished cooking, drain and add back to the pot.
- I like to cook my pasta at the same time I’m cooking the sausage and veggies. If the pasta gets done first, add back to the pot and mix the pesto sauce in right away to prevent the pasta from sticking together.
- Remove the sausage from the casing, if needed, and slice into thin slices, about 1/4 of an inch thick. Heat a large pan over medium heat and add 2-3 teaspoons olive oil. Once pan is hot, add in the sliced sausage and cook until slices are browned and a little bit crispy, 5-7 minutes, stirring once or twice. Remove sausage from the pan and set aside.
- Add 1-2 teaspoons olive oil back to the pan and then add in your diced vegetables, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Mix together and cook veggies until softened and all the water has cooked out. I like mine to be a little bit browned.
- To the cooked pasta, add in the pesto sauce (if you haven’t already done so) and mix together well. Thin sauce out with pasta water, if needed. Next, add in the crispy sausage and cooked vegetables. Mix everything together until completely combined and season with extra salt and black pepper, to taste.
Pesto Pasta Recipe Frequently Asked Questions
- Can gluten free pasta be used? Yes, you can easily swap out your favorite gluten free pasta in this recipe.
- Is this pesto pasta recipe vegan? The pesto that I used was not dairy free, but you can easily make this recipe vegan by using vegan pesto and making sure your veggie sausages are also vegan.
- Can anything be substituted for the sausage? Yes, you could also use crispy roasted chickpeas instead of buying vegetarian sausages.
- How long do leftovers last in the refrigerator? If stored in an airtight container, leftovers should last 4-5 days.
- What kind of sausages are used in the blog post photos? I used Field Roast smoked apple and sage plant based sausages. I enjoyed them and would defiantly recommend!
Have a question I didn’t answer? Ask me in the comment section below and I will get back to you ASAP!