I originally had something completely different planned for these ingredients, but once I pulled the mustard greens out of the refrigerator, I immediately knew they needed to be pesto-ed. Not sure if pesto is really a verb or not, but it should be! While I love a traditional basil pesto, it’s so much fun making it out of other greens, and also usually a lot cheaper if you don’t grown your own basil.
This mustard green pesto does not disappoint one bit. It’s spicy and tangy, but also rich and creamy, just as a pesto should be. To make this pasta extra special, I topped it off with some panko and baked it in the oven for a few minutes. It gives the pasta a nice crunchy topping that will make you wonder why don’t top all your pastas with panko.
Another great thing about this pasta is that it comes together in just 30 minutes! I’m a huge believer in quick and easy dinner recipes and you will definitely want to add this one to your weekly meal plan 🙂
Pastas are great for 30 minute meals, but I also like to have some protein in my dinners so I added in some chickpeas that give this meal a nice bite, as well as make it much more hearty and filling.
This easy baked pasta is dressed in garlicky mustard green pesto and topped with a crispy panko breadcrumb topping.
- 4 cups dried pasta, your favorite kind
- 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs, gluten-free or regular
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 cups chopped mustard greens
- 1/3 chopped walnuts
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast, or 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package directions.
- While the pasta is cooking, add all pesto ingredients, except the olive oil, to the bowl of a food processor fitted with an S-blade. Blend the ingredients while you slowly pour in the olive oil. Blend until a a smooth texture is reached. You may have to scrape down sides once or twice.
- Preheat the oven to 400° F. When the pasta is finished cooking, drain it into a colander and then add it back to the pot, along with the chickpeas and pesto. Mix until everything is combined. Pour the pasta into a large baking pan.
- Heat a small pan over medium heat and melt the butter. Stir in the panko, garlic powder and salt and then evenly sprinkle on top of pasta.
- Place the baking pan in oven and bake until the topping is slightly browned, 5-7 minutes. This dish is best when served warm.