Pasta with Cilantro Jalapeño Pesto, Fresh Corn & Tomatoes

Pasta with Cilantro Jalapeño Pesto, Fresh Corn & Tomatoes
Chris went to Austin for a business trip this week and business trips are my chance to be lazy in the kitchen because when I’m just cooking for myself, I don’t have to impress anyone. So the past few days have been a lot of “Oh hey, I’m just going to eat this salad out of a mixing bowl while watching Rock of Love on Hulu.” (I did close the blinds first so the neighbors wouldn’t be able to see. I wanted to preserve that last shred of dignity I have left. The last shred of dignity is the most precious.) Or “You know what would be good for lunch? A handful of raisins and a pickle!” Even when you love to cook, sometimes you just don’t feel like cooking.

Cilantro Jalapeño Pesto Ingredients
Because raisins with a side of pickles aren’t exactly a well-balanced meal, I try to keep things on hand for all those don’t-feel-like-cooking days. And one of the things I keep on hand is pesto–I keep my freezer fully stocked at all times with different kinds of pestos. This cilantro jalapeño pesto is one of my favorites. It’s a slightly tweaked version of the pesto in my Mushroom & Zucchini Quesadillas. If you love cilantro, you will love this pesto! It has a fresh, bright flavor and, like most pestos, it’s super easy to make.

Casarecci Pasta
I also keep a lot of pasta on hand! Because pasta + pesto + whatever veggies you happen to have on hand = an easy dinner. Casarecci is my new favorite pasta shape. It’s supposed to be best for meat sauces, but I really like it with pesto. It’s got enough little nooks for the pesto to stick to it, but not so many nooks that the pesto doesn’t distribute evenly. (I spend a lot of time thinking about these things!) Of course, any pasta you have will be just fine.

This is my favorite kind of vegetarian cooking. Kitchen staples combined with fresh produce to make an (almost) effortless meal.

This post was originally published July 18, 2013.

Pasta with Cilantro Jalapeño Pesto, Fresh Corn & Tomatoes

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Pasta with Cilantro Jalapeño Pesto, Fresh Corn & Tomatoes

Pasta, fresh corn, and grape tomatoes tossed with homemade Cilantro Jalapeño Pesto.


    Cilantro Jalapeño Pesto
  • 1 c. loosely packed cilantro leaves
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and quartered
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 c. raw almonds
  • 1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • Salt + pepper to taste
  • Pasta with Cilantro Jalapeño Pesto, Fresh Corn & Tomatoes
  • 8 oz. pasta
  • 2 ears corn, husked (be sure to remove all of the silk)
  • 1 c. halved grape tomatoes
  • 1 batch Cilantro Jalapeño Pesto


    Cilantro Jalapeño Pesto
  1. Combine cilantro, jalapeño, garlic, almonds, olive oil, and lime juice in food processor. Process until smooth and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Pasta with Cilantro Jalapeño Pesto, Fresh Corn & Tomatoes
  3. Cook the pasta in a large pot or Dutch oven according to package instructions. Two minutes before the pasta is done, drop the corn into the pot. When the pasta is finished cooking, use tongs to remove the corn and set aside. Drain the pasta well and transfer it to a large bowl, then rinse the corn in cold water until it's cool enough to handle.
  4. Use a knife or corn zipper to remove the kernels from the cob. Toss the pasta, corn, and tomatoes with the Cilantro Jalapeño Pesto and serve.

Kiersten Frase

About Kiersten

Kiersten is the founder and editor of Oh My Veggies. She lives outside of Chicago with her husband, daughter and 4 (yes 4!) cats.   Read more from Kiersten →

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  1. says

    Loving this dish! I am a huge pesto fan too, and it is a staple in my kitchen along with pasta {gluten-free} of course. I so know what you mean about loving to cook, but not ALWAYS loving to cook. Those are the evenings we resort to eating cereal and fruit, or maybe some yummy scrambled eggs :-)

  2. says

    Yummo, that looks delicious and I love that the jalapeno would give it a little kick (I looooove a bit of spice in my food).

    Isn’t it great when you’re cooking for yourself and you can cook whatever you feel like!

  3. LBC says

    Just happened to have all of these ingredients at home and made this for dinner last night…. amazing! Not as spicy as I would have thought, next time I’ll add another jalapeno or two, but wonderfully easy and yummy on a 95+ degree evening!

      • says

        Oh my goodness, I think I must have used a serrano pepper because mine is SPIIIICAYYY! But it’s delicious – and perfect cause I love a little heat! I subbed walnuts for almonds and worked great. Can’t wait to enjoy this for dinner tonight. :)

        • Kiersten Frase says

          Oh no! Well, I think that sometimes you can end up with especially spicy jalapeños too. I had one last summer that burned my hands really badly (they hurt for a week!) and also burned my eye because, like a moron, I rubbed my eye after burning my hand.

  4. says

    Pesto, tomatoes and corn sounds like the perfect easy summer meal to throw together. I wish I stocked pesto in my freezer for nights when I don’t feel like going to the grocery store and cooking from scratch, but I never seem to make big enough batches to have leftovers…I’ll have to do that this year!

  5. says

    Kiersten, I have been daydreaming about this recipe since I saw it in my e-mail in-box a couple of days ago. I love everything about it, including your “pasta + pesto + whatever veggies you happen to have on hand = an easy dinner” mentality! That’s my kind of cooking – and beats the pants off of raisins and a pickle any day. Absolutely can’t wait to make this! Great recipe, killer photos … as always! Another winner!

    • Kiersten Frase says

      Yeah, the whole cookbook has thrown a bit of a wrench into things, but we normally have that kind of pasta + sauce + veggies at least once a week. So many people make vegetarian cooking out to be complicated and intimidating, but it doesn’t get easier than that! :)

  6. divya goyal says

    we loved ur Dish…i was looking since a long time for a recipe of pasta with cilantro in it…its very quick and delicious..

  7. jill says

    This is beyond yummy! I saw it this morning and went out to get the ingredients I didn’t already have and ……….WOW! This is a new twist on yummy!! Thank you SO much for sharing!

  8. Emily says

    I love cilantro but I’ve got way too much basil to make pesto without using it! Do you think basil will stand up well to the jalapeño in this recipe if I substituted the cilantro? Or do you have a regular basil pesto recipe you can direct me to?

  9. Dani H says

    ok, this is DELISH! My kids have already commented on how cool the pasta looks (and my box of casarecci said that it was for pesto sauces, so good choice). I’m sad I found this at the end of summer, it would have been in the rotation for sure! Thank you for sharing!

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