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Creamy Pesto Caprese Pasta Casserole

Creamy Pesto Caprese Pasta Casserole
With the cooler weather here I don't have to worry about the heat that having the oven on will create and that means that things like casseroles are back on the menu! Since the tomatoes and basil is still around I took advantage of the opportunity to make a 'caprese' pasta casserole with some fresh tomatoes and basil pesto; along with plenty of melted mozzarella of course! This recipe is super simple consisting of cooked pasta, marinara sauce, fresh cherry tomatoes, pesto, mozzarella and a touch of cream for richness, and is all mixed together and baked until the cheese has melted. There is just something that is magical about the combination of the tomato sauce, cherry tomatoes, basil pesto, mozzarella and cream and it works so amazingly well in this pasta casserole! One of the best things about this casserole is how the cherry tomatoes on top roast up, concentrating their flavour, and how the ones in the middle explode with warm tomato-y goodness in your mouth!

Creamy Pesto Caprese Pasta Casserole
Just look at all of that melted cheese!

Creamy Pesto Caprese Pasta Casserole

Creamy Pesto Caprese Pasta Casserole

Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 35 minutes Total Time: 40 minutes Servings: 4

All of the flavours of a caprese salad including tomatoes, basil pesto and plenty of melted mozzarella in a baked pasta casserole.



ingredients
  • 12 ounces pasta
  • 2 cups marinara sauce or your favourite tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup parmigiano-reggiano (parmesan) grated
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup pesto
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 4 ounces mozzarella, diced
  • basil leaves to taste
directions
  1. Cook the pasta as directed and when it is done mix in the marinara sauce, cream, parmesan, balsamic vinegar, pesto, cherry tomatoes and mozzarella.
  2. Pour the mixture into a baking dish and bake in a preheated 350F oven until bubbling on the sides and golden brown on top, about 20 minutes.
  3. Serve topped with julienned basil.

Option: Add sliced grilled chicken.
Option: Omit the heavy cream or replace it with Greek yogurt or sour cream.
Nutrition Facts: Calories 553, Fat 17g (Saturated 9g, Trans 0), Cholesterol 52mg, Sodium 1061mg, Carbs 75g (Fiber 5g, Sugars 10g), Protein 25g
Nutrition by: Nutritional facts powered by Edamam

43 comments:

Maria said...

Looks so good!

Tieghan said...

Oh yum!! This is my kind of me! Love creamy, hot and cheesy!

Bev Weidner (Bev Cooks) said...

STOOOOOOOOOP IT.

Melanie @ carmelmoments.com said...

I can't believe how delicious yet simple this looks. I've got plenty of cherry tomatoes around. Gotta try!

Dixya said...

this is one good casserole :)

Aimee @ Simple Bites said...

That cheese!! Love this perfect family dinner.

Heather Christo said...

I am obsessed with anything caprese, and I love that you put it in a casserole- practical and delicious!

Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch said...

This is one awesome casserole!!! Love these flavors!!!

Shelley Berke said...

any ideas on how to make this to freeze and have later?

marla said...

This looks hearty & great for the snow we are having!!

Kelli @ The Corner Kitchen said...

This is my kind of comfort food!

ashley - Baker by Nature said...

Omg. This looks amazing x infinity! Must try.

Kevin Lynch said...

Shelley Berke: You could place it in the casserole dish, cover and free to bake later or after it is cooked, simply place in air tight containers and freeze. I like to freeze the the leftovers in individually portioned containers so that you can pull out what you need when you need it.

Anonymous said...

Kevin, every recipe of yours that I make is so delicious. I'm making this tonight. I can't wait.

Mothercrone

Vivienne said...

OMG...I am literally wiping the drool off my chin. This looks absolutely delicious!

Olena@iFOODreal said...

You definitely like anything Caprese, Kevin!:)

Ile said...

OMG! It looks so tasty! I'm in love with pasta dishes!

Des said...

Oh man. All of that cheese!! OBSESSED!

Danni said...

I'm making this tonight! Thanks for sharing!

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar said...

Ohhhh my!! This looks so freaking good. I love caprese anything!

Marie|Feeling Foodish said...

Wowza - this looks amazing! In fact, everything you make looks amazing!!

Gaby said...

DYING FOR THIS

Ellie Delancey said...

I'm in love with this!

We Are Not Martha said...

I'm not a big casserole girl, but this looks seriously perfect!

Sues

Kiran @ KiranTarun.com said...

Cheesy goodness. Yum!!

Anne @ Have a Cookie! said...

What a beautiful sight! I can't wait to try this one!

Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious said...

My basil plant is blooming right now so this is the perfect way to use them up!

Joanne said...

So much cheesy pesto awesomeness!! The perfect transition food from summer to fall.

Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen said...

Killer casserole, Kevin! Deliciousness and beyond! Cannot wait to try. Thanks for sharing. Pinning to group boards everywhere! xo

Megan Keno said...

Caprese is one of my all time favorite flavor combos. Kevin this looks amazing and so perfectly cozy for fall.

Jacalynz said...

Looks easy and super tasty! Kevin, did you use fresh mozzarella or the type that comes in a block wrapped in plastic? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I made this last night. I thought I died and went to heaven. It was one of the best meals I've made in a long time. Everything that I try from your website is always delicious.

Mothercrone

Kevin Lynch said...

Mothercrone: I am glad that you enjoyed it!

- spoonstories- said...

I like it so much...and that melted cheese with cream is amazing...

A. said...

I`ve made this with light Creme Fraiche, light Mozzarella,sugarfree tomato sauce and wholegrain pasta.It was healthy and freakin` delicious,even my boyfriend loved it.

Marian (Sweetopia) said...

YUM!!

Kulwant said...

Colorful pic

Nancy said...

I made this a couple of days ago and we all really enjoyed it. I made it pretty much as written except I forgot to add the balsamic (darn!) It came together quickly using good jarred sauce and prepared pesto, so it's a great meal for week nights. Once again you've come through, Kevin. Thanks!

Siunna said...

This is the best pasta meal I've had in a long time- quick, easy and absolutely delish! Thanks so much for posting this fabulous recipe!

Anonymous said...

I added some ground beef, which took away from the nice red color of the sauce, but this meal was as good as lasagna and far easier to make. I'll see what happens with white meat. I think I'll incorporate a pack of frozen spinach to get more vegetables and the green color should be a nice contrast.

terrancedc said...

This was great, but the tomatoes didn't get roasted or cooked enough to burst open or soften much at 350 degrees. I'll try baking it at 400 or 450 next time.

Anonymous said...

Kevin, do you think this could serve about 10-12 people if served with another pasta bake and lots of sides? Can I make it in a 9x13 pan?

Kevin Lynch said...

Anonymous: You might want to double the recipe and use that 9x13 baking pan. You won't regret having any leftovers if there are any!

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