Pesto Penne with Spinach & Blistered Tomatoes

This simple, 20 minute gluten-free meal tastes like Summer and is a total crowd pleaser!

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Pesto Penne with Spinach & Blistered Tomatoes

Easy, Nourishing and DELISH!

New! I’ve added a cooking video to this page so you can see how easy it is to make this gluten-free Pesto Penne with Blistered Tomatoes & Spinach.

If you’re new to this website, as with all my recipes, there is a printable recipe with exact measurements and directions at the bottom of this page.

Hope you love it!

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Update August 2020: This pasta is never better than right now with Summer basil and tomatoes! Enjoy!

Update May 2020: Warm weather is finally here and we are still staying home, so, like many of you, we are looking for fresh, warm weather meals that are EASY!

This Gluten-Free Pesto Penne with Blistered Tomatoes and Spinach checks all the boxes!

It comes together in 20 minutes, is super simple and delish!

Tonight I made it without spinach because I didn’t have any in the house and it was still so good!

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And this is the kind of meal that gets better and better all summer long as the produce gets fresher and fresher.

Hope you love it as much as we do!

Original post…

This super quick and easy pasta dish is bursting with the flavors of Summer!

All you need is Gluten-free Pasta, Homemade Basil Pesto, fresh Baby Spinach and Cherry Tomatoes.

pesto penne gluten free most made recipes #glutenfreerecipes

This simple dish comes together in 20 minutes.

You simply cook the pasta, make the basil pesto  and saute the tomatoes while the pasta is cooking, and then after draining the pasta, toss the cooked pasta, pesto, spinach and tomatoes all in the same pan as the tomatoes or back into the pasta pot and toss until the spinach wilts.

pesto penne gluten free most made recipes #glutenfreerecipes

That’s it!

For the basil pesto, our favorite simple recipe is below (as well as a vegan nut-free pesto below) or you can use a store bought one.

But the main reason we first made this recipe was because our garden was bursting with basil and this is a delicious way to use it!

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We now make it all the time with store-bought basil and it is still so yummy!

The basil pesto recipe shown here is made with 8 ingredients: fresh basil, freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano, extra virgin olive oil, raw unsalted almonds, garlic cloves, rice wine vinegar, salt and pepper.

pesto penne gluten free most made recipes #glutenfreerecipes

And it couldn’t be easier!

Using a food processor (we’ve had a basic Cuisanart – Amazon affiliate link forever and it’s great for this!), pulse the basil, garlic and almonds a few seconds to get them break down a bit.

It will smell amazing immediately! And the almonds give it a little texture which is so satisfying!

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Then add the salt and pepper and pulse again.

Pro tip: Scrape down the sides to make sure it’s all blended well.

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Next, add in the Parmesan cheese and with the food processor running stream in the oil.

Pulse in the rice wine vinegar (just a touch but adds a nice brightness!) and your done!

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The pesto smells amazing and tastes even better! I could literally eat it by the spoonful!

I tend to make the pesto in the 10 minutes the tomatoes saute and pasta cooks, so the dish comes together really quickly!

You could also make the pesto ahead of time.

And it’s sooooo delicious!

Together, this pesto with the pasta, spinach and blistered tomatoes is packed with flavor and delicious!

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Hope you love it as much as we do!

PIN it!

pesto penne gluten free most made recipes #glutenfreerecipes


PIN it!

pesto penne gluten free most made recipes #glutenfreerecipes

Scroll down for recipe and leave a comment if you try.


Pesto Penne with Spinach & Blistered Tomatoes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A super quick and easy gluten-free and vegetarian pasta dish that tastes like summer! Homemade Basil Pesto, Baby Spinach and Cherry Tomatoes with Gluten-free Pasta. 20 minutes beginning to end and delicious! Option for Vegan Nut-Free Basil Pesto below as well.
Recipe type: Dinner, Veggies
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Vegetarian, Vegan optional
Serves: 3-4 servings
  • 1 12 oz box Gluten-Free Pasta (we used Barilla gluten free penne here)
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • 1½ - 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup Basil Pesto (store bought or homemade)
Basil Pesto (for a vegan pesto, see below)
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons raw unsalted almonds
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
Alternatively, Vegan Basil-Pumpkin Seed Pesto (recipe from Urban Kitchen Apothecary)
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • ⅓ cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • pinch of sea salt + black pepper
Basil Pesto
  1. Place basil, garlic and almonds in a food processor and run/pulse several times until finely minced
  2. Add salt and pepper and pulse a few more times.
  3. With the food processor running, stream olive oil into the top of the food processor. Scrape down the sides as needed and run food processor until well combined and mixture is smooth.
  4. Add cheese and process briefly until just combined.
  5. Add rice wine vinegar and pulse a few times until just combined.
  6. Can be made ahead and kept in seal container in the refrigerator.
Vegan Basil Pumpkin Seed Pesto
  1. Blend all the pesto ingredients together using a food processor or blender.
  2. Note: I didn't have any trouble blending it in a blender but if too thick or difficult to blend add an additional 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  3. Set aside
  1. Prepare pasta according to package (Note: I cooked in lightly salted water)
  2. While pasta cooks, make the pesto if you haven't already.
  3. While the pasta cooks, saute the tomatoes: in a large skillet, over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil until shimmering (not burning). Add tomatoes, and stirring occasionally, cook 5-7 minutes or until tomatoes start to blister.
  4. After draining pasta into colander, add cooked pasta to the skillet with the tomatoes, add basil pesto and spinach and over medium heat toss until spinach wilts, just a minute or two.
  5. Serve and enjoy!


pesto penne gluten free most made recipes #glutenfreerecipes

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