Cheesy Rotini Pasta with Roasted Vegetables
Twisted rotini pasta noodles tangled with three melted cheeses, rich marinara, and perfectly roasted vegetables. An easy & healthy pasta dish the whole family will love!
If you love indulging in a cheesy pasta dish without feeling weighed down by heavy creams, you will love every bite of this meal. So much flavor and nutritious ingredients are tangled in these twisted rotini noodles!
The noodles are mixed with a sauce of three different kinds of cheese, rich marinara, and a touch of fresh herbs for freshness! Paired on the side are perfectly roasted vegetables that can be customized to whatever you have on hand.
You can also use regular noodles or make the dish healthier and gluten-free friendly by using chickpea pasta noodles! So so yummy and nutritious.
About Rotini Noodles
Rotini means “twists”, which explains these corkscrew-shaped noodles quite well!
These fun twisty noodles are my top choice to use in dishes that have lots of sauce or cheese. Because the twists of the noodles hold onto the sauce rather than sliding off the edges if it were a smoothly shaped pasta noodle.
Another noodle that is similar in shape and can be a great substitute for rotini is fusilli pasta.
Ingredients You Need
You’ll need just a handful of pantry items and fresh produce to make this recipe. Here’s what you need: rotini noodles, marinara sauce, cheddar cheese (white or yellow), mozzarella, parmesan, fresh basil, fresh oregano, zucchini (yellow and green), eggplant, cherry tomatoes, and broccoli.
How to Make Rotini Pasta with Roasted Vegetables – Step by Step
Preheat oven to 400F. Toss chopped vegetables in oil with salt and minced garlic. Roast for 20-30 minutes, flipping halfway through.
Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook pasta as the box instructs. Drain pasta and reserve 1 cup of pasta water in a small pot or liquid measuring cup (make sure to use a vessel that can handle hot liquids).
Add half of the pasta water back in with pasta, add mozzarella, cheddar cheese, marinara, and fresh herbs. Mix together – the consistency should be a creamy/cheesy sauce. Adjust pasta water or add more cheese if needed.
Season with salt & pepper if needed, then serve pasta with roasted vegetables and fresh parmesan cheese over top.
How to Make Pasta Noodles Taste Amazing
Salt the Pasta Water: This is key for great-tasting pasta. Using a generous amount of salt in your pasta water will instantly draw out flavor from the noodles.
Cheese that melts: For this recipe, I recommend three different cheese variations – white or yellow cheddar cheese, a little mozzarella, and freshly grated parmesan for flavor!
Herbs: Seasoning your pasta with fresh herbs is an easy way to elevate the flavor. Add generous amounts of chopped basil and even fresh oregano if you have it on hand.
Quality marinara: whenever serving pasta it’s important to have a flavorful red sauce to go with it! I don’t recommend canned tomatoes because they will be quite bland and fall flat in flavor. We love using either homemade San Marzano Tomato Sauce or our favorite store-bought pasta sauce.
Extra Tips for Success
- Make it gluten-free: If you’d like to lighten up your pasta dish, I love using chickpea or lentil pasta noodles. They are not only gluten-free and made completely from veggies, but are also an excellent source of plant-based protein.
- Different veggies to use: Adjust the vegetables to your liking. Add extra veggies such as mushrooms, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and red peppers.
- Storing leftover tips: Keep leftover pasta stored in an airtight container for 2-3 days – reheat in the microwave or in a pan on the stovetop with a little bit of oil.
Other Delicious Pasta Recipes To Enjoy
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Cheesy Rotini Pasta with Roasted Vegetables
Twisted rotini pasta noodles tangled with three melted cheeses, rich marinara, and paired with perfectly roasted vegetables. An easy & healthy pasta dish the whole family will love!
- 8 oz rotini pasta
- 1/2 – 1 cup reserved pasta water
- 1 – 1 1/2 cups white or yellow cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1/3 cup mozzarella, shredded
- 1/4 cup fresh parmesan cheese
- 1 1/2 cups marinara sauce
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 Tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped
- 2 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1-2 garlic cloves, minced (or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 2-3 medium zucchinis (yellow and green), cut into quarter pieces
- 1 small to medium eggplant, cubed
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- salt & black pepper
Roasted veggies: Preheat oven to 400F – arrange chopped vegetables out on a sheet pan. Toss with oil, minced garlic, and pinch of salt & pepper. Roast for 25-30 minutes, flip halfway through.
Cook pasta noodles: bring medium to large pot of water to a boil water with 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook pasta as box instructs, I prefer noodles to be "al dente" in texture.
Reserve pasta water: When pasta is cooked, pour about 1 cup of pasta water in a separate pot or liquid measuring cup (or another vessel that can handle heat). Set pasta water aside and strain noodles.
Mix in cheese & sauce: Add pasta back to pot with cheddar cheese, mozzarella, and pasta water. Balance consistency to desired level of cheesiness by adding more cheese or pasta water if needed. Note: turn heat on low if needed to help ingredients melt together.
Add herbs & fresh parmesan: Then add fresh basil, fresh oregano, and tomato sauce to pasta. Serve noodles with roasted vegetables over top with fresh parmesan cheese, additional fresh basil, and cracked black pepper.
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This was awesome!!!
Definitely liked the pasta with vegetables, and I like knowing that I can try a different veg combo. I didn’t love the broccoli, but I’m not sure how cut green beans would do. Can you suggest other veggies (green or otherwise) that might work?
I’m glad you enjoyed it, Carol! If you aren’t a fan of broccoli and want something green, try asparagus. It’s great with pasta! 🙂 You can also try cauliflower too.
We did Cauliflower, Carrot, Garlic, Leek, Eggplant, Tomato, and one lone turnip. We also added Kale to the marinara (not roasted) but spinach or Kale would be a great choice if you wanted something green.
Love the combo of veggies! Thanks for sharing, Grace! 🙂
My family loved this recipe… will make again I just did not like the cherry tomatoes
Thanks so much, Victor! The roasted tomatoes are not for everyone. You can definitely leave them out or swap for another vegetable 🙂
This pasta is amazing! It’s super decadent and creamy but I don’t feel like I’ve swallowed a brick after eating it. My whole family loves this pasta, even the picky ones! Thanks so much for the great recipe!
Haha thank you so much Jamie! I’m so happy to hear it:)
This recipe was a totally dud. How was the cheese supposed to melt creamy? Mine clumped up and was a stingy ball of cheese. I followed the recipe as written. I’m frustrated that I wasted all of that time, money, and food on this.
Hi Amanda, I’m so sorry to hear that. Usually, if there is remaining pasta water (that’s hot in the pot) and it mixes with the cheese – especially cheddar and mozzarella – it should melt properly. Though not all cheese is created equal so a part of that could come into play. I’m so sorry it didn’t work out! That bums me out just as much.
Very delicious and nutritious. I never roasted veggies or anything, I’m new to this cooking. I’m so glad I made this recipe! And my toddler loves it too!
I’m so happy to hear that! Pasta and roasted vegetables are my favorite. So glad you made it and enjoyed it!
Is the “tomato sauce” supposed to be plain tomato out of a can or is it pasta sauce?
I recommend pasta sauce!
Wow! My family all loved this recipe! To me it tastes like an Italian style Mac and cheese with delicious roasted vegetables. I didn’t have yellow zucchini so I substituted it with yellow peppers also no cherries tomatoes so I used diced carrots and added sweet onions. Otherwise everything else was the same turning out to be a great combination of pasta and vegetables
Thank you, Lillian! I’m so happy to hear it was so enjoyed 🙂
this was delicious! with the roasted veggies – great meatless dinner 🙂
Yay! 🙂 So happy you loved it.