Sweet Potato Orzo with Cilantro Pesto and Roasted Root Vegetables

Serving Size: 4-6
Prep Time:  20 Minutes
Cook Time: 50 Minutes
Total Time:  1 Hour, 10 Minutes


1 lb. Pappardelle's Sweet Potato Orzo
1 bunch cilantro, stems removed *
4 cloves garlic, minced *
1/3 cup pine nuts *
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, more as needed *
1/8 cup crumbled cotija cheese *
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice *
1/4 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. kosher salt *
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 sweet potato, peeled & chopped into 3/4" pieces
2 carrots, peeled & chopped into 3/4" pieces
2 parsnips, peeled & chopped into 3/4" pieces
1 red onion, chopped into 1" pieces
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. cumin
Roasted pepitas, for garnish
Lime wedges, for garnish

* Or use Pappardelle's (7-oz.) Cilantro & Roasted Poblano Chile Pesto


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Add cilantro to a food processor and pulse until roughly chopped. Add garlic and pine nuts and pulse to combine. Slowly add about 1/8 cup olive oil until a thick pasta forms. Add cotija, 1/8 cup olive oil and lemon juice. Season with 1/4 Tbsp. salt. Stir to combine.
  3. In a large bowl, add sweet potato, carrots, parsnips, and onion. Add olive oil, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. black pepper, oregano, and cumin and toss until well coated. 
  4. Arrange vegetables on a baking tray and bake until vegetables are roasted and tender, about 25-30 minutes, rotating vegetables halfway through. Once cooked, remove from oven and set aside.
  5. Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 10-12 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.
  6. Toss the pasta with cilantro pesto and vegetables. 
  7. Divide the pasta into serving dishes and garnish with pepitas. Serve with lime wedges and enjoy!