Orzo Sun-dried Tomato Vegan Pesto Pasta Salad

Last week I posted my Watermelon BBQ Wings and actually feed it with this pasta salad that he had no idea what he was eating, lol. Sometimes I just don’t tell him what is in what he is eating and I must say he is so trusting that it makes cooking and feeding him easy to do. With this recipe, I knew I wanted to add in some veg, because that’s how I roll, I am a vegetarian after all and all about eating some veggies. So I had to get really creative on this one because I wanted him to eat some broccoli.

Why this gets interesting is that he is not a broccoli eating kind of guy and I had to be sure that it tasted great and was incorporated without being able to be picked out. Apparently I did a great job in doing so, because his feeding feedback was quite telling. Let’s just say, he is a big no go broccoli kind of guy as he thought, or well we both thought. Here is what you’ll need to get cooking with me.

Let’s Get Cooking

I made this recipe while grilling the watermelon wings so I used the grill to cook my broccoli. I provided two different ways to cook your broccoli both focused on adding in flavor and getting that charred roasted caramelized charred bits on the florets. So if you are planning on cooking this with those wings here is what you will need to do. If not, I provided the oven roasting method as well, if you don’t plan on cooking it on the grill.

Grill Cooking Method

  • Brush a large head of broccoli with about 1 tablespoon of avocado oil
  • Season with salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder.
  • Place on the grill stem side down on the grill grates.
  • Allow to cook on the grill for about 15-20 minutes

Oven Roasting Method

  • Preheat oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Chop broccoli into florets about the same size, important so they cook at the same rate.
  • Toss in avocado oil and season with salt, pepper, 1/4 teaspoon each of onion powder and garlic powder.
  • Add sheet pan to oven and cook for about 10-15 minutes until tender

Putting the Pasta Salad Together

  • In a small sauce pan add 1/4 cup of avocado oil and the sun-dried tomatoes.
  • Over medium high heat allow the oil to heat up and allow the tomatoes to blister and then turn off heat and allow tomatoes to blister and brown a bit.
  • Once they have browned and blistered a bit, turn off the heat and allow to sit for a bit.
  • Cook orzo pasta to package directions, I personally cook it one minute less than the package recommendation as I like my pasta with a bit for chew to it.
  • While the water is coming to a boil for cooking the orzo pasta you want to make the vegan pesto.
  • In a food processor add your basil, walnuts, nutritional yeast, garlic cloves, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup of lemon juice, and the sun-dried tomatoes.
  • Pulse to combine until finely blended together.
  • Once the pasta has cooked, reserve 1 cup of the pasta water, and then drain and rinse the pasta adding it to a large mixing bowl.
  • Add the sun-dried vegan pesto sauce to the warm pasta and stir to combine until the pasta is coated with the pesto sauce. If you find that the sauce is a bit thick and not coating the pasta, add 1 tablespoon at a time to thin out the sauce until the sauce coats the pasta like a sauce.
  • Once the broccoli has finished roasting, allow to cool to touch before handling.
  • Taste to see if more salt, pepper, onion and garlic powder are needed, and season as needed.
  • Finely chop the florets, this is how you “hide” it while adding it into the pasta salad.
  • Add in an additional 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 stalks of green onion chopped, and 4 tablespoons of fresh squeezed lemon juice.
  • You can serve it warm or room temp right away, or serve it cold, and even make it the night before.
  • Note: I used purple basil as that is what I had plenty of in my garden so the color is a lot duller in color compared to using green basil while making your pesto.

Tiger Feeding Feedback

The pasta salad has lots of flavor and is a great complement to the watermelon wings that I ate with it. I don’t know what the green stuff is but it gave it a lot of flavor every time I bit into to it. I would like to try it again with other meats.


We are Tiger + Love, with him being Delvecchio and her being Nic. Interestingly enough, I am a vegetarian with veganish tendencies feeding a meat eater who is not too sure about eating no meat at all every single day. So, with that I create food that includes a greater abundance of non meat food items, because my philosophy is that meat should never be the star of the meal all the time! Still giving him what he wants with more of what he needs 🥰

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