Pesto Ranch Cheesy Pasta Bake




My husband is taking a welding class Monday through Wednesday evenings each week.  So, those three days a week our menu plan is very hectic to say the least.  He has to be out of the house by a little after 5, so we have gotten to where we eat a late breakfast & an early dinner/late lunch, and just whatever we can find when we get hungry later.  A little part of me breaths a sigh of relief once Thursday begins because I know we will be eating at more ‘normal’ hours.

Last week, my husband came in from class & both of us were pretty hungry.  I hadn’t been to the store in a while, so the pickings were getting slim.  I grabbed a few ingredients that I thought might taste well together, & set to work. Pesto, Ranch, Noodles, Asparagus, & Cheese.  That’s it.  I had a dish on the table in 20 minutes – and once we took that first bite, we both had a definite ‘wow’ moment’.  Delicious to say the least, and I was just amazed that it tasted so good for as quick as it was to put together.  






I just had to share this Pesto Ranch Cheesy Pasta Bake with you all.  You can literally have this on the table in 20 minutes, and it will taste like you slaved away for a lot longer when you serve it up.  Totally delicious!  






This is a meatless entree as written, but it would be amazing with chicken strips thrown in as well.  If you want it ‘ranchier’ add more ranch – if you want more pesto, stir some more in.  Taste it, customize it, and love it!





Pesto Ranch Cheesy Pasta Bake
(Serves 4-6)


Ingredients:

  • 1 (16oz) box penne pasta
  • 1/2 cup ranch dressing
  • 1/4 cup prepared pesto
  • 1 (14oz) can asparagus tips (optional)
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese


Instructions:

Preheat your oven to broil.

In a large pot, cook the penne pasta to box directions.  Strain.

Pour the strained pasta back into the pot.  Stir in the asparagus tips, pesto & ranch.  Taste – add more of either if you’d like to.  Stir in 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese.

Spray a medium casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.  Scoop in the pasta.  Top with remaining cheese.  Broil for 2-4 minutes, or until the cheese is melted & starting to brown.


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Authored by: Crystal Light Faulkner
  • AJ

    Great, but add way more pesto and ranch! I added almost double and it still could have used more. Make sure to coat evenly. I also think you could go without browning the cheese, but still melting it a lot.

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  • Lia

    Just finished eating this and oh how yummy. I did add the chicken and fresh asparagus. This will be in my regular pasta rotation.

gn