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Dinner Recipes

Pesto and Pepperoni Pasta Recipe Is Full of Fresh, Bright Flavors — Just $2.18 a Serving

Store-bought sauce and bottled dressing make it easy to get this toss on the table in just 30 minutes

Pasta truly is a blank slate that can take on countless flavor combinations. And for me, when it comes to budget-friendly meals, pasta dishes are a go-to favorite. Plus come spring and summer, farmer’s markets are teeming with fresh produce and I’m always looking for ways to use up all that bounty. That’s what inspired us to come up with this Pesto and Pepperoni Pasta recipe. It’s layered with delicious flavor. Best of all, at $2.18 a serving, it’s easy on your wallet.

Sauteing pepperoni renders fat and crisps up the edges for a delightful texture. We cook zucchini right in the drippings. The mild veggie is almost instantly enhanced by the smokiness. Then, aromatic basil pesto makes the perfect replacement for pasta sauce during the summer months. We combine it with the vegetables, herbs, bottled dressing, pasta and some of the cooking liquid so the ziti have a chance to soak up all of that juicy goodness. Watch how easy it is to whip up in our video. Then leave us a comment.


4 serving

Total Time

Prep Time


  • 8 oz. ziti pasta
  • 1 cup diced pepperoni (4 oz.)
  • 1 zucchini, sliced
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ¼ cup refrigerated pesto sauce
  • ¼ cup Caesar vinaigrette
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves


In pot of salted boiling water, cook pasta according to package directions for al dente; reserve 1/4 cup cooking liquid. Drain pasta. In 12" nonstick skillet, cook pepperoni, stirring occasionally, over medium heat, until browned, 4–5 min. With slotted spoon, transfer to large bowl; reserve.

In drippings, cook zucchini, flipping, until lightly browned, 4–5 min.; add to pepperoni. Add pasta, tomatoes, pesto, dressing and cooking liquid to pepperoni mixture. Gently stir to combine. Sprinkle with Parmesan and top with basil.


  • Calories: 512
  • Fat: 26 gram
  • Saturated Fat: 9 gram
  • Protein: 19 gram
  • Carbohydrate: 52 gram
  • Fiber: 3 gram
  • Cholesterol: 42 mg
  • Sugar: 7 gram
  • Sodium: 909 mg
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