Easy Greek Fennel Pasta with Pesto, Peppers, and Chili Oil

Pasta is always a good idea…but this easy vegan Greek fennel pasta with pesto, peppers, chickpeas, and chili oil is an even better idea. Loaded with juicy blistered tomatoes, roasted red peppers, and tender protein-rich chickpeas. All bathed in a vegan pesto chili oil sauce and topped with fresh basil. 

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This Easy Greek Fennel Pasta with pesto, peppers, and chili oil is a tasty eat-whenever-you-want kind of dinner. The creamy pesto and chili oil sauce belong on everything…and I mean everything. From tender pasta penne, rigatoni, whole wheat pasta, or even zucchini pasta. This easy sauce will take any dinner to the next level.

Let’s dive into the ingredients you need to make this Easy Greek Fennel Pasta with Pesto recipe

  • Fennel
  • Peppers
  • Chickpeas 
  • Plum tomatoes 
  • Chili oil
  • Pasta
  • Oregano 
  • Fresh basil

Creamy vegan pesto pasta sauce

It’s almost not worth mentioning how amazing this creamy basil pesto pasta sauce chili oil combo is, but I can’t stop raving about it. We are talking about fresh basil with a base of garlic and a hind of spicy chili oil wrapped around tender pasta. It doesn’t get much better than this simple 5-minutes pesto pasta sauce.

30-minutes vegetarian pasta with fennel and roasted peppers 

Is there anything better than tender pasta, charred juicy tomatoes, and roasted peppers? Maybe all that and a cooking time of less than 30-minutes from start to finish. If you adore easy, quick, and mouthwatering vegetarian pasta then this is the recipe for you. 

Most days, and especially on weekdays, I’m all about quick healthy dinners. This pasta is all that and more. It’s good enough to be served every single day of the week, including weekends. 

What kind of pesto should you use for creamy pasta sauce

That’s a good question with multiple options. My favorite pesto to use is my homemade basil walnut pesto. It’s creamy, loaded with flavors and so easy to make. In fact, it takes less than 5 minutes to make, and I usually always have a jar of it waiting in the refrigerator.

But I realize not everyone has the time (or the ingredients at home) to make their own pesto from scratch. But fear not. For a quick and easy pesto sauce, you can use a grocery store pesto. It won’t have quite as much flavor intensity, but it will be a very tasty substitute…and a quick make-dinner-without-planning hack that gets this tasty pasta on the table in no time.

How to make the best homemade vegan basil pesto in less than 5 minutes 

First up, let’s look at the ingredients you need to make the best vegan basil pesto:

  • 1 bunch fresh basil 
  • 1/2 cup olive oil 
  • 1 cup baby arugula salad 
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts or any other type of nuts
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeds removed

To make this easy basil pesto all you need is a blender or food processor to pulse everything for you. 

Add all the pesto ingredients to a blender and blend until the pesto is smooth. Add 1-2 tablespoons extra oil if the pesto is too thick. Scrape the pesto into an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator.

How to make the worlds best fennel and peppers pasta

Am I allowed to call this recipe the world’s best? I don’t know, but I just did. It’s a bold statement, but one I believe in. That’s because this pasta is chocked full of amazing textures and flavors. From crunchy grilled fennel to charred juicy tomatoes and mouthwatering roasted peppers, this pasta has it all. And add the creamy pesto sauce and it doesn’t get much better than this.

So, let’s look at how it’s made. Because even though it’s a delicious pasta you can easily serve for friends it’s actually very simple to make…and ready in under 30-minutes.

  • First up, make the homemade pesto and cook the pasta as instructed on the packaging.
  • Heat chili oil in a non-stick frying pan and add the sliced fennel, peppers, and tomatoes. Fry at medium-high heat while stirring occasionally until the peppers become lightly charred at the edges. Season with salt and oregano and mix. 
  • Once the pasta is cooked, drain away from the water and add 5 tablespoons pesto to the pasta. Toss to coat the pasta in the pesto sauce. Serve the pasta topped generously with roasted vegetables and garnish with fresh basil. 
  • Enjoy.

Frequently asked questions 

Can I substitute fennel with something else?

Sure, if you want to. Fennel adds flavors from the Mediterranean kitchen and a lot of crunchiness to the dish…but it can easily be replaced with other vegetables such as:

  • Kale
  • Zucchini 
  • Artichokes 
  • Eggplants 
  • Bok Choi 
  • …or any type of crunchy fresh vegetables 

What does fennel taste like?

Fennel is a delicious, fresh, and crunchy vegetable with a spicy and mild licorice flavor. It adds a fabulous crunchy texture to any dish as well as a hint of freshness.

Which pasta should I use?

You can use any type of pasta or spaghetti you prefer in this easy pasta dish. Here are some of my favorite pasta options:

  • Any type of traditional pasta like Rigatoni, penne, or linguine.
  • Gluten-free pasta like lentil pasta, rice noodles, or chickpea pasta
  • Whole wheat pasta

Is this pasta meal prep-friendly?

Yes. You can easily make this pasta the day before or even freeze it for a later day. Reheating only intensifies the flavors of the sauce. Tip: add a bit more liquid to the pan when you reheat the pasta and cover it with tinfoil. Reheat at 350F for 25-minutes or until the pasta is heated all the way through.

Easy Greek Fennel Pasta with Pesto, Peppers, and Chili Oil

Pasta is always a good idea…but this easy vegan Greek fennel pasta with pesto, peppers, chickpeas, and chili oil is an even better idea. Loaded with juicy blistered tomatoes, roasted red peppers, and tender protein-rich chickpeas. All bathed in a vegan pesto chili oil sauce and topped with fresh basil. 
This Easy Greek Fennel Pasta with pesto, peppers, and chili oil is a tasty eat-whenever-you-want kind of dinner. The creamy pesto and chili oil sauce belong on everything…and I mean everything. From tender pasta penne, rigatoni, whole wheat pasta, or even zucchini pasta. This easy sauce will take any dinner to the next level.
Course Dinner
Cuisine American, Mediterranean
Keyword vegan dinner
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Simone – Munchyesta.com

Ingredients

  • 1 Fennel Sliced
  • 2 Bell Peppers Sliced
  • 1 15oz can Chickpeas Rinsed and drained
  • ½ cup Plum Tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp Chili Oil
  • ½ tsp Sea salt or Kosher Salt
  • 2 tsp Oregano
  • 1 bunch Fresh Basil For garnish, chopped
  • 15oz (400g) Fusilli Pasta or pasta of your choice

Pesto sauce

  • 1 bunch Fresh Basil
  • ½ cup Olive Oil
  • 1 cup Baby Arugula Salad
  • 4 cloves Garlic Minced
  • ¼ cup Toasted Pine Nuts or other type of nuts like walnuts or almonds
  • 1 Jalapeño pepper Seeds removed

Instructions

Making the Pesto

  • Add all the pesto ingredients to a blender and blend until the pesto is smooth. Add 1-2 tablespoons extra oil if the pesto is too thick. Scrape the pesto into an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator.

Pasta

  • Cook the pasta as instructed on the packaging.
  • Heat chili oil in a non-stick frying pan and add the sliced fennel, peppers, and tomatoes. Fry at medium-high heat while stirring occasionally until the peppers become lightly charred at the edges. Season with salt and oregano and mix. 
  • Once the pasta is cooked, drain away the water and add 5 tablespoons pesto to the pasta. Toss to coat the pasta in the pesto sauce. Serve the pasta topped generously with the roasted vegetables and garnish with fresh basil. 
    Enjoy.

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