I have some leftover turkey (still) and a jar of pesto, so came up with an idea to make a kind of turkey pasta pesto bake: my thoughts were to end up with something along the lines of baked ziti (only discovered when Googling this). However, having had a quick search, there seems to be a consensus that pesto shouldn't be heated. Are there any recipes or techniques that might be applicable to what I'm trying to achieve? I was basically just going to switch the beef for turkey, and add pesto to the sauce.

In this case, I'm using red pesto; although I'd be very interested if the answer differs between pesto types.

  • Basil pesto, I'm guessing?
    – Cascabel
    Commented Jan 2, 2016 at 16:11
  • It's actually tomato pesto Commented Jan 2, 2016 at 16:36
  • Ah. Heating tomatoes (presumably dried and partially reconstituted in the pest) is pretty different from heating fresh herbs - might want to be clear in the question.
    – Cascabel
    Commented Jan 2, 2016 at 16:42
  • Is "red pesto" a standard thing in the UK? It doesn't have an obvious, specific meaning in the US as far as I know - do you mean sun-dried tomato pesto?
    – Cascabel
    Commented Jan 2, 2016 at 17:00
  • Yes (it's a standard for me anyway), and yes, it's tomato pesto Commented Jan 2, 2016 at 17:09

1 Answer 1


I found one or two recipe about baking pesto pasta. In my first try in making pesto spaghetti, I also accidentally cooking spaghetti with pesto in pan, heating. Turns out basil flavor will a bit less, though really not much different, same with heating with other herbs. If you are serving for families (same for me:)), place a jar of pesto when serving in case somebody wants more "pesto taste" .

This link is to make a tomato-basil-cheese baked pasta

-- Sound similar to your red pesto

While this link is to make a chicken pesto baked pasta

-- You can substitute with turkey then

For the red sauce, if you are using those for beef spaghetti sauce (bought from supermarket?!), and taste meaty, add some fresh tomatoes to increase freshness and sweetness!

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