weeknight dinner


sorry for the radio silence the past 2 weeks. amesy’s school got completely overrun with the stomach virus, and we were all taken out by it. thankfully amesy was spared much of it and was only sick for a day. but frank and i were pretty much out of commission for a good 4-5 days. to be honest, i’m still not back to feeling 100%, apparently being 8 months pregnant and violently ill takes a way bigger toll on your body than i had initially thought. in any event, we’re back and functioning human beings. so yay for that!

there’s no way to really segue from that story to this incredibly delicious, incredibly easy weeknight dish. but here we go! we often lean on some sort of pasta dish for our dinner each week, and usually add a protein to the side to fill it out a bit. and i’ve always been intrigued by the “broken lasagna” or “rustic lasagna” recipes i’ve seen splashed all over pinterest. so i was excited to mix up pasta night, and use a thicker noodle than i typically do. while you could definitely use any pasta you like here, the lasagna noodles definitely took the fun factor up a notch.

noodles and pasta aside, this vegan white pesto is really where all the flavor is at! the original (dairy-based) recipe is from bon appetit, and it sounded so good, i thought i would try a plant-based version. while you could make your own vegan ricotta here, kite hill makes one that has a wonderful flavor and texture (plus, i’m all for one less step in a weeknight dinner recipe). from there, we add a few pantry items, some garlic, chopped fresh thyme, lemon zest to offer the ultimate flavor. but the best part about this dish (aside from it not taking very long to make) is that the lasagna noodles and broccoli rabe are cooked together in one pot, essentially making this meal a 2-pot deal, which can be so key on a busy weeknight.

i hope this recipe makes it into your dinner rotation, and could even be a great side or plant-friendly, and crowd-pleasing meal option if you’re celebrating july 4th next week. i hope you love it as much as my family does ❤️


broken lasagna w/ vegan white pesto & broccoli rabe | gf

| serves 4 as a main or 6 as a side |

white pesto (adapted from bon appetit)

  • 8oz vegan ricotta (i like this one)

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts, finely chopped

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

  • 1 clove garlic, grated over a microplane

  • leaves from 3 sprigs fresh thyme, finely chopped

  • zest from half lemon

  • fine salt & fresh pepper, to taste

  • 1 cup pasta cooking liquid


  • 10oz gluten-free lasagna noodles (i use tinkyada)

  • 2 cups broccoli rabe, woody ends trimmed and roughly chopped

  • salt & fresh pepper

  • toasted pine nuts, for garnish

  • thyme leaves, for garnish


  1. make the pesto. in a large mixing bowl, combine the ricotta, olive oil, pine nuts, nutritional yeast, garlic, thyme, and lemon zest. season with salt and pepper. set aside.

  2. cook the lasagna sheets according to the instructions on the box until al dente. in the last 2 minutes of cooking, add the broccoli rabe and continue cooking. before draining the pasta and broccoli, carefully collect 1 cup of the cooking liquid and set aside. drain the lasagna sheets and broccoli rabe.

  3. moving quickly, whisk in half the pasta cooking water into the white pesto, adding more if needed to get a creamy consistency. taste and adjust any seasonings, if necessary. then, toss in the lasagna sheets and broccoli rabe until everything is evenly covered in the pesto, taste once more and add more salt and pepper, if needed. serve, and garnish with toasted pine nuts and thyme leaves.

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avocado-kale pesto pasta

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creamy garlicky pasta w/ charred broccoli & figs

creamy garlicky pasta w/ charred broccoli & figs

AVOCADO-KALE PESTO PASTA (VEGAN) by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal

i used to love making dinner on a whim. looking inside my refrigerator for something that inspired me to make meal. i wish that were the case these days, sadly it’s not. if i’m honest, sometimes i mourn the simpler days where life wasn’t constantly feeling like a hustle, but i know that things will inevitably shift, and that perhaps i may look back on this period in some nostalgic way. i have a feeling a lot of you can relate. whether that’s because you have a family, a demanding job, or just don’t find cooking all that fun.

this is why this dinner recipe comes in clutch! i’ve made it countless times now, and i love its heartiness, you may be asking: what’s the difference between this pesto pasta versus any other pesto pasta. my resounding answer is: AVOCADO! i don’t know about you, but every time i eat pasta for dinner, i end up grabbing a snack about an hour later. i’ve been adding more healthy fats, protein, and fiber to my meals to help keep my blood sugar in check, and ever since doing so, i’m less likely to be likely to noshing on something i’m not even hungry for.

so let’s talk avocado-pesto. there’s an entire avocado mushed up in this recipe which adds richness, and also a good amount of healthy fat. you may be curious if this is just mushed up avocado flavored with basil, or if it even resembles pesto. in the traditional sense, no, this is not your grandmother’s pesto (but we’re rolling with the times, and building off classics to make new classics - amiright!?). we add a cup each of basil and kale, they’re blended up with toasted pine nuts, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil. we reserve some pasta water to thin it out a bit, which dilutes it a bit, but not too much that it doesn’t perfectly cover every strand of fettuccine. true love in the form of green pesto pasta sauce! i really hope you get the chance to make this one :)

big love! xo

avocado-kale pesto pasta | v & gf

there are so many ways to go about making pesto. if kale isn’t your thing or don’t have it on hand, add spinach, arugula, or more basil. you could even swap the toasted pine nuts for walnuts. there are a variety of ways you could go about making this pesto - just don’t skip the avo!

print the recipe!

| serves 2-4 |


  • 1 ripe avocado

  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, packed

  • 1 cup torn kale (from about 3 big leaves), packed

  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • salt & pepper

pesto pasta

  • 1/2 cup avocado-kale pesto

  • 1/4 cup pasta cooking water

  • 1 package gluten-free pasta of choice (i personally love capello’s fettuccine)

  • 1/4 cup baby arugula

  • handful toasted pine nuts


  1. in a food processor fitted with a metal “s'“ blade, combine the avocado, basil, kale, pine nuts, lemon juice, and 2 garlic cloves. cover with the fitted lid, and blend; with the processor on, drizzle in the olive oil until incorporated. stop the machine and scrape down the sides, add salt and pepper to taste and blend again until smooth and creamy. taste and add more salt, pepper, and/or lemon juice if necessary.

  2. cook pasta according to the instructions on the box until al dente (don’t forget to skim 1/4 cup of pasta water from the pot before you drain the pasta). drain the pasta and run it under cool water. while the pasta is draining, whisk together the 1/2 cup of pesto with the 1/4 cup of pasta water in a serving bowl until combined. add the pasta and toss until completely covered in the pesto.

  3. taste and add more salt if necessary, top with arugula, and pine nuts, then serve while hot. (store leftover pesto in a lidded container in the fridge for up to 4 days.)

more pasta recipes:

vegan caesar pasta salad

vegan caesar pasta salad

crusty baked .vegan alfredo w/ caramelized shallots & kale

crusty baked .vegan alfredo w/ caramelized shallots & kale

creamy garlicky pasta w/ charred broccoli & figs

creamy garlicky pasta w/ charred broccoli & figs

Creamy Garlicky Pasta w/ Charred Broccoli & Figs by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal

this post was created in partnership with Bed Bath & Beyond.  all thoughts and opinions, as always, are my own.  thank you for supporting the sponsors that help keep dolly and oatmeal going!

where would we all be without pasta? do i dare say it's maybe the most versatile food...?  it always has been for me.  pasta was probably the first thing i started cooking on my own as a kid for dinner.  i remember heating tomato sauce on the stove, cooking up a single-serve portion of it, and adding fresh, creamy ricotta cheese to the mix - that was my go-to, always!  

as the years have gone by, that has changed a bit.  when i first gave up gluten and dairy i didn't touch it.  i couldn't imagine a rice or quinoa-based noodle being al dente or chewy enough that it could live up to traditionally wheat-based pasta that was engrained in my (partially) italian tastebuds.  turns out they could!  

around here pasta dishes are a weekly affair.  sometimes they're tossed with homemade pesto and caramelized balsamic onions.  other times it's thrown together with sautéed veg and a tomato-based sauce.  or when i plan ahead enough i make the chickpea and cashew alfredo sauce from my book with greens or whatever else i have on hand.  but when i'm in a pinch and don't have time to soak nuts, i make a quick cannellini bean sauce that takes all of 5 minutes to whip up.  with just a few pantry staples added it turns into a super flavorful sauce that - bonus! - is packed with protein!  i personally love something a bit sweet to counter all the savory flavors in a dish like this. so whether it's sweet, summery tomatoes, sautéed balsamic onions, or the sliced figs here, something toothsome is always something i gravitate towards.  and the charred broccoli is another staple, especially because it's so fresh this time of year.  i prefer using a cast iron skillet, and this one from bed bath & beyond's new artisanal kitchen supply line is twice-seasoned making it so much easier to use right out the gate!  this was the best experience i've had with a new cast iron pan without having to season it multiple times (which, when i'm making something like socca, makes all the difference!).

thank you to bed bath & beyond for supplying me with all the pieces you see here from their new artisanal kitchen supply cookware and serveware line, that includes the olive wood tools used for serving. i really love the earthy tones, and simplicity of these products, they're reasonable, simple, and beautiful.


creamy garlicky pasta w/ charred broccoli & figs | gf & v

| serves 4 |

garlic bean sauce

  • 1 15-ounce can cannelleni beans, drained and rinsed

  • 1/4 cup filtered water

  • 1 large or 2 small clove garlic, roughly chopped

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

  • fresh pepper, to taste


  • 1 12-ounce package brown rice pasta

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 bunch broccoli, cut into small florets (about 3 cups)

  • fine sea salt & fresh pepper, to taste

  • 1/3 cup toasted chopped walnuts, plus more for serving

  • 6 ripe figs, thinly sliced


  1. make the sauce. combine all the ingredients in an upright blender (preferably a high-speed blender such as a vitamix), until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. taste and adjust the salt, lemon juice, and/or the vinegar if need be, then transfer to a small saucepan and set aside.

  2. make the pasta. cook the pasta according the directions on the package until al dente. drain the pasta and set aside.

  3. while the pasta is cooking, steam and char the broccoli. place broccoli florets in a steamer over 1-inch over water and bring to a boil. steam for 2 minutes until tender but crisp. heat a heavy bottomed saute pan (preferably cast iron) over medium, once the pan is hot add the oil and broccoli. cook the broccoli on each side until charred in spots and tender, about 5-6 minutes per side. remove from heat.

  4. heat the sauce over medium heat until steaming, add more filtered water by the tablespoon until it is fluid but coats the back of a spoon. add the sauce, pasta, and walnuts to broccoli and give it all a good toss. gently fold in the figs, taste and adjust the seasoning adding more salt if needed.

  5. divide the pasta into portions and serve immediately with extra toasted walnuts.


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