Creamy Pesto Alfredo Sauce

This Creamy Pesto Alfredo Sauce is a quick and easy sauce to throw together for any occasion. It’s especially quick if you keep a jar of homemade pesto in the fridge at all times, like I do. If not, making fresh pesto is super easy and store bought works just fine, too. Toss this creamy pesto sauce with pasta to make the perfect weeknight dinner!

Make it extra delicious using my homemade Spinach Almond Pesto Recipe!

Close up of pesto alfredo sauce on top of orecchiette pasta with additional shredded parmesaon on top

Oi, Gente!

If you’re looking for an easy weeknight meal that your whole family will love, I’ve got the recipe for you today! This Creamy Pesto Alfredo Sauce is the perfect comfort food dish to toss with your favorite pasta.

It calls for simple ingredients that you might already have on hand, and it comes together in no time flat.

Since I always have a jar of my Spinach Basil Pesto in the fridge, this recipe is even easier to whip up. It’s the perfect less-than-30-minute dish.

If you’re not in the mood to make your own pesto, store bought is fine. Though, as your friend, I will encourage you to make it if not this time, at least, at some point. DO IT!

This recipe is incredibly simple and can be transformed into a classic simple creamy pesto pasta… the trick is just adding cream to pesto. That’s pretty much it.

I like to spice it up with some extra sautéed aromatics and a little wine because it makes it a whole lot more special! And speaking of spicing things up, if you want to add a kick to this, just add in some red pepper flakes to taste along with the pesto — I love doing that!!

While this is great just on its own, when I’m feeling inspired, or have a little more time I even serve it with pan seared chicken for some extra protein. And it’s also great with some roasted salmon, as well.

I hope you like this recipe as much as I do!!

Beijinhos xx

Love pesto? Try Pesto Pasta Recipe!

Collage of two images showing ingredients to make creamy pesto pasta sauce in bowls on a marble countertop and the final pasta in a bowl topped with a giant basil leaf

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What you need to make this recipe:

In addition to the tools listed above, here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this pesto sauce:

  • Pesto — make a batch of my 5-ish ingredient homemade spinach basil pesto with almonds, or use store-bought pesto sauce in a pinch.
  • Olive oil — you can use butter to make this extra creamy.
  • Onion — yellow or white are my go-tos for recipes like this.
  • Garlic — or Brazilian sofrito if you have some.
  • Heavy cream — this adds a wonderful creaminess to the pasta sauce. While you could use a lower fat cream or milk, it really does not transform the pesto sauce into the luscious one you see in these images.
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese — grate it fresh yourself as opposed to buying it grated. Fresh grated cheese yields a creamier sauce.
  • White wine — you want to use something that’s not too oaky or sweet. I prefer a dry sauvignon blanc or a pinot grigio for recipes like this.
  • Pasta water — I list as an ingredient because the starchy water helps bring creaminess to our sauce, as well. This is very important!
  • Pasta — any shape of pasta works! Just note that if you use a pasta that is gluten free, the pasta pasta water trick doesn’t always work to help with creaminess because it lacks flour, a thickening agent.
  • Fresh basil — this is not a required ingredient as this is for topping, but definitely highly recommended for the extra oompf.

How to make Pesto Alfredo Pasta with Creamy Pesto Sauce

Start by cooking the pasta al dente, according to the instructions of the package. I tend to take 1-2 minutes off the cooking time of the packaging instructions. That said, taste test it and cook to your preferred doneness.

Once the pasta is almost done cooking, remove about a half a cup of pasta water, and set aside for later.

Once the pasta is al dente, drain in a colander and set aside.

Collage of two images showing creamy pesto sauce in a pot and orecchiette pasta being poured into that pot before stirring

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

Add the diced onions to the skillet, and sautee until soft.

Next add the Brazilian sofrito (or the garlic). Sautee until fragrant. This will not take long — we just want to sweat them, and cook until they are soft, but not browned.

Pour in the wine and stir, then add the cream and stir again to combine. Then, add in the pesto and let the pesto cream sauce simmer for a few moments.

Add the pasta water, and mix it up.

Collage of two images showing orecchiette pasta in a pot of creamy pesto sauce and then shredded parmesan being added on top of the pasta and sauce

Next, add in the cooked pasta. Give it a good stir to coat the pasta in the sauce.

Lastly, sprinkle in the cheese and stir it up once more.

Divide among bowls, and serve with parmesan and fresh basil.

What goes with pesto pasta?

A bowl of orecchiette tossed in creamy pesto alfredo sauce with a person shredding parmesan cheese on top

This Alfredo Pesto Sauce with Pasta is great on its own as a vegetarian meal.

However, if you’re looking to add more to this Creamy Pesto Pasta situation, here are a few things you could add…

  • Additional grated cheese
  • A simple pan seared chicken
  • Sausage
  • Roasted Salmon
  • Toasted nuts, like almonds or pine nuts
Several blue and white plates of orecchiette with pesto alfredo sauce on a table

What to serve with pesto pasta:

Other pasta recipes you’ll love:


Close up of pesto alfredo sauce on top of orecchiette pasta with additional shredded parmesaon on top
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5 from 46 votes

Creamy Pesto Alfredo Sauce

This Creamy Pesto Alfredo Sauce is a quick and easy sauce to throw together for any occasion. It's especially quick if you keep a jar of homemade pesto in the fridge at all times, like I do. If not, making fresh pesto is super easy and store bought works just fine, too. Toss this creamy pesto sauce with pasta to make the perfect weeknight dinner!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings
Calories: 941kcal
Author: Aline Shaw

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of onion, diced
  • 1.5 cups of cream
  • 1 cup of parmesan cheese, freshly grated plus more for serving
  • 1/2 cup of white wine
  • 1/2 cup of pasta water
  • 1 tablespoon of Brazilian sofrito or 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup of pesto
  • 1 pound of pasta
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh basil Optional for garnish

Instructions

  • Start by cooking the pasta al dente, according to the instructions of the package – once the pasta is almost done cooking, take out about a half a cup of pasta water, and set aside. You need this for the sauce, so do not discard it.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the diced onions to the skillet, and sautee until soft, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Next, add in the Brazilian sofrito, or the garlic, and sautee until fragrant. You do not want these to brown.
  • Add in the cream and the wine. Stir to combine before adding the pesto and stirring again. Let it simmer.
  • Pour in the pasta water, and stir.
  • Add the al dente pasta to the pan, then add in the cheese. Stir until the pasta is coated in the sauce and the cheese has melted into it.
  • Serve with parmesan and fresh basil.

Bom Apetite!!

    Did you make this recipe? Show me how it turned out! Snap a photo and share with me on Instagram tagging @aline_shaw!

    Nutrition

    Serving: 1serving | Calories: 941kcal | Carbohydrates: 148g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 784mg | Potassium: 14996mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 842IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 314mg | Iron: 5mg

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    6 Comments

    1. 5 stars
      We loved this pasta so much, it was easy and delicous — and I didn’t skimp on the cream, I used the real stuff and it was soooo worth it! YUM!

    2. 5 stars
      This recipe is a winner with its blend of creamy textures plus onion, garlic sofrito. The addition of pesto takes it to the next level. We’ll definitely be making this dish again.

    3. 5 stars
      I loved this sauce for my penne pasta last night! turned out really creamy. I had never used white wine before in a pesto sauce and I loved the flavor this added.

    4. 5 stars
      We love pesto pasta and usually just spoon pesto over the pasta and toss. Making it creamy like this is over-the-top delicious and still such a quick and easy dinner. Thanks for the recipe!

    5. 5 stars
      My husband and I absolutely loved this sauce! Quick, easy and so yummy! I’m already planning a repeat for the weekend! Keep them coming ❤️❤️

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