Pesto pasta is a quick and easy meal that is perfect for the whole family. It’s as easy as boiling pasta and tossing it with your favorite pesto recipe! Learn how to make this classic pasta recipe and get ready to add it to your meal plan.
Make it extra delicious using my homemade Spinach Almond Pesto Recipe!
If you’re looking for the EASIEST dinner that calls for few ingredients and very little time, you’re in luck. Today’s recipe is exactly that.
This Pesto Pasta recipe is an excellent one to have up your sleeve… especially if you happen to keep homemade pesto in the fridge. (Because that’s what I do!)
All you need are pesto, your favorite pasta, and some parmesan cheese. Then you’re set!
It’s as easy as boiling the pasta and tossing it all together.
Get ready to add this one to your meal plan… it’s always a winner and my family, for one, LOVES it.
I hope you love this recipe as much as we do!
What you need to make this recipe:
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- Pesto — make a batch of my 5-ish ingredient homemade spinach basil pesto with almonds, or use store-bought pesto sauce in a pinch.
- Pasta — any type of pasta you like works here! I went with a chunky rigatoni, but other pasta shapes are perfectly acceptable.
- Olive oil — or another high-quality, neutral-tasting oil. Extra virgin olive oil also works.
- Parmesan cheese — freshly shredded or grated is what you want because it will incorporate a bit better into the sauce.
- Fresh basil leaves — you want this to be fresh and not wilty.
- Other greens — like spinach, arugula, etc., are optional but great for serving with the pasta.
You’re also going to need the following equipment to make this spinach basil pesto pasta recipe:
How to make Pesto Pasta
Make the pesto. Whenever I make this recipe, I used my homemade pesto recipe, but you can use whatever type of pesto recipe you like, and even store bought, if you prefer.
If you’re making pesto from scratch, just combine the ingredients in a food processor and pulse gently for a few seconds. Blend until the pesto sauce reaches your desired consistency.
Set the pesto aside.
Cook the pasta, according to the instructions of the package, in salted boiling water. I tend to take 1-2 minutes off the cooking time of the packaging instructions to ensure it does not overcook. That said, taste as you go, and cook to your preferred doneness.
Once the pasta is al dente, drain in a colander and set aside.
Combine the pesto and pasta. Once draining the pasta, place it back into the pasta pot.
Top the pasta with the pesto sauce, and gently toss until coated.
Add additional shredded parmesan cheese, and serve immediately.
Variations on pasta with pesto sauce:
While this recipe is great on its own and makes a wonderful vegetarian meal, you can change some things up.
Here are some ways I like to tweak this dish:
- Swap out the type of pesto sauce. Use a creamy pesto alfredo sauce instead or a vegan pesto sauce, if desired.
- Sprinkle on more cheese! This is never a bad idea.
- Add some spice with red pepper flakes.
- Make it colorful! Add fresh basil, other greens like arugula, fresh spinach, sliced cherry tomatoes or even sundried tomatoes.
- Add a protein. Pan seared chicken is an excellent addition to this pesto pasta recipe. So is roasted salmon or sausage.
Other Pasta Recipes You’ll Love:
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Pesto Pasta Recipe
- 1 cup of my Spinach Basil Pesto Recipe or any other pesto you like
- 1 pound of uncooked pasta
- 1/4 cup Freshly grated Parmesan cheese to taste or more to taste
- Olive oil
- sliced fresh basil for serving
- In a large pasta pot, cook the pasta to al dente, according to the instructions of the package, in salted boiling water.
- Drain the pasta, and put it back in the pot.
- Add in the pesto and some parmesan cheese, and toss to combine.
- Serve drizzled with more olive oil and sprinkled with more cheese.