The BEST Creamy Pesto Pasta
This creamy pesto pasta recipe is a quick and delicious dinner! Just 7 ingredients and 15 minutes, this recipe is perfect for busy weeknights!
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15 Minute Creamy Pesto Pasta
Too busy on weeknights, but still want a delicious dinner that is ready FAST? I’ve got you covered! From walking into the kitchen to walking out of the kitchen with a warm bowl of this creamy pesto pasta, it will take you 15 minutes or less. I promise you, I timed myself. And that even includes the boiling time for the water!
I use fettuccine pasta, but in the past, I’ve used faster cooking pasta like spaghetti, angel hair, or shells which take even less time. If you have some leftover chicken or veggies, throw it in as well. This quick and easy creamy pasta dinner is so yummy and totally kid-approved! Pesto for the win!
Homemade Pesto vs. Storebought Pesto
In the summer, when my basis is overflowing, I love to use my homemade pesto recipe to make the creamy sauce. However, I have found that storebought works as well to make a creamy pesto sauce! Pro tip: I find that refrigerated store-bought pesto has a better flavor than shelf-stable pesto. Trader Joe’s sells a delicious pesto in their refrigerated section that you can see in the ingredient photo above!
Homemade Pesto Ingredients
- 2 Packed Cups of Basil Leaves
- 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
- 1/2 Cup Roasted, Unsalted Pine Nuts
- 3 cloves of Garlic
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
How to Make Homemade Pesto
Pasta: I love my creamy pesto sauce smothered over fettuccine noodles, but use whatever pasta you have on hand and love. You can also use gluten-free pasta if needed.
Dairy-Free & Vegan: You can make this creamy pesto pasta & sauce recipe dairy-free if needed.
- Use ghee or plant-based/vegan butter in place of the regular butter.
- Use dairy-free pesto (my recipe for homemade pesto is dairy-free!).
- Substitute original flavor Nutpods in place of the cream and milk.
- Measure the same quantities for all substitutions.
Storage: Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for at least 5 days. Reheat in the microwave until warm.
Adding Protein: For extra protein, add your favorite meat or seafood to this pasta. Creamy pesto sauce goes great over chicken, shrimp, etc.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I freeze this fettuccine pasta with creamy pesto sauce recipe? Yes! This recipe actually freezes super well. Put leftovers in an airtight, freezer-safe container and store them in the freezer for at least 6 months.
What else can I make with creamy pesto sauce? Pesto by itself is amazing on eggs, avocado toast, and sandwiches, and makes a great dip. This creamy pesto sauce is the perfect topping for multiple types of meat and protein, and a variety of pasta dishes. It would even go great in a casserole! Pesto is so versatile!
More Creamy Pasta Recipes!
The BEST Creamy Pesto Pasta
- Boil a large pot of water over high heat. Season the water generously with salt, and cook the pasta according to the manufacturers instructions.1 pound pasta, kosher salt
- Heat a large skillet over medium low heat. Add in the butter and garlic. Cook for 30-60 seconds until the garlic is fragrant.3 tablespoons salted butter, 4 cloves of garlic
- Pour in the heavy cream, milk and pesto. Stir and cook for 1 minute to warm through. Turn heat to low, then add in the parmesan cheese. Stir until it is melted.2 cups heavy cream, 1 cup milk, 1/4 cup pesto, 2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Grab the cooked pasta with tongs out of the boiling water and add it directly to the sauce. Toss to combine. Add pasta water if the sauce needs to be thinned out.
- Serve warm, garnished with parmesan cheese.
- See the Recipe Notes below for more tips, FAQ's and ingredient substitutions.
Nutrition facts are calculated as a courtesy and not guaranteed.