Pesto Pasta

Simple and delicious, Pesto Pasta uses fresh basil and garlic for an easy and crowd pleasing dinner. Add some grilled chicken or fish for a complete meal.

Easy pasta dinners are our jam! We love this simple Lemon Garlic Pasta recipe. Whether you enjoy it as a meal or a side dish. Or try this Million Dollar Spaghetti Casserole for dinner tonight. Hearty and delicious.

White bowl with basil pesto pasta, fresh grated parmesan cheese, and a side of plates and forks.

Why this Recipe Works

Right now I have basil bushes growing in my garden. Three of them. I love basil and cook with it often but even for me–It’s a lot of basil.

Lucky for me, this means I have an excuse to make a ton of pesto. Homemade pesto is one of my all time favorite things. Well, that and bruschetta.

The best part about this recipe though, is pesto is so EASY to make. Easy is very important.

I want my family dinners to be easy and hassle free; no fuss required. Of course, they also need to be delicious and kid approved. I know I’m not alone in that! 

You can never have too many easy weeknight dinner recipes to fall back on when life gets busy. I’m excited for you to try this pesto recipe and add it to your list of go-to meals. 

  • This pesto recipe is garlicky and fragrant with a rich savory flavor from the pine nuts.
  • It’s an ideal summertime meal using herbs straight from the garden, but it’s also more than worth buying a bunch of basil from the store if you don’t grow your own. 
Spaghetti noodles with homemade pesto and parmesan cheese in a white serving bowl.

Ingredients Needed

If you can use a food processor, you can make homemade pesto. Here’s what you need: 

  • olive oil
  • pine nuts
  • basil leaves
  • parmesan cheese
  • garlic
  • salt and pepper

Step by Step Instructions

Step by step photo collage on how to make basil pesto.

Place everything in the food processor and pulse until combined. Pesto should have a little texture to it so be careful not to puree it! Taste and adjust the salt and pepper if needed. Toss with warm noodles and serve! 

Sometimes the simplest meals are the best; this pasta with pesto is tasty and satisfying just as is. It’s also delicious with the addition of vegetables like steamed or sauteed broccoli, tomato and peas.

Throw in some cooked chicken and you have a Chicken Pesto Pasta dinner that’s ready in almost no time at all.

How to Store Pesto Pasta 

Any leftover pesto should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge.

It’ll keep for up to 5 days; but it never lasts that long in this house. When I made this recipe, I served the whole batch with our pasta and there wasn’t a single bite leftover. 

Feeding a crowd? Feel free to double the recipe.

Depending on the size of your food processor, you may need to make it in two batches to ensure everything gets combined. 

Pesto pasta with parmesan cheese in a white serving bowl and cheese grater on the side.

Can you freeze pesto 

Making pesto to freeze is a great way to store summer flavor from your garden for the colder months.

Freeze it in airtight freezer safe bags and let defrost in the fridge before warming when ready to serve. 

You can also freeze pesto in smaller portions by freezing it in ice cube trays. This method means you can remove only what you need for a meal without defrosting an entire batch. 

Serving Suggestions

I served this pesto over angel hair pasta. It’s also delicious on spaghetti, penne, bow tie or just about any other kind of noodle you like.

Leftovers, if you have any, make a great lunch the next day.

Pesto pasta tastes good served warm or cold, making it a great option to pack into lunch boxes for the office or school.

You can also enjoy this pesto on chicken and fish or as a spread for sandwiches. A bowl of pesto served with crusty fresh bread makes a beautiful appetizer or party snack as well!

Pesto Pork Tenderloin is a delicious way to enjoy homemade pesto! 

More Easy Dinner Recipes

Yield: serves 6

Pesto Pasta

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Simple and delicious, Pesto Pasta uses fresh basil and garlic for an easy and crowd pleasing dinner. Add some grilled chicken or fish for a complete meal.


  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 12 ounce angel hair pasta, cooked and drained


  1. Cook noodles according to package directions.
  2. Place remaining ingredients in food processor. Process until blended. Serve over warm noodles.
  3. Sprinkle with extra grated parmesan cheese, if desired. Enjoy!


  • See blog post for more recipe tips and tricks!

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 361Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 348mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 7g

*Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Basil, garlic, pine nuts and Parmesan cheese come together over pasta for a simple, fresh and flavorful dinner. 

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About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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Posted on January 24, 2020

Comments & Reviews

  1. I’ve been craving for pesto pasta this week, thank you for sharing this! It is okay to use a gluten free pasta for this dish?

  2. YUMMMMMM. I die for pesto! I put it on literally everything and have been searching for a good recipe so I can make pesto pizza at home. Thanks for this, Aimee!

  3. You got my attention with the words “pesto” and “pasta” in the title… as always, it’s a treat to see what you’ve conjured up in your kitchen. 🙂

  4. I have an INSANE amount of basil growing in my backyard! For some reason I didn’t realize that pesto was made with basil, and you just made me so excited to try this recipe!

  5. This looks like a great recipe! Pesto is one of my favorite Italian flavors!

    I just wanted to let you know that today I have posted one of your peanut butter cookie recipes on my blog. I tried it out and loved them! I made sure you let everyone know it was your recipe, too. Thank you!!

    Blessings, Leslie

  6. Oh, yum! I could eat this every night for dinner!

    PS…can’t wait to see what you whip up with your madeleines 🙂

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