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.
Table of Contents
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.
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
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
- salt and pepper
Step by Step Instructions
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.
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.
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
- Almond Pesto Salmon
- Meatloaf recipe
- Buffalo Chicken Dip
- Baked Pork Chops
- Orange Chicken
- Italian Chicken Casserole
Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟rating in the recipe card below & a review in the comments section below!
- 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
- Cook noodles according to package directions.
- Place remaining ingredients in food processor. Process until blended. Serve over warm noodles.
- Sprinkle with extra grated parmesan cheese, if desired. Enjoy!
- 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.
Basil, garlic, pine nuts and Parmesan cheese come together over pasta for a simple, fresh and flavorful dinner.
When we didn’t have access to fresh basil, my Mom used parsley. She also included sliced potatoes with the pasta, and sometimes Italian green beans. LOVED Mom’s pesto! It’s also great added to soups and stews. P.S. Pine nuts weren’t always available, so we left them out. But walnuts will do in a pinch if you really want a nutty pesto.
Can you use avocado oil instead of olive oil?
This looks great! I love all things basil 🙂
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?
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!
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. 🙂
My neighbor just brought us a ton of fresh basil – perfect timing on this one!
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!
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!!
Oh, yum! I could eat this every night for dinner!
PS…can’t wait to see what you whip up with your madeleines 🙂