This creamy pesto pasta recipe is super easy to make. All you need is 20 minutes, a small jar of pesto, heavy cream, your favorite pasta, sun dried tomatoes and parmesan. I like to top mine with burrata but that is totally optional!
What is Creamy Pesto Pasta?
Creamy Pesto Pasta is a dish made by combining pasta with a creamy sauce made with jarred basil pesto, cream, garlic, parmesan cheese, and my favorite - burrata . The pasta is usually cooked separately and then tossed with the sauce to coat it well.
Creamy Pesto Pasta is a delicious and easy-to-make dish that can be enjoyed as a main course or a side dish. The sauce can be customized with additional ingredients such as chicken, shrimp, or roasted vegetables, depending on personal preferences.
I'm using jarred pesto but you could also use a fresh pesto of your liking.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Ditalini pasta - this short tube pasta is awesome with this sauce but you could use any variety of pasta you like.
- Olive oil - olive oil is best but avocado oil or butter would work, too.
- Garlic Cloves - fresh is best but you could sub for shallots if in a pinch.
- Red pepper flakes - these don't add a lot of heat - just flavor. Leave them off if you're not a red pepper flake person.
- Heavy Cream - I highly recommend heavy cream bc it's so luscious and smooth but you could def use a full fat milk or some sort of unsweetened nut pod.
- Jar of pesto - I use jarred for convenience sake but you could absolutely make your own.
- Sun dried tomatoes - I love sun dried tomatoes but they're totally optional. They add the perfect pop of sweetness.
- Parmigiano - You could also use grana padano or another hard aged parmesan cheese.
- Burrata - Burrata is an optional topper but i think it adds soo much flavor! You could also use fresh mozzarella or stracciatella.
How to make Creamy Pesto Pasta
Making creamy pesto pasta is super easy espeically since we're using a store bought pesto.
To begin, cook pasta according to the directions on the box. Strain and set aside making sure to reserve pasta water for later.
While that's cooking, you'll want to add olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes to a large sauce pan (I'm using the new Always Pan 2.0) and cook over medium heat until the garlic is fragrant and tender.
Now stir in the heavy cream, the jar of pesto, the chopped sun dried tomatoes, and a pinch of salt turn the heat down to medium low.
Let the sauce simmer and thicken for 5-10 minutes until slightly reduced.
Stir in the cooked pasta and add the parmigiano. If the pasta sauce is too thick, you could add a little bit of pasta water if needed.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Before serving, I like to place it in a large bowl and then top it with with burrata, olive oil, and red pepper flakes.
What goes with Creamy Pesto Pasta
For an appetizer, I suggest making my Florida Cobb Salad,.
For dessert, you could try my Viral TikTok Cinnamon Rolls as a delicious sweet treat.
And if you'd like more tasty pasta recipes, try this Gochujang Pasta, Caramelized Zucchini Pasta, or Sausage, Pepper & Onion Lasagne.
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Creamy Pesto Pasta
- ½ lb Ditalini pasta or another shape of your choice
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic cloves minced
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 Jar pesto 190 grams
- ½ cup sun dried tomatoes finely chopped
- ¼ cup parmigiano grated
- 1 ball burrata
- Cook pasta according to the directions on the box. Strain and set aside making sure to reserve pasta water for later.
- Meanwhile, add olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes to a large sauce pan and cook over medium heat until the garlic is fragrant and tender.
- Stir in the heavy cream, pesto, sun dried tomatoes, and a pinch of salt turn the heat down to medium low. Let the sauce simmer and thicken for 5-10 minutes until slightly reduced.
- Stir in the cooked pasta and add the parmigiano.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Top with burrata, olive oil, and red pepper flakes before serving.