Creamy Pesto Pasta

This simple, creamy pesto pasta is wonderfully herby and so easy to make in just 20 minutes for a weeknight meal the whole family will love!

When it comes to herby dishes, I am in heaven. Clearly, I named my blog Herbs & Flour for a reason! This creamy pesto pasta is one of those dishes that I absolutely love for its herby, nutty flavour all thanks for basil pesto.

What I also love about this dish? It’s ready in 20 minutes! Perfect for busy weeknights and with simple ingredients I always have on hand.

You can use jarred pesto for this or make your own. I prefer to use my homemade Basil Pesto, whether I make it fresh or go into my freezer stash (details on how I freeze pesto in the post linked above).

plated creamy pesto pasta topped with fresh basil

Why you should make Creamy Pesto Pasta

  • it’s delicious!

  • it takes only 20 minutes from start to finish

  • it’s packed with fresh, herby flavour

  • the recipe uses simple ingredients you likely have on hand

  • it’s definitely a crowd-pleaser (even the pickiest eaters I know like pesto)
creamy pesto pasta on a white plate and a glass of white wine

How do you make creamy pesto?

Creamy pesto sauce is made by combining a traditional pesto sauce with cream or milk. To make the sauce I follow these steps:

  1. Melt butter and add pesto. Whisk together.

  2. Once it begins to bubble, add the milk or cream and whisk until the sauce thickens.

  3. Add the cooked pasta and toss it all together, using reserved pasta water if needed to thin out sauce.
steps for making creamy pesto sauce

What pasta goes with pesto sauce?

You can choose any pasta shape you like for serving up with with this creamy pesto sauce. Small shapes like shells or bow ties work well as well as longer noodles like fettucine. Another good option is gnocchi!

creamy pesto pasta topped with fresh basil

What to serve with creamy pesto pasta

This recipe is perfect as is for an easy vegetarian meal, but we often add protein to the pasta or on the side. Chicken, shrimp and sausage are our personal favourites but you can add any protein you like.

I highly recommend topping the creamy pesto pasta with lots of Parmesan cheese when serving (I mean, who doesn’t love more cheese?)! Toasted pine nuts is another nice addition which adds a lovely crunch!

Storing leftovers and reheating

Once cooled completely, leftover pasta can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge. It will keep for a few days. To reheat it, place the pasta in a pot or skillet and add a splash of milk or water to re-hydrate the pasta. Heat it over medium heat until warmed through.

Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!


You may also like:

Basil Pesto
Summer Gnocchi with Corn, Tomatoes & Pesto
Baked Pesto Chicken

creamy pesto pasta on a white plate and a glass of white wine

I hope you enjoy this recipe! If you try it and love it as much as I do, I would love to hear about it! Leave a rating and/or comment below to let me know!

plated creamy pesto pasta topped with fresh basil

Creamy Pesto Pasta

This simple, creamy pesto pasta is wonderfully herby and so easy to make in just 20 minutes for a weeknight meal the whole family will love!
5 from 10 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4
Calories 458 kcal


  • 300 grams pasta of choice (about 11 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup Basil Pesto
  • 1/4 cup milk or cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Parmesan grated, to serve


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and reserve 1/4 cup pasta water.
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet or pot, add the butter and melt over medium heat. Add the pesto and whisk until it begins to bubble.
  • Lower the heat to medium-low and slowly whisk in the milk or cream until it is incorporated. Add the cook pasta and toss to coat. If needed, use reserved pasta water to thin out sauce.
  • Plate pesto pasta and top with freshly grated parmesan cheese and toasted pine nuts (optional).

Note: Metric ingredient measurements are provided as a courtesy using a third-party calculator and are rounded to the nearest unit. The recipes provided on this site have not been tested with metric measurements and their accuracy cannot be verified.


Calories: 458kcalCarbohydrates: 59gProtein: 12gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 19mgSodium: 351mgPotassium: 189mgFiber: 3gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 825IUCalcium: 85mgIron: 1mg

The nutritional information provided is based on third-party calculations and is an estimate only. Accurate nutritional facts will vary based on the particular brands used, portion sizes, measurement accuracy and more.

Keyword basil, creamy pasta, fresh herbs, pasta, pesto, quick dinner
Tried this recipe?Leave a star rating and comment below to let us know how it was!


  1. 5 stars
    Super easy, and delicious!! I will save it to my recipe book.

  2. 5 stars
    I love it! So simple and easy and tastes so good!

  3. Daniella

    5 stars
    Omg, this was soooo perfect! I used my protein pasta and for the milk I used almond unsweetened. It was light but flavorful. Making this again! Thank you for the wonderful recipe!

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