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Pesto Pasta

Total Time

Prep/Total Time: 20 min.


6 servings

Updated: Mar. 24, 2023
This easy pesto pasta recipe from Karen Behrend of Newport, Washington, is vibrant and flavorful thanks to homemade pesto with fresh basil. Toss the pesto with spaghetti, linguini, rotini or your favorite pasta shape. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
Pesto Pasta Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 8 ounces uncooked spaghetti
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 garlic clove, quartered
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup olive oil


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, in a blender or food processor, place the basil, parsley, Parmesan cheese, salt, garlic and nutmeg. Cover and process on low for 1 minute or until very finely chopped. While processing, gradually add oil in a steady stream. Drain pasta; top with pesto and toss to coat.
Pesto Pasta Tips

Can you use store-bought pesto instead of homemade?

Yes, you can swap in store-bought pesto when making pesto pasta to save time. Just keep two things in mind: Our Test Kitchen's picks for the best store-bought pestos, and our favorite recipes using pesto to use up the leftovers.

What other pasta shapes pair well with pesto?

Besides spaghetti, pesto pairs best with long, thin noodles like linguine, fettuccine, cappellini and bucatini. However, it also works with shorter textured noodles like gemelli or orecchiette. Check out our guide to pasta shapes to learn more about which sauces pair best with different noodles.

How do you garnish pesto pasta?

Top your plate of pesto pasta with blistered cherry tomatoes, grated Parmesan, black pepper, or even a little burrata cheese. For heat, sprinkle on red pepper flakes. Fresh basil would amplify the basil in the pesto, if you've got extra to use up or a basil plant that's ready for harvesting.

What's the best way to reheat pesto pasta?

One of the things I learned studying the history of Italian food in Tuscany is that you should be very careful reheating pesto. Anything more than gently warming it up will cause the color of the pesto to change, and you'll no longer have a vibrant green sauce coating your noodles. If you do have leftovers, warm the pesto pasta over low heat on the stove or in short bouts in the microwave to avoid overheating.

Lauren Pahmeier, Taste of Home Associate Editor

Nutrition Facts

3/4 cup: 263 calories, 14g fat (2g saturated fat), 3mg cholesterol, 261mg sodium, 29g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 1g fiber), 6g protein.

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