How Much Pesto For A Pound Of Pasta This Vegetarian Pesto Pasta Dish Is a Great Weeknight Dinner

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5 mins

10 mins

15 mins

4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
465 Calories
36g Fat
24g Carbs
14g Protein

Show Full Nutrition Label


Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 465
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 36g 46%
Saturated Fat 8g 39%
Cholesterol 26mg 9%
Sodium 542mg 24%
Total Carbohydrate 24g 9%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 14g
Vitamin C 2mg 10%
Calcium 279mg 21%
Iron 2mg 11%
Potassium 180mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This easy pesto pasta recipe makes a terrific side dish or vegetarian main course in no time. It’s a great choice for a weeknight dinner when cooking time is limited.


  • 8 ounces penne pasta, regular or whole wheat

  • 1 cup pesto, homemade or purchased

  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions for al dente.

    Boiling pasta.

     The Spruce
  3. Drain the pasta, and immediately toss with pesto, stirring to coat the pasta completely.

  4. Turn into a serving bowl and sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the top.

  5. Serve pesto pasta immediately with garlic bread for a light and tasty vegetarian meal, or cover, refrigerate, and rewarm for dinner the next day.

    Homemade pesto pasta.

     The Spruce
  6. Enjoy!


  • This dish can be made the night before, refrigerated, and then rewarmed for dinner the next day.
  • To save time, store-bought basil pesto is used here, but spinach pesto, sun-dried tomato pesto, or homemade pesto can be used to good effect.
  • This recipe easily can be doubled or tripled without sacrificing flavor.

Recipe Variations

  • If you’re a fan of Alfredo sauces, a creamy version of pesto pasta should appeal to you. To alter this recipe, heat 1 tablespoon good-quality olive oil (extra-virgin isn’t necessary) in a skillet over medium heat. Whisk in the pesto sauce and heat until warm, and then slowly drizzle in 1/4 cup heavy cream while whisking constantly. If the sauce is too thick, add up to 3 tablespoons water and stir to create a velvety sauce.
  • A rotisserie chicken breast and chopped tomatoes make for a heartier variation.
  • Sauté 1/2 pound deveined, tailless shrimp in 1 to 2 tablespoons hot olive oil for 3 minutes. When done, mix it in with the pesto sauce and combine with the cooked pasta.
  • One-half pound raw chicken cubes can be sautéd in 1 to 2 tablespoons hot olive oil for 6 to 7 minutes or until cooked through and then mixed with the pesto sauce and pasta.
  • Steam or flash fry 2 cups broccoli florets in olive oil for 2 to 3 minutes and add it to the pesto sauce and pasta.
  • Diced cooked, beef, pork, salmon, or any other protein, including drained firm tofu, can be added to the pesto sauce.

Types of Pesto

Pesto is the Italian word for “pounded” and it refers to the traditional method used to prepare this type of uncooked sauce which originated in Genoa, Italy—by pounding the ingredients together in a mortar and pestle. Today, we have the luxury of using a food processor, which makes this a simple, fresh way to dress pasta.

Traditional pestos are made with fresh basil, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese, and olive oil. Modern versions are made with everything from kale, to cilantro, mint, parsley, arugula, spinach, broccoli, broccolini, beet greens, and more in place of the basil.

Pasta Choices

The best type of pasta to use for a sauce like this is something tubular with a hole in the middle or one that has corkscrew twists to soak up more of the sauce.

While linguine, spaghetti, fettuccine, and farfalle can be used, any sauce tends to slide off these types of pasta. For maximum sauce absorption, go with penne, fusilli, tortellini, orecchiette, bucatini, cavatappi, ditali, gemeli, gnocchi, and others that twist or have a hole in the middle.

Video about How Much Pesto For A Pound Of Pasta

How To Make Pesto Pasta | Penne Pasta With Pesto Sauce | The Bombay Chef – Varun Inamdar

Learn how to make Pesto Pasta an yummylicious pasta recipe with The Bombay Chef Varun Inamdar.

A perfect guide to make amazingly delicious pesto pasta at home . So with The Bombay Chef Varun Inamdar learn to make tempting and delicious, easy to make Pesto Pasta only on Rajshri Food.

For the pesto
A large bowl fresh basil leaves
7-8 garlic pods
1 cup olive oil
Half cup cashew nuts
1/4th cup Parmesan cheese
Cracked pepper to taste
Salt to taste

1 cup boiled pasta
Few cherry tomatoes
Parmesan cheese to garnish
Pepper to garnish

– In a bowl add fresh basil leaves, cashew nuts, garlic pods, Parmesan cheese, salt and black pepper and add olive oil and mix it all well
– In a pan full of water add salt, pasta and let it boil for 10 minutes
– In a grinder, blend the mixed ingredients to run into fine smooth paste add some olive oil
– Transfer it into another bowl
– In a pan add some oil, cherry tomatoes and boiled pasta and some salted water and add the pesto sauce.
– Add some basil leaves and the pesto pasta is ready to be served!

Host: Varun Inamdar
Copyrights: Rajshri Entertainment Private Limited

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