This easy recipe for Creamy Pesto Pasta Bake is perfect for busy weeknights. Your favorite pasta shape is coated in a creamy sauce made with store-bought pesto, or you can make your own pesto. Either way, the creamy pesto sauce is going to cling to the pasta and when it's topped with fresh Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh basil, your whole family is going to love it!
Who doesn't love pasta dishes that come together in 30 minutes or less?! This easy recipe is a delicious dinner the whole family will love. It's a great addition to a weekly meal plan.
You can literally use any pasta shape and also add sliced grilled chicken or chopped rotisserie chicken to this recipe.
You can find these basic ingredients in your local grocery store.
- rigatoni pasta - or use your own favorite pasta shape. Long noodles work very well in this recipe too. Whole wheat pasta is perfect as well!
- heavy cream - helps to thicken the sauce. I used whipping cream and it was dee-li-cious!
- fresh garlic, minced
- red chili flakes
- store-bought jarred pesto or make your own
- Parmesan cheese - go for the fresh stuff which is best.
- Salt & Black pepper
- Mozzarella cheese
- Fresh basil
Step By Step Instructions
Everything for this recipe is made on the stovetop and ready in 30 minutes or less!
In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook pasta according to package directions until al dente.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, sauté butter and garlic over medium heat for one to two minutes until garlic has softened just a little.
Turn heat to low and gradually stir in heavy cream, reserved pasta water, red pepper flakes and pesto.
Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, just until sauce starts to bubble and thicken a little. Stir in grated Parmesan cheese.
Stir in the cooked pasta and stir until pasta noodles are coated in the sauce.
Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh basil and an optional sprinkle of hot pepper flakes.
Jarred pesto sauce and heavy cream with garlic and butter are the main ingredients for creamy pesto.
Add a side serving of steamed green beans, broccoli, roasted tomatoes or sliced grilled chicken.
Storage and Reheating Instructions
Storage: Store leftover pasta in airtight container in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days. This recipe does not freeze well and I do not recommend it.
Microwave to reheat: On microwave-safe plate, heat individual portions one minute at a time, stirring after each minute until heated through.