Creamy Pesto Pasta

Creamy pesto pasta is a tasty, easy side that’s perfect for pasta lovers. I think we like to have simple recipes with minimal ingredients that we always have on hand.

This pasta is especially lovely with a fresh and herby main dish like lemon garlic chicken or butter garlic shrimp. The bright, bold flavors of lemon and garlic complement the pesto pasta nicely.

Add a simple green veggie or a salad for a delicious, complete meal.


Pasta: I like linguine or spaghetti pasta, but bowtie or penne pasta would be excellent.

Basil Pesto: I really like this pesto I found at ALDI’s. Of course, homemade pesto would be fabulous! The basil in my garden needs to be harvested soon as the season is coming to an end. Note to self to make some pesto. 🙂

Half & Half or Canned Coconut Milk: Combines with the basil to add creaminess and help the pesto coat the pasta. I always have half & half available, but I had some coconut milk to use up and gave it a try. Both are excellent choices.


Start by getting a large pot of water to a boil. Once the water comes to a boil, add the pasta and cook according to package directions. Linguine will typically take 9 – 11 minutes.

While the pasta is cooking, combine your pesto and half & half. You could also skip this step and just add both ingredients directly to the pot, but I like to mix them ahead of time.

Before you drain the pasta, reserve a quarter of a cup or so to add the dish. I use a metal measuring cup.

Drain the pasta and back to the pot that you just used to cook it. Stir in the pesto and half & half. Add a splash of pasta water and stir. Add a bit more pasta water at a time until desired consistency. We usually like a thicker sauce.

Serve creamy pesto pasta with a sprinkle of fresh basil and enjoy!

Creamy Pesto Pasta

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 2


  • 2 servings linguine or spaghetti pasta
  • 2 Tbsp basil pesto
  • 1 Tbsp half & half or canned coconut milk


  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions. Before draining the pasta, remove 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water. Drain and add the pasta back into the hot pot.
  • Add the pesto and half & half or coconut milk, tossing to combine. Thin the pasta as desired with the reserved pasta cooking water.

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