This one-pan Creamy Penne Pesto Pasta is packed with flavor and ready in just 10 minutes! Perfect for an easy weeknight meal!
This pasta. This pasta! One pan, 10 minutes and a couple ingredients equals a very happy girl.
I generally consider comfort food to be something like Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole, a big bowl of mashed potatoes, or a nice sunday roast. But this creamy pesto pasta is basically the definition of comfort food.
Easy, creamy, and cheesy. Those three things are good for the soul!
I have been playing around with one-pan dishes for a while now, so one pan rice dishes are kind of a no brainer. However, one-pan pasta recipes are a little trickier. You have to have just the right pasta to liquid ratio, and just the right amount of spices so it is flavorful enough but not overpowering.
Ingredients for the Penne Pesto Pasta
The pasta and creamy pesto sauce get cooked in the same pot, so the pasta winds up being super flavorful! Here’s what you’ll need to make this recipe:
- White wine
- Heavy cream
- Basil pesto
- Penne pasta
- Shredded mozzarella
- Fresh basil (for garnish)
How to Make Penne Pesto Pasta
For this pesto cream pasta, I brought water, white wine, heavy cream, pesto and a bit of garlic to a boil, tossed in a box of pasta and called it a day. It really doesn’t get any easier.
I topped the creamy pesto pasta with cheese and fresh basil. If you wanted to make this a complete meal, you could add in some shredded chicken, but I wanted pure carbs in all their glory.
What Basil Pesto Should I Use?
You can use any you’d like, and both store-bought and homemade pesto will work. If you follow a gluten-free diet like we do, I recommend buying the Mezzetta brand pesto. I believe the Delallo brand is gluten-free as well, but that one is harder for me to find.
Can I Use Another Type of Pasta?
Yes, but note that different pasta shapes call for different cook times. However, another short, sturdy pasta should be fine to cook in the creamy pesto sauce.
Can I Substitute the White Wine?
If you don’t keep wine on hand, you may substitute it with chicken or veggie broth. The pesto cream pasta won’t taste as rich as mine did, but it will be more flavorful than if you use all water.
Tips for Making Creamy Pesto Pasta
- You can’t sub in milk or half and half for the heavy cream without risking it curdling. Heavy cream is more stable and is best suited for this recipe.
- I used Barilla Gluten-Free Penne for this recipe and 10 minutes was perfect. Read the cooking time on the specific type of pasta you are using and adjust accordingly.
- I used a green pesto sauce to make this recipe, but I bet a sun-dried tomato pesto or something similar would also work.
More Quick Pasta Dinners:
- Browned Butter and Brussels Sprouts Penne
- One-Pan Shrimp Pasta
- Cheesy Chili Mac
- One-Pan Cheesy Sausage Pasta
- Easy Taco Mac
- 3 cups water
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1/2 cup heavy cream*
- 3/4 cup basil pesto
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 4 cups dry penne (one 12 ounce box)**
- 1/2-3/4 cup shredded mozzarella
- Additional basil for garnish
- In a large skillet or pot, bring the water, wine and cream to a boil.
- Add the pesto, garlic and penne. Reduce heat to medium and let it simmer for 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
- After 10 minutes, check to make sure pasta is tender.
- Top with cheese and basil.
- *Unfortunately, you can't sub in milk or half and half without risking it curdling. Heavy cream is more stable, and is best suited for this recipe.
- **I used Barilla Gluten Free Penne for this recipe and 10 minutes was perfect. Read the cooking time on the specific type of pasta you are using and adjust accordingly.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 429Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 42mgSodium: 292mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 13g
To avoid any confusion I remove erythritol from the final carb count and net carb count, as it is not known to affect blood glucose levels. To calculate Keto recipes listed on this site carbs - fiber = net carbs. I use Nutrifox as my nutrition calculator. This nutrition information is an estimate based on the information provided by Nutrifox and the specific ingredients I used.