Make this pesto pasta for one in just 10 minutes with pre-made pesto sauce, like this Arugula Basil Pesto or Pistachio Pesto. It's a quick dinner to throw together on days you didn't plan ahead and want something equally easy and delicious.
[This recipe was originally posted in April 2016. It has been updated with new photos, cooking instructions, expert tips, FAQ, related recipes, video and ways to repurpose/use up ingredients]
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How will this pasta make your life easier?
If you ever had days where you didn't plan dinner, but aren't in the mood for take-out or cereal-this pesto pasta is for you! You can have an easy dinner in just 10-15 minutes, depending on whether you have pesto in your pantry.
This pasta is full of delicious pantry ingredients like pasta, edamame, frozen vegetables, pesto, grated parmesan cheese, and red pepper flakes (if you want). Now this ingredient list doesn't look like a thrown together dinner-but it is!
Make this Arugula Basil Pesto when you have too much arugula or basil around, and freeze for later. Or grab your favorite jar of pre-made pesto sauce from the store.
Need more quick dinner ideas? Here are a couple faves: Pasta with Black Beans, White Bean and Farro Bowl, Black Bean and Veggie Quesadilla, and Sheet Pan Shrimp Dinner.
What makes this pasta with pesto so good?
How do I make this recipe?
*Make your own pesto or use store bought pesto for this 10 minute pasta recipe.
Cook pasta according to package directions. Add edamame and frozen vegetables to pasta when it has about 5 minutes left to cook.
Reserve 1-2 Tablespoons of pasta water, then drain water.
Transfer pasta and vegetables to serving bowl or mixing bowl. Add fresh or frozen pesto and toss. Top pesto pasta with grated parmesan cheese and red chili flakes (optional) and enjoy.
- Chicken, salmon, tofu, and shrimp are all good proteins to go on this pasta if you don't have edamame.
- Be careful about heating store-bought pesto up as it may turn brown/black. The Arugula Basil Pesto shouldn't turn brown/black because it doesn't have a ton of basil in it.
- Frozen vegetables cook easily in the pasta water, and are inexpensive, but you can substitute them for any other vegetable, or don't add vegetables.
- Other great add-ins: cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, toasted pine nuts or cashews, extra virgin olive oil.
As a dietitian, I recommend eating a variety of foods, so yes, it's healthy. This pasta is full of great flavors, and is a great way to add vegetables to your dinner, if you'd like to eat more.
This pasta for one is vegetarian. It's got edamame to add protein. It's not vegan because there's cheese in the pesto and the garnish, but you can substitute nutritional yeast for the parmesan cheese.
It's great both hot, cold, and room temperature. That's why using edamame is great, it won't go bad if it's sitting out. This pasta makes for a good lunch because you don't have to heat it up.
What can I make with leftover ingredients?
- Pasta: Here are a bunch of pasta recipes.
- Edamame: Beef and Broccoli or Mandarin Orange and Spinach Salad
- Parmesan Cheese: 15 Minute Pasta, One Pot Chicken Parmesan Pasta, or Pasta with Mushroom Sauce
Did you make this pesto pasta? Leave me a comment & rating to share how it turned out!
Pesto Pasta for One
- Medium Pot
- medium mixing bowl
- MIcroplaner or Box Grater
- 2 ounces pasta of choice
- ¼ cup shelled edamame
- ¼ cup freezer pesto
- ½ cup frozen vegetables optional
- grated parmesan cheese to taste
- red pepper flakes optional
- Cook 2 ounces pasta according to box directions.
- When pasta is about 5 minutes from being done, add ¼ cup frozen edamame and ½ cup frozen vegetables (optional) to cooking pasta. Finish cooking until vegetables are tender and pasta is al dente.
- Reserve 1-2 Tablespoons of pasta water before draining
- Drain water, transfer pasta to serving bowl or mixing bowl, add back 1 Tablespoon of pasta water, and ¼ cup pesto. Stir until all pasta is coated with pesto. Add more pasta water if needed.
- Top with parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes if desired. Serve hot or cold.
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Lauren Grant | Zestful Kitchen says
Ok, now I'm hungry! All my favorite ingredients, looks and sounds delicious!
yes so many great ingredients! thanks Lauren!
Kathryn Pfeffer says
I love using hemp seeds in pesto! This dish looks so fresh and delicious! Can't wait to try it!
me too! such an easy and nutty addition!