Easy One-Pot Pesto Pasta

Need something for dinner quick? One-pot pesto pasta (with peas!) to the rescue.

Have you ever arrived home just before dinner needs to be served? Or perhaps need to change your meal plan because the meat wasn't thawed/you have a vegetarian guest/you need a break from Thanksgiving leftovers and/or you just want pasta? Try this easy, tasty, one-pot vegetarian pasta. In 30 minutes you, too, can be grating Parmesan over this comforting dish. 

Last Minute Pesto Pasta with Peas

Last night I made this pasta as kind of a combination of all of the above reasons. I had planned to have turkey leftovers but didn't want to go through the trouble of gettig out all the containers and figuring out how to reheat everything. Also, we had gotten our Christmas tree that day, brought up the decorations, and whiled away the afternoon making things look pretty. Also, our housemate eats with us and she is vegetarian. 

Pesto pasta never disappoints

And, lastly, we just really like this dish. It never disappoints. It can be customized how you like, with fresh ground pepper or red pepper flakes for spice lovers, with a fried egg or two for protein lovers or, as my five-year-old prefers, with the peas carefully picked out, the pasta eaten first, the Parmesan eaten second and, lastly, the peas. It's a win all around. 

How to Eat It

I served this with eggs. My favorite way to eat this is with extra virgin olive oil drizzled on top, fresh ground pepper, flaky sea salt, grated Parmesan and a fried egg. Absolute perfection. 

While you can use any pasta you like, I like to use orecchiette. It holds the pesto sauce nicely and allows the peas to nestle inside. 

And if you have pesto saved away from the summer, that would be lovely. I used a jar of store bought pesto in mine. It still tasted wonderful.

Are you inspired yet? You probably already have the ingredients. Let's get started!

Easy One-Pot Pesto Pasta

Ready in 30 minutes

Serves 4-6


16 oz orrecchiette pasta, or another type will work too
8 oz (half a bag) frozen peas
1 cup (I used a 6.7 oz jar) pesto
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
optional fresh ground pepper, flaky sea salt, and/or fried eggs


1. Bring about 6 cups of water to boil. Once it is boiling, add two big pinches salt. Pour in your pasta. Set the timer for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. While the pasta cooks, grate the Parmesan cheese. Measure 1/2 cup to stir into the pasta and set aside 1/4 cup to sprinkle on top.

3. When the timer rings, pour in 8 oz. of frozen peas. Set the timer for 4 minutes. Stir a couple of times. 

4. After 4 minutes, check the pasta for doneness. You may need to cook it another couple of minutes. When it is finished reserve 1/2 cup pasta water. Drain the pasta and peas in a colander. Add it back to the pot you cooked it in.

5. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil, or so, over the pasta and peas. Add 1 cup of pesto. Toss to combine, adding the reserved pasta water as needed to loosen things up and help the sauce coat the pasta evenly. Add the 1/2 cup of Parmesan and toss to combine. 

6. If you would like to serve this with eggs, cover your pasta and place a towel over top of the lid to keep it warm. Otherwise, serve the pasta with extra Parmesan, olive oil, flaky salt and pepper. 

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