Fettuccine pesto pasta is a crowd pleasing meal. We love how easy this homemade pesto sauce is to make. Make it and toss with your favorite noodles and meat.
We used spinach and turkey meatballs to make this a healthy skillet meal but you can use Italian meatballs, chicken or shrimp if you prefer.
FETTUCCINI PESTO INGREDIENTS
You may have all of these in your refrigerator or pantry and not need to make a trip to the grocery store! See recipe card below for ingredient amounts.
- Fresh Basil: Use fresh basil from a plant or freshly cut. Do not substitute dried basil.
- Freshly Grated Parmesan: If you're in a pinch, you can use grated parmesan from your refrigerated deli section. We don't recommend using the grated parmesan you find on the shelves in the center aisles of your grocery store.
- Olive Oil: Extra virgin olive oil works best in this pesto recipe. See substitution ideas below.
- Pine Nuts: We love pesto with pine nuts. We don't recommend omitting them. See substitution ideas below.
- Garlic: You can use fresh garlic or the minced garlic that comes in a jar.
- Salt and Pepper: Taste the pesto and add more if you prefer.
- Pasta Noodles: If you don't have fresh noodles, dried fettuccine noodles or your favorite pasta noodles work great.
- Meatballs: Make your own meatballs or buy them in the freezer section of your grocery store.
If you love pesto, consider making one of these variations. There are so many ways to eat make delicious meals with this savory sauce.
Enjoy this great recipe as a great addition to a full meal with these other recipes:
- Roasted Broccoli – Roasted broccoli goes with everything but it goes especially well with this skillet pasta dish.
- Garlic Knots – Make delicious garlic knots with store bought pizza dough.
- Red Wine Sangria – Try this delicious sangria with your meal.
- Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes – These molten cupcakes go with everything!
If you've made this recipe before and want to switch it up a little, here are some ideas you might want to try.
If you'd like to print this recipe, scroll down to the recipe card where you can print the recipe or have it scaled to double or triple. You'll also find the ingredients amounts and nutrition information.
TOOLS AND SUPPLIES NEEDED:
- Stock pot or large saucepan for cooking noodles
- Food processor or blender for pesto
- Large skillet for mixing pasta, pesto and meatballs
COOK PASTA: Following pasta package instructions, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil on the stove and cook pasta noodles. When cooked, drain and set aside. Reserve pasta water (¼ cup) if you want to add it to your pasta when you toss with pesto.
HEAT MEATBALLS: Heat meatballs if they’ve been refrigerated or frozen.
BLEND DRY INGREDIENTS: In a food processor, blend basil, parmesan, pine nuts, garlic, salt and pepper.
ADD OIL: Slowly add olive oil to food processor while pulsing.
TOSS PASTA: In a warm skillet, toss bed of fettuccine with pesto. Stir gently. Add meatballs to the top of pasta.
ENJOY: Sprinkle with fresh grated parmesan and enjoy.
Refrigerate: Store in an airtight container for up to one week in the refrigerator.
Freeze: Store in a freezer ziploc bag or airtight container. Freeze for up to 6 months.
Defrosting: Defrost in the refrigerator. Use within one week.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
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WAYS TO USE LEFTOVERS
If you can't eat all this fettuccine pesto try making it into one of these recipes.
PASTA BAKE: Add leftovers to a baking dish and cover with fresh mozzarella slices. Bake at 350°F until the cheese is melted and any meat in your pasta is cooked through.
COLD PASTA SALAD: Remove any leftover meat and add sliced black olives, chunks of mozzarella, sliced grape tomatoes, diced bell peppers or any other vegetables you want to add.
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves - packed
- ½ cup parmesan - freshly grated
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ⅓ cup pine nuts
- 1 tablespoon garlic - minced
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper - freshly ground
- 1 pound fettuccine pasta noodles
- 30 meatballs - cooked
- Bring water to a boil in a stock pot or large saucepan. Follow pasta package instructions to cook noodles. When cooked, drain and set aside.
- Heat meatballs if they've been refrigerated or frozen.
- In a food processor, blend basil, parmesan, pine nuts, garlic, salt and pepper.
- Slowly add olive oil to the food processor while pulsing.
- In a warm skillet, toss pasta with pesto. Add meatballs on top of the pasta.
- Serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
- Optional: Substitute half the basil for spinach.
- Optional: Substitute walnuts for pine nuts.
- If your pesto is very thick, you can add a little more olive oil.
- Use your favorite kind of meatball. We used turkey meatballs in this recipe.