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Pasta in a shallow white bowl with a silver fork.

Pesto Cavatappi

  • Author: Jessie
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Category: Pasta
  • Cuisine: Italian-American
  • Diet: Vegetarian


This easy pesto pasta is ready in 30 minutes!


  • 3/4 pound cavatappi pasta
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 heaping cups sliced baby portobello mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large tomato, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup basil pesto
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup shredded or shaved parmesan cheese, for garnish


  1. Cook pasta in very salty water until al dente. 
  2. While pasta cooks, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. 
  3. Add mushrooms to skillet and sauté, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms have reduced in size and begun to brown, about 6-8 minutes.
  4. Add garlic to the skillet and cook, stirring frequently, for 1-2 minutes until softened and fragrant.
  5. Add salt, pepper, and tomatoes. Stir to combine. Reduce heat to low, stirring frequently, until pasta is done cooking.
  6. Drain the pasta. Add cooked pasta and pesto to the skillet and toss to combine. Taste and add salt if needed.
  7. Top with parmesan cheese and serve immediately.


For a creamy pasta sauce, add a splash of heavy cream or a dollop of cream cheese just before you mix in the cooked pasta. You can also add a few scoops of store bought alfredo sauce or our magic cauliflower cream.

What pesto should I use? Use any pesto you like! We used a basic basil pesto here, but it's also good with our arugula pesto. Store bought and homemade pesto both work well.

Additions and Substitutions. Dial up the mushrooms and tomatoes here, or add whatever veggies you have on hand  (broccoli, peas, spinach, kale, and corn are all good!) We also like this pesto pasta with chicken, salmon, shrimp, or Italian sausage. For extra flavor, add a pinch of red pepper flakes or a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

Keywords: summer, weeknight, noodles