Mascarpone pesto pasta is the easiest and tastiest creamy pasta you’ll ever make. It's made with simple ingredients including mascarpone cheese which brings a light and silky texture to the sauce, basil pesto which brings all the flavour, and tomatoes which add a burst of freshness. If you want to make an impressive Italian meal at home with little time and effort, this creamy pesto pasta is the recipe for you. Make it in under 15 minutes and revel at how amazing it tastes!
Why You’ll Love Mascarpone Pesto Pasta
- A quick and easy weeknight dinner. This recipe comes together seamlessly in under 15 minutes. Essentially, all you need to do is cook your pasta and combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Voila—you’re ready to serve. This quick pasta dish is seriously a lifesaver on busy weeknights. You need to have this one in your back pocket.
- It is packed with flavor. Basil pesto adds a fresh and vibrant flavor to this weeknight pasta dish. Whether you choose store-bought or homemade pesto for this mascarpone pesto pasta, you can’t go wrong. Most commonly made from pine nuts, olive oil, fresh basil, parmesan cheese, and seasoning, basil pesto is a must-have ingredient in any kitchen. For more recipes using pesto, try Avocado Basil Pesto Spaghetti, Pesto Penne Pasta, Spring Pesto Pasta with Asparagus, and Pesto Hummus.
- It is ultra creamy and smooth. The secret to the creaminess of this pasta is mascarpone cheese and reserved pasta water. And if you’ve never had mascarpone cheese, you’ve been missing out. Made from only two ingredients (heavy cream and citric acid), mascarpone cheese is the silkier and smoother cousin of cream cheese. The high fat content makes this cheese light yet indulgent—and it’s the perfect ingredient to add to pasta.
To make quick and easy mascarpone pesto pasta, you need the following simple ingredients:
- pasta - I used spaghetti noodles, but you can substitute with any kind of pasta that you like.
- olive oil - I add this immediately after cooking the pasta to prevent the noodles from sticking to each other.
- basil pesto - I used fresh homemade basil pesto which I made in just 5 minutes. You can also use store-bought pesto. Do whatever is easier for you!
- mascarpone cheese - some people substitute mascarpone with cream cheese, but the fat content and flavor will alter this dish immensely. If you’re having trouble finding mascarpone at your local grocery store, consider making your own! All you need is heavy cream and lemon juice.
- lemon juice - adds a burst of flavor.
- cherry tomatoes
- salt and pepper
- Parmesan cheese - optional, for serving on top.
- fresh basil - optional, for garnish.
How to Make the Best Mascarpone Pesto Pasta
- Cook the pasta. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook spaghetti according to package instructions or until al dente, about 8-10 minutes. Do not overcook the pasta. Turn off the heat and reserve 1 cup of pasta water, then drain the pasta in a colander and let it cool for 1 minute.
- Toss with remaining ingredients. Transfer pasta into a large mixing bowl and add pesto, mascarpone cheese, lemon juice and ½ cup reserved pasta water (add up to ½ cup more if desired). Stir in cherry tomatoes, and season with salt and pepper. Toss well to coat.
- Serve. Top with fresh basil, Parmesan cheese, some dollops of pesto, and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve immediately.
Storing and Reheating Instructions
- How to store: While the best practice for storing pasta is to keep it separate from the sauce, this mascarpone pesto pasta can be stored (sauce and all) in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.
- How to reheat: Heat in a skillet or shallow saucepan over low heat. You may need to add a splash of water if the sauce has thickened to much when stored in the refrigerator. You can also reheat in the microwave covered in a microwave-safe container in 20-second intervals until hot all the way through, mixing often to distribute the heat.
More Pasta Recipes
- Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo Pasta Bake
- Creamy White Chicken and Spinach Lasagna
- Pasta Bake with Sausage (Baked Ziti)
- Spaghetti Bolognese
- Cheesy Tortellini and Sausage Bake
- Spaghetti and Meatballs
Did you make this recipe? I would greatly appreciate a comment and rating below, letting me know what you thought of the recipe. You can also snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @aheadofthyme or share it on the Pinterest pin so that I can follow along.