Baked Pesto Pasta – Baked cheesy penne with pesto
We eat green today!!
This is a super easy pasta dish that you won’t be able to get enough of. They’re so delicious with herbs and cheese, filled with homemade basil pesto, a few different cheeses, and a sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes.
This fresh pesto is my love language!
I love this dish because it goes with almost anything.
When I say my family lost their minds over this, I mean it! Which is crazy, because this is so easy that it barely merits a shared, written recipe. This is one of those dishes that I share with you so it’s in your recipe arsenal. Something you can make when you need a side dish for grilled chicken or steak, a big pasta to prepare for a crowd, or even make the star of the show as a main course with a salad.
Now here’s the deal. I use a fresh basil pesto recipe for this, because we love it so much.
You can really use any pesto you want here. That’s the beauty of this recipe. In the winter, when I can’t get a large amount of fresh basil, I use Rao’s Pesto. Or I’ll make a sun-dried tomato or even kale pesto.
This is the best part of this recipe!
You can use store-bought pesto and you can use any type of pesto. Because that’s all there is to it. Pasta, pesto, cheese.
be seen? Embarrassingly easy!
The other key to making this so delicious is the cheese blend. First, you add the pesto-covered pasta with some grated cheese. I like to use freshly grated provolone, but if I need to, I’ll use the Tillamook Italian cheese blend, which is great. Mixing this up makes it cheesy all over, and can anyone say no to that?
Next, I put fresh mozzarella slices on top. I love how this melts and creates the perfect layer.
When it comes out of the oven, sprinkle the entire pasta dish with Parmesan cheese. I also like to make a little red pepper flakes on my own.
Just look at that melted cheese!
Forever favorite here.
Baked pesto pasta
Baked pesto pasta
Baked pesto pasta is a super easy side dish that goes with almost anything. A few ingredients come together to make this herby mac and cheese an absolute delight that everyone will love.
- Note: If you haven’t made pesto yet, make it first! You can also use store-bought pesto. Any variety works.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a 9 x 3-inch baking dish with nonstick spray.
Cook pasta until al dente according to instructions.
Place the penne in a baking dish. Add the pesto and stir well until all the noodles and pesto are combined. Add a cup and a half of grated cheese. Top with fresh mozzarella slices.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbling. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes. Top with fresh basil. Serve immediately!
And the exploding cheese bits are all mine.