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Pesto cavatappi

Easy Pesto Cavatappi

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 3 to 4 small servings 1x


Pesto cavatappi is a fast and easy dinner recipe that’s full of big flavor! The pesto cream sauce comes together in minutes.


  • 8 ounces cavatappi pasta*
  • 1/2 cup basil pesto
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream**
  • Kosher salt
  • Shredded Parmesan cheese, for serving


  1. Make the pasta: Start a pot of well-salted water to a boil. Boil the pasta until it is just al dente. Start tasting a few minutes before the package recommends: you want it to be tender but still a little firm on the inside; usually around 7 to 8 minutes. Drain and place the pasta in a bowl.
  2. Meanwhile, make the pesto cream sauce: Place the pesto, heavy cream, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt in a saucepan. Simmer over medium heat until it just starts to thicken, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  3. Serve: When the pasta is done, add it with the sauce. Taste and add a few pinches more salt until the flavor pops. (Refrigerate any leftovers; they can become gummy when reheated, so eat at room temperature.)


*This makes modest portions; if you’ve got hungry eaters, you may want to double the recipe.

*If you prefer not using cream, use the instructions in Pesto Spaghetti. For a vegan option, use Vegan Pesto and follow the the instructions in Pesto Spaghetti.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Pesto cavatappi