Easy Summer Dinner| Pesto Pasta

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Summer BEGS for easy, fast and fresh meals. It is often too hot and too late by the time we roll to the dinner table to make anything that takes a long time. This easy summer dinner recipe is homemade, fast, kid approved and really capitalizes on one of my most favorite, fresh, seasonal ingredients – BASIL! The smell of basil screams summer to me and this Homemade Pesto Pasta dish is one you will love to make whether summer or not!

Summer BEGS for easy, fast and fresh meals. It is often too hot and too late by the time we roll to the dinner to make anything that takes a long time. This easy summer dinner recipe is homemade, fast, kid approved and really capitalizes on one of my most favorite fresh, seasonal ingredient - BASIL! The smell of basil screams summer to me and this Homemade Pesto Pasta dish is one you will love to make whether summer or not!
Summer BEGS for easy, fast and fresh meals. It is often too hot and too late by the time we roll to the dinner to make anything that takes a long time. This easy summer dinner recipe is homemade, fast, kid approved and really capitalizes on one of my most favorite fresh, seasonal ingredient - BASIL! The smell of basil screams summer to me and this Homemade Pesto Pasta dish is one you will love to make whether summer or not!

BASIL – it is beautiful, fairly easy to grow, inexpensive to purchase and oh so FRAGRANT. . . it is tastey too and happens to be the star of this pasta dish.

What makes this dish an Easy Summer Dinner? . . . Hardly any cooking!!

This pesto sauce is whipped up in a good blender or a food processor. NO COOKING REQUIRED!

Just boil up a favorite pasta, add this pesto, maybe a little extra Parmesan and Voila!. . . Dinner in no time at all.

Summer BEGS for easy, fast and fresh meals. It is often too hot and too late by the time we roll to the dinner to make anything that takes a long time. This easy summer dinner recipe is homemade, fast, kid approved and really capitalizes on one of my most favorite fresh, seasonal ingredient - BASIL! The smell of basil screams summer to me and this Homemade Pesto Pasta dish is one you will love to make whether summer or not!

If I have a bit of extra time, I will sometimes roast a whole bulb of garlic and use the roasted cloves instead of raw but this is totally optional. I just love sweet, buttery roasted garlic.

Learn How To Roast Garlic from The Pioneer Woman

What you will need for this Easy Summer Dinner| Pesto Pasta

Summer BEGS for easy, fast and fresh meals. It is often too hot and too late by the time we roll to the dinner to make anything that takes a long time. This easy summer dinner recipe is homemade, fast, kid approved and really capitalizes on one of my most favorite fresh, seasonal ingredient - BASIL! The smell of basil screams summer to me and this Homemade Pesto Pasta dish is one you will love to make whether summer or not!
  • A good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • Fresh basil
  • Pecan halves
  • Garlic cloves
  • Grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper

How to make this Easy Summer Dinner|Pesto Pasta

Summer BEGS for easy, fast and fresh meals. It is often too hot and too late by the time we roll to the dinner to make anything that takes a long time. This easy summer dinner recipe is homemade, fast, kid approved and really capitalizes on one of my most favorite fresh, seasonal ingredient - BASIL! The smell of basil screams summer to me and this Homemade Pesto Pasta dish is one you will love to make whether summer or not!

Toast pecans in a skillet on medium – high heat, stirring constantly until they are slightly toasted and fragrant – approx 3 mins.

Summer BEGS for easy, fast and fresh meals. It is often too hot and too late by the time we roll to the dinner to make anything that takes a long time. This easy summer dinner recipe is homemade, fast, kid approved and really capitalizes on one of my most favorite fresh, seasonal ingredient - BASIL! The smell of basil screams summer to me and this Homemade Pesto Pasta dish is one you will love to make whether summer or not!

In a food processor or blender, pulse cooled pecans and basil until coarsely chopped. Scrap down sides.

Summer BEGS for easy, fast and fresh meals. It is often too hot and too late by the time we roll to the dinner to make anything that takes a long time. This easy summer dinner recipe is homemade, fast, kid approved and really capitalizes on one of my most favorite fresh, seasonal ingredient - BASIL! The smell of basil screams summer to me and this Homemade Pesto Pasta dish is one you will love to make whether summer or not!

Add cheese and garlic and pulse until very fine.

Summer BEGS for easy, fast and fresh meals. It is often too hot and too late by the time we roll to the dinner to make anything that takes a long time. This easy summer dinner recipe is homemade, fast, kid approved and really capitalizes on one of my most favorite fresh, seasonal ingredient - BASIL! The smell of basil screams summer to me and this Homemade Pesto Pasta dish is one you will love to make whether summer or not!

Summer BEGS for easy, fast and fresh meals. It is often too hot and too late by the time we roll to the dinner to make anything that takes a long time. This easy summer dinner recipe is homemade, fast, kid approved and really capitalizes on one of my most favorite fresh, seasonal ingredient - BASIL! The smell of basil screams summer to me and this Homemade Pesto Pasta dish is one you will love to make whether summer or not!

Drizzle in olive oil while continuously blending until pesto comes together to the consistency you prefer.

Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve over noodles (any kind), zoodles, spread on toasted bread or use on pizza!

Summer BEGS for easy, fast and fresh meals. It is often too hot and too late by the time we roll to the dinner to make anything that takes a long time. This easy summer dinner recipe is homemade, fast, kid approved and really capitalizes on one of my most favorite fresh, seasonal ingredient - BASIL! The smell of basil screams summer to me and this Homemade Pesto Pasta dish is one you will love to make whether summer or not!
Summer BEGS for easy, fast and fresh meals. It is often too hot and too late by the time we roll to the dinner to make anything that takes a long time. This easy summer dinner recipe is homemade, fast, kid approved and really capitalizes on one of my most favorite fresh, seasonal ingredient - BASIL! The smell of basil screams summer to me and this Homemade Pesto Pasta dish is one you will love to make whether summer or not!
Basil Pecan Pesto Pasta topped with shredded Parmesan and garlic sausage.

Are you making this Basil Pesto in a large batch? Preserve extra by simply freezing it!

You can easily preserve your basil pesto by freezing it in freezer safe plastic containers, ice cube trays or freezer safe canning jars. Simply fill your container, leaving enough space to allow for expansion (1/2 inch should do). The vibrant green color may darken but all the flavor is retained!

When ready to enjoy your pesto, thaw in the refrigerator or at room temp. You can even toss ice cubes of pesto into your favorite recipes or right into hot noodles.

Variations of Pesto Pasta

Summer BEGS for easy, fast and fresh meals. It is often too hot and too late by the time we roll to the dinner to make anything that takes a long time. This easy summer dinner recipe is homemade, fast, kid approved and really capitalizes on one of my most favorite fresh, seasonal ingredient - BASIL! The smell of basil screams summer to me and this Homemade Pesto Pasta dish is one you will love to make whether summer or not!
  • Try swapping the basil for another leafy herb or veggie: cilantro, mint, arugula, spinach, pea or even carrot are all great options. Cook the pea and carrot slightly before blending. See what you like and have fun with it.
  • Switch up your oils: in general I like a strong, fruit good quality extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) but you could use whatever YOU like. Maybe a more neutral flavored oil like, grape seed, avocado or safflower oil is more your taste.
  • Use your favorite pasta, rice or even a cooked grain like quinoa. Gnocchi would be delish as well.
  • Use any nut you like. Pesto can be made with walnuts, pecans, pine nuts, hazelnuts, pistachio, sunflower or almonds. Cashew pesto turns out thick and almost creamy! My husband is allergic to walnuts and I love the flavor of pecans so that is my go to!
  • Use any hard, salty cheese you like: Parmesan is classic but Pecornio Romano or Asiago.
  • Add other good things: Bump up the protein or flavor by adding a protein like grilled chicken, sausage, shrimp, scallops, chunks or small balls of mozzarella . . .salty bites from capers, black, green or kalamata olives are also yummy in this dish.
  • Try ROASTING the garlic for a depth of flavor and bit of sweetness. Oh how I LOVE roasted garlic.

Try these FAVORITE combos for Homemade Pesto:

Use this same Pesto Recipe to make other Easy Summer Dinners:

Toast french bread or sourdough slices, spread with pesto, top with mozzarella and fresh tomato, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle salt and pepper for a super fast cool bite: Pesto Crostini.
How about Pesto Pasta Salad? Cold pasta or grains, tossed with pesto?
Summer BEGS for easy, fast and fresh meals. It is often too hot and too late by the time we roll to the dinner to make anything that takes a long time. This easy summer dinner recipe is homemade, fast, kid approved and really capitalizes on one of my most favorite fresh, seasonal ingredient - BASIL! The smell of basil screams summer to me and this Homemade Pesto Pasta dish is one you will love to make whether summer or not!

Whip up a fast pizza dough or use store bought and replace the red sauce with this pesto. Add some cheese, maybe some fresh tomato slices, drizzle with olive oil and balsamic. So So Good!!

How about a Pesto Grilled Cheese??? Yes please!!

Need a FAST dough recipe?? This is my favorite recipe for pizza dough:

Trying to be Carb smart? Or maybe Keto or GF. . . you too can enjoy a fast summer dinner staring pesto!

We love zoodles in our house and it seems everyone has an abundance of zuchini this time of year. Why not try this Best Zoodle Recipe!!
You can even skip the carbs and make a caprese salad perfect for any gluten free or keto diet. Try this Pesto Caprese Salad great for ANY summer dinner, bbq or covered dish supper.

Here’s another great easy dinner option for you:

The BEST Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

Pin it for Later

Summer BEGS for easy, fast and fresh meals. It is often too hot and too late by the time we roll to the dinner to make anything that takes a long time. This easy summer dinner recipe is homemade, fast, kid approved and really capitalizes on one of my most favorite fresh, seasonal ingredient - BASIL! The smell of basil screams summer to me and this Homemade Pesto Pasta dish is one you will love to make whether summer or not!
Basil Pecan Pesto

Basil Pecan Pesto

Yield: approx 2 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

This pecan basil pesto pasta is a cinch. Whip it up in the food processor or blender and simply toss with your favorite noodle. This recipe is kid approved too!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup pecan halfs
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 cup paremeasan cheese, grated
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Toast pecans in a skillet on medium - high heat, stirring constantly until they are slightly toasted and fragrant - approx 3 mins.
  2. In a food processor or blender, pulse pecans and basil until coarse chopped. Scrap down sides.
  3. Add Parmesan and garlic and pulse until fine.
  4. Drizzle in olive oil while blending constantly until pesto comes together to the consistency you prefer.
  5. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Toss finished pesto with warm noodles (any kind), even zoodles. Spread on toasted bread or use on pizza!

Notes

  • Try swapping the basil for another leafy herb or veggie: cilantro, mint, arugula, spinach, pea or even carrot are all great options. Cook the pea and carrot slightly before blending. See what you like and have fun with it.
  • Switch up your oils: in general I like a strong, fruit good quality extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) but you could use whatever YOU like. Maybe a more neutral flavored oil like, grape seed, avocado or safflower oil is more your taste.
  • Use your favorite pasta, rice or even a cooked grain like quinoa. Gnocchi would be delish as well.
  • Use and nut you like. Pesto can be made with walnuts, pecans, pine nuts, hazelnuts, pistachio, sunflower or almonds. Cashew pesto turns out thick and almost creamy! My husband is allergic to walnuts and I love the flavor of pecans.
  • Use any hard, salty cheese you like: Parmeasan is classic but Pecornio Romano or Asiago.
  • Add other good things: Bump up the protein or flavor by adding a protein like grilled chicken, shrimp, scallops, chunks or small balls of mozzarella . . . A salty bite from capers, black, green or kalamata olives are also yummy in this dish.
  • Try ROASTING the garlic for a depth of flavor and bit of sweetness. Oh how I LOVE roasted garlic.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

14 thoughts on “Easy Summer Dinner| Pesto Pasta

  1. I absolutely love basil pesto! It makes anything taste like summer. I make it in large batches when basil is taking over the garden and freeze in ice cube trays to enjoy all autumn long!

    1. Yes I just love this idea and was reminded to include a heading in the post about preserving a large batch. I just added that. Thank you so much for reading and for the comment. I’m going to make so more too
      !!

    1. Ruth, I really hope you do. It is so easy to make and just pop in the freezer. Especially love the ice cube method of freezing. Please let me know if you make it. Tag me in instagram if you do. Thanks so so much for taking the time to stop by and comment. – Kassy

  2. I never thought of putting pecans in pesto. What a great idea!! I need to try it. Your photos are gorgeous thank you for sharing!!

    1. Thank you. My husband is allergic to walnuts and i really don’t care for pine nuts. . . this is perfect for us!! Try it and let me know. Thanks for commenting 🙂

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