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Creamy Pesto Spaghetti with Meatballs

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1 (20 ounce) package frozen meatballs
1 (16 ounce) package whole wheat spaghetti
2 (9 ounce) containers basil pesto
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups chopped tomatoes
1 (16 ounce) bag frozen peas
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Creamy Pesto Spaghetti with Meatballs

Pesto and cream combines with tender pasta and sweet tomatoes and peas for a delicious dinner.

  • Medium

About This Recipe

There is just something wonderful about the combination of pesto and pasta. It can’t be because they both come from Italy! I try to think of tons of different combinations of these two ingredients to create wonderful and easy recipes like this one for Creamy Pesto Spaghetti with Meatballs.

This recipe is a takeoff on a fancy salmon dish from one of my favorite cookbooks. But I wanted to use my favorite frozen meatballs instead. And I wanted to add something to the pesto to make a creamy sauce. Just plain pesto with spaghetti can be kind of weak tasting and the pesto can clump.

Adding tomatoes was a no-brainer, as was adding peas. Some grated Parmesan cheese brought the whole thing together.

This is a rich and comforting entree recipe that is easy to make. Everyone will love it! Serve it with a nice green salad with some sliced button mushrooms and ranch salad dressing. And for dessert, make my Toffee Bark – super simple and so delicious!

Tips for the best Creamy Pesto Spaghetti with Meatballs:

  • There aren’t a lot of things to mess up in this recipe. Just make sure that you cook the pasta to al dente – that means it’s tender to the bite but still a bit firm in the middle. The only way to tell if it’s cooked to that consistency is to taste it.
  • And use a good brand of pesto. There are lots of refrigerated and shelf stable pestos in the grocery store to choose from.
  • Finally, serve it as soon as it’s done. Hot food should be eaten hot!

Why this recipe for Creamy Pesto Spaghetti with Meatballs works:

  • Adding cream to the recipe smooths out the pesto, softening what can be a sharp flavor, and ensuring that the pesto doesn’t clump.
  • You can substitute half and half for the cream if you’d like.
  • As the pasta cooks in the sauce for a bit, the pasta absorbs some of the flavors.

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Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.


Heat the meatballs as directed on the package. I like to put them into the microwave and heat on high for about 3 minutes.


Now start cooking the pasta.


Combine the meatballs, pesto, cream, and tomatoes in a very large skillet and bring to a simmer.


Put the peas into a colander in the sink. When the pasta is done, drain into the colander over the peas. Add the spaghetti and peas to the skillet with the meatball mixture.


Bring this mixture to a simmer, and combine the spaghetti with the sauce as best you can. I find it's easiest to use some tongs for this task.


Serve the pasta topped with the Parmesan cheese.


Linda is a bestselling cookbook author and home economist who has written 54 books (53 cookbooks and Medical Ethics for Dummies) since 2005. She has worked for Pillsbury since 1988, on the Bake-Off and other projects. Linda has been a web presence since 2002, developing recipes and teaching people how to cook.

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