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Creamy Pesto Spaghetti with Meatballs

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Ingredients

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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Steps

1
Done

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

2
Done

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

3
Done

Now start cooking the pasta.

4
Done

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

5
Done

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.

6
Done

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.

7
Done

Serve the pasta topped with the Parmesan cheese.

lindaBest

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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