Creamy Baked Pesto Pasta

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This creamy baked pesto pasta is a delicious and easy recipe that’s great on a busy weeknight! It’s simple to make, but definitely not lacking in flavor. And it makes an excellent meal that even the kids will love!

It’s an excellent way to sneak in some veggies without sacrificing in flavor!

white casserole dish with baked pesto pasta and blue and white striped tea towel to the side with a serving spoon to the side and chopped basil on a cutting board

Pesto Pasta Bake

Putting a spin on a traditional Southern Italian dinner this Pesto Pasta Bake is a quick and easy dinner any night of the week.

Pasta al forno “from the stove” has been a staple in Italian cooking for many generations and mixing it up with pesto sauce instead of the traditional red sauce is a great way to change up this classic dish.

This creamy and comfort food-worthy recipe with pesto is sure to be a hit with your family. It comes together easily and is full of delicious herb & cheese flavors.

And its a great way to sneak in some extra nutrition too! This dish uses basil pesto – an Italian sauce involving fresh basil, makes a great addition to a simple dish of pasta.

But paired with ricotta and mozzarella cheeses gives this recipe a perfect creaminess.

white casserole dish with pesto pasta and handing a serving spoon


This recipe get’s it delicious flavor from the pesto sauce. It uses a jarred sauce, but you could substitute it for your favorite homemade version.

Here’s what you’ll need for this baked pasta dish:

  • 9.6-ounce jar of pesto sauce
  • penne pasta – but any of your favorite noodles will work well
  • ricotta cheese
  • fresh spinach
  • mozzarella cheese
  • olive oil or butter to grease the casserole dish

If you’re looking for a homemade pesto sauce, try this delicious version here.

And if you’d like a little more garlic flavor, try my homemade garlic scape pesto.


ingredients for the pesto pasta in small bowls and herbs on the cutting board


This recipe is quick and easy for a weeknight meal with very minimal prep time!

Begin by cooking your pasta in a large pot with salted water. Drain and add to a large bowl.

Then you’ll stir in the ricotta cheese with the pasta and pesto sauce.

cooked penne pasta in a large white bowl
pesto and ricotta cheese added to the top of the pasta in the large white bowl
the ingredients combined in the large bowl

Transfer the pasta, ricotta, and pesto mixture to a casserole dish. Top with chopped spinach and shredded mozzarella cheese.

adding the pasta, ricotta, and pesto mixture to a large white casserole dish
the pasta is topped with chopped spinach
the pasta and spinach is topped with shredded mozzarella cheese

Add the pan to the preheated oven and bake for about 20 minutes until the cheese is melted.

Serve with additional salt & pepper, or sprinkle with fresh shredded parmesan cheese.

white baking dish filled with the pesto pasta bake

How to store and reheat leftovers:

To store leftovers, add to an airtight container. Store in the fridge for up to one week. To reheat, add to a baking dish and heat up in a preheated 375 degrees f until warmed through.

Recipe pairings

This recipe is excellent on it’s own and you could even add cooked chicken if desired. We also like the addition of fresh shredded or grated parmesan cheese.

Fresh cherry tomatoes also make an excellent garnish.

Or pair it with this chicken saltimbocca recipe as a side or fresh baked Italian loaf bread.

Find a new favorite pasta recipe:

Creamy Pomodoro Sauce

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio

Caramelized Onion & Gorgonzola Pasta

FAQ (frequently asked questions)

Could I add a protein to the pasta bake? 

Yes, you sure can! Adding chicken to the pesto pasta bake would work well. Make sure to cook your chicken first and then add in when you mix the pasta with the pesto and cheese. Then continue the recipe as instructed. 

Could I make the pesto pasta bake dairy free? 

Yes, you could. You could swap the ricotta cheese and mozzarella cheese with a vegan option. Since this would significantly reduce the fats, I would suggest adding more pesto or oil. 

want more recipes?

Check out the recipe index where you can discover more homemade recipes from my homestead!

white plate of baked pesto pasta and a fork on the plate

Pesto Pasta Bake

This creamy, baked pesto pasta recipe will be a hit at your house! If you love pesto but don’t have time to make it fresh, try this creamy baked pesto pasta recipe. It tastes great, and is super easy to make!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Serving Size 6




  • Cook and drain the pasta in salted water. Lightly grease a 9×13 casserole dish with butter or olive oil and preheat the oven to 375F.
  • Place cooked pasta in a large bowl and mix well with pesto and ricotta.
  • Transfer to casserole dish and top with spinach and then mozzarella cheese.
  • Bake at 375° F for 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Allow to cool for 10 minutes prior to serving.
  • Serve with additional salt & pepper if desired, or top with fresh shredded or grated parmesan cheese. For a little mild heat, sprinkle with crushed red pepper flakes.


To substitute with homemade pesto sauce, measure out 1 1/4 cups of the fresh pesto to use in this sauce. 

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