Crowd Pleasing Dish for the Whole Family
- What: Easy Pesto Pasta Recipe
- When: 3 years and up
- Why: Simple, tasty, popular
- Where: Amazon or your local grocery store
Looking for a quick and easy idea for dinner that everyone in the family will love? Perhaps you want to break out of your spaghetti and meatballs rut. Whether it’s pasta night at your house, or you need a meal you can make ahead and serve warm or cold, look no further than this Pesto Pasta Recipe.
All you need to get started is a pack of frozen peas, olive oil, water, a packet of pesto sauce mix, and a box or bag of cheese-filled tortellini. Barilla makes great tiny tortellini stuffed with three kinds of mild cheese flavors. (We LOVED Trader Joe’s Tortellini but sadly it went out of production earlier this year.) We’ve used Knorr Pesto Pasta Sauce Packets for years, and their sauce is quick, easy, and delicious. Luckily, you can order all of these ingredients online and have them magically appear on your doorstep, saving you even more time.
Once you have all the ingredients on hand, cook the pasta according to the directions on the package. (We make two 12 oz. packages of pasta for a family of five.) I like to set a time for half the required cooking time, then add the the desired amount of frozen peas to the same pot of boiling water. After the pot comes back to boiling, I set the timer for the remaining time the pasta needs to finish.
While the pasta and peas boil, measure the olive oil and water needed for the pesto sauce. The packet makes the directions super simple. Younger kids can help pour and measure amounts, while older kids can read the directions for themselves and find the measuring cups, pot needed, and ingredients. Blend the oil, water, and sauce powder together following the directions. Then bring to a boil and reduce heat for around five minutes.
Once the pasta and peas have been drained, add them to a large bowl and pour the pesto sauce on top. Mix everything together. If you want to eat now, grab a dish and utensil and start feasting. If you prefer to eat later, this recipe also tastes great cold on hot summer days, for potluck events, and anytime in between. Want even more options? Add Parmesan cheese, bacon bits, or cherry tomatoes to the table and let kids customize their own dishes.
No matter which brands you choose, you can’t go wrong with this easy dish that can be served up any time of year to the delight of all diners.