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White plate with busiate pasta in a creamy pesto sauce. Fresh basil leaves on top and a fork resting in.

10 Minute Creamy Pesto Pasta Sauce

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5 from 5 reviews


A fast and insanely delicious creamy pesto sauce with simple ingredients, perfect for busy weeknights. Amped up with extra garlic, parmesan cheese and a squeeze of lemon juice.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup single or light cream (see notes)
  • 25 grams parmesan, finely grated
  • 1/3 cup basil pesto
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Salt to taste
  • Pasta of your choice (see notes)


  1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat and fry the garlic for 1 - 2 minutes, a gentle sizzle. The garlic shouldn't colour or burn.
  2. Turn the heat down slightly and add the cream. Bring to a very gentle simmer, it should never boil.
  3. Add the finely grated parmesan in two lots, letting each half melt into the cream before moving on.
  4. Add the pesto, black pepper and lemon juice and mix well.
  5. Let it simmer very gently for 1 - 2 minutes to thicken.
  6. Add the cooked pasta straight in, mix and let it gently bubble away for a further 1 - 2 minutes.
  7. Add a splash of pasta water if you need to loosen the sauce.


  • Cream - I prefer using light or single cream so it can thicken with the parmesan. Use heavy cream if you prefer but you might need to loosen with pasta water.
  • Pasta - Use whatever shape you like. I always weight portions to take the guess work out. 100 grams dried per person or 150 grams fresh per person.
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes