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Pesto Alfredo Sauce Recipe

This beautiful pesto alfredo recipe is ready in just 10 minutes and contains just six ingredients. It’s a delicious twist on a classic pesto pasta recipe, adding cream and a splash of white wine to make this feel like a more luxurious, indulgent pasta dish.

an overhead shot of creamy pesto alfredo in a casserole dish

In this recipe, I’ve topped of the pesto alfredo dish with crispy herby air fryer chickpeas, fresh basil, and a scatter of red chili flakes for some added texture and heat! 

This creamy pesto pasta would be delicious served alongside some air fryer garlic bread, a simple green side salad, or even with some crispy green beans as a vegetable side dish. If you want more creamy pasta inspiration, I have plenty! Try this creamy mushroom pasta, this vegan butternut squash pasta, or my viral French onion pasta recipe next.

Ingredient Notes & Substitutions

To find the exact quantities you need for this recipe, scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom of this page. Below are all the ingredients plus a few extra notes and possible substitutions for this pesto alfredo recipe.

  • Pasta: You could use whatever pasta shape you like most for this recipe, but I used pasta shells (conchiglie).
  • Pesto: This recipe uses a store-bought readymade basil pesto for convenience, but you could definitely use a homemade one if you prefer! If you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, make sure that your pesto is suitable for this diet, as many basil pestos contain Parmesan which is not suitable for vegetarians.
  • Heavy Cream: The heavy cream (double cream in the UK) gives this pesto alfredo it’s deliciously creamy texture. I’ve listed some substitutions to make this recipe dairy-free below.
  • Garlic: I used two large minced garlic cloves for this recipe. You could omit the garlic if you prefer, or use diced shallots.
  • Lemon: I think lemon and pesto is a match made in heaven, so add the juice of about half a lemon for this recipe. It’s not essential, but does help to cut through the heavy cream.
  • Mozzarella: Mozzarella helps to make the sauce a bit thicker and creamier, and adds a delicious cheesy flavor to this recipe.
  • White Wine: A splash of white wine adds to the flavor of this recipe. You could omit it if you prefer.
  • Seasonings: The pesto adds so much flavor to this recipe that you really don’t need to add many more seasonings. Just salt and pepper to taste.
  • Optional Toppings: In the photos, I’ve topped this recipe with herby air fryer chickpeas, fresh basil, red chili flakes, and black pepper.  You could also add another protein source if you prefer.

Dietary Substitutions & Variations

  • Making This Recipe Vegan: If you follow a vegan diet, you can easily adapt this recipe. Use a plant-based cream (I often use the ElmLea or Coconut Collaborative brands) in place of the cream element, and omit the mozzarella. If you can’t find plant-based cream, coconut milk and a tablespoon of nutritional yeast would also be lovely in this recipe. Make sure your white wine is vegan-friendly, too.
  • Making This Recipe Gluten-Free: To make this recipe suitable for a gluten-free diet, use gluten-free pasta.
  • Cooking This Recipe Without The Wine: If you would prefer not to cook with alcohol, you can omit the white wine from this recipe altogether. However, the alcohol does cook down in this recipe, so you can’t taste it.
an overhead shot of the creamy pesto alfredo topped with chickpeas, basil, and chili flakes

How To Make This Creamy Pesto Alfredo Recipe

The exact instructions and quantities for the ingredients are in the recipe card at the bottom of this page – below, I’ve added some process shots so you can see what this recipe should look like step-by-step.

Step 1) Cook The Pasta

Cook your pasta according to the package instructions. This will typically take about 10 minutes. In the meantime, you can make the sauce.

Step 2) Make The Creamy Pesto Sauce

Saute your minced garlic in olive oil, then add your white wine. Cook down the wine for a few minutes, then add the pesto and cream, stirring everything together.

Squeeze in your lemon juice and season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste. 

Step 3) Add The Pasta & Mozzarella

Once the pasta is cooked, tip it into the creamy pesto sauce along with a splash of the pasta water, which helps to make the sauce lovely and velvety. Add the grated mozzarella, too, and stir everything into a thick, creamy sauce.

Step 4) Add The Toppings & Serve!

If using, top the pesto pasta with your herby air fryer chickpeas, fresh basil, and a scatter of chili flakes for some added heat.

Expert Tips & Recipe Development

When I was first testing this recipe, I didn’t add mozzarella. The sauce was quite a lot thinner (still delicious!) and needed simmering for several minutes longer in order to properly coat the pasta.

You could omit the mozzarella in this recipe, but it does help to make the sauce lovely, thick, and creamy. 

If you want to make this recipe “healthier” (I believe in having everything in moderation, so wouldn’t call this recipe unhealthy!), you could reduce the amount of cream used and top up the sauce with vegetable stock. The sauce will be less creamy.

Making The Herby Air Fryer Chickpeas

If you want to top your pesto alfredo with the herby air fryer chickpeas that you can see in the photos for this recipe, it’s very simple!

They’re like a crispy crouton topping for this recipe, with an extra boost of protein!

Simply toss cooked chickpeas (I use tinned chickpeas, drained and rinsed) in a little olive oil, Italian seasoning, oregano, salt and black pepper). Then, air fry them for 15 – 20 minutes at 200C | 395F until they’re crispy and crunchy!

Storing Leftover Creamy Pesto Pasta

If you have leftover pesto alfredo, here’s how to store it:

  • Refrigerator: Store your leftover pesto alfredo in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 – 5 days. Reheat in the microwave or eat your leftovers cold!
  • Freezer: This recipe is also suitable for freezing. Freeze the creamy pesto pasta in an airtight container for up to three months. Defrost fully in the refrigerator before reheating and make sure you consume the leftovers within 24 hours of defrosting.
a close up angle of the finished creamy pesto alfredo recipe, topped with crispy chickpeas and fresh basil

Serving Suggestions & Recipes You’ll Also Love

This recipe is a delicious, whole dish in itself – especially with the crispy chickpeas on top! You could also add more protein to this recipe with a crispy tofu fillet like in this Marry Me Pasta recipe, or another protein source.

You could also serve this recipe with some homemade garlic bread, a simple side salad, or with a vegetable side dish like carrots and green beans.


What is Alfredo?

Alfredo is a rich and creamy pasta sauce made primarily from butter, heavy cream, and Parmesan cheese. It originated in Italy and is often served with fettuccine pasta to make the classic dish Fettuccine Alfredo. The sauce is known for its smooth texture and decadent flavor profile, making it a popular choice in Italian-American cuisine.

Is Pesto Better for You Than Pasta Sauce?

Whether pesto is “better” for you than other pasta sauces depends on what nutritional aspects you’re focusing on. Pesto is healthier in terms of unsaturated fats and antioxidants but might be higher in calories compared to a tomato-based sauce.

Is Pesto and Alfredo Good?

Yes, pesto and alfredo is a delicious combination! To me, it’s a match made in heaven! The creaminess of a traditional alfredo sauce pairs so perfectly with the flavor-packed taste of pesto.

an overhead shot of creamy pesto alfredo in a casserole dish

Pesto Alfredo

Yield: 2 servings
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

A gorgeous creamy pesto alfredo sauce that takes just 10 minutes to make and contains six ingredients. Delicious!


  • 150g pasta shells
  • 3 tbsp green pesto
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 50ml white wine
  • 250ml heavy cream
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 50g mozzarella
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Cook your pasta according to the package instructions (approximate time: 10 minutes)
  2. While the pasta is cooking, heat your olive oil in a pan and add the minced garlic.
  3. Cook the garlic for a minute or so until it’s fragrant, then add the white wine.
  4. Allow the white wine to cook down for another minute or two, then add the pesto to the pan along with the cream.
  5. Season the sauce to taste and squeeze in the lemon juice, bringing the creamy pesto sauce to a low simmer without letting it boil.
  6. Tip in your cooked pasta along with about 40ml of the pasta water and your grated mozzarella.
  7. Stir everything together until you have a creamy, silky sauce (2-3 minutes).
  8. Top the dish with your herby air fryer chickpeas, fresh basil, more fresh black pepper, and red chili flakes.


To Make The Herby Air Fryer Chickpeas

  1. Drain and rinse your tinned chickpeas, then coat in 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp Italian herbs, 1 tsp oregano, and salt and pepper.
  2. Toss them in the herbs, then place in the air fryer basket and air fryer for 15 - 20 minutes at 200C | 395F.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 809Total Fat: 67gSaturated Fat: 35gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 28gCholesterol: 162mgSodium: 484mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 2gSugar: 6gProtein: 16g

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