This tomato pesto pasta recipe is a family favorite in our house, plus it’s the perfect way to get kids to eat “green” foods in a tasty new way!
Recipes like this one deserve to be shared. With two picky eaters, a baby at the hip and a husband who gets home late most nights; elaborate dinners are not in our weekly menu. Late Monday afternoons are not to be envied over at our house.
Monday afternoons are reserved for “activities.” You know, the type of back-to-back activities where the van becomes a taxi and mom turns into a chauffeur. Those. In our case, Alex does gymnastics and Sofia goes to ballet and piano. Yes, all in one afternoon. When we finally arrive home, the kids are starved, the baby is cranky and mom needs a glass of vino.
These are the kind of nights where I need dinner done in no time! From start to finish this delicious dinner takes 20-ish minutes. I’m going to add the “-ish” because some nights I have a baby on my hip and it can take longer. If you really want to cut down on the time, boil the pasta the night before and then dinner is done in 10!
The main reason I LOVE this recipe is because I nearly always have all ingredients on hand, has lots of good-for-you vitamins and my kids will eat it! While they don’t eat the “green” version of pesto, make it red and now we are talking. Crazy right? They enjoy the flavor but not the color green. Did I mention I have two very picky eaters? Yes, that would be case.
You can use fresh tomatoes of any kind or size; but I prefer to use cherry tomatoes. They are great for school lunches, salads and quick dinners. The shrimp is optional but I decided to add it last minute after I asked my husband what he wanted for dinner and he said: shrimp pasta. Really? I was going for pesto pasta… oh well.
Finally, you can use homemade or store-bought pesto. I had some MOMables broccoli pesto in the fridge so now this dish became super sneaky and nutritious!
Fresh Tomato Pesto Shrimp Pasta
This is the perfect “pesto pasta” if you have kids who won’t eat “green” foods.
- Cook Time: 20 mins
- Total Time: 20 mins
- Yield: 4 1x
- Category: Dinner
- Cuisine: Family food
- 12oz box of pasta
- 4oz pesto sauce
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup pasta water, reserved
- 1lb fresh or frozen shrimp (thawed)
- Parmesan cheese for topping
- In a large pot, bring water to boil and immediately cook pasta according to directions. Once cooked, remove from heat, reserve water and drain. Set aside.
- When the pasta is nearly done, heat olive oil over medium heat on a large pan. Add cherry tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes (or until they begin to pop and release their juices). Add pesto sauce, shrimp and 1/4 cup pasta water. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring often, or until shrimp turns pink and are thoroughly cooked.
- Add cooked pasta, gently fold red pesto sauce and shrimp until it’s evenly mixed.
- Serve and top with grated parmesan.
You can cut down in time by cooking your pasta ahead of time.
We like our pastas “meaty” so there are a lot of shrimp per bowl. If you need to stretch this recipe to feed 6, use a full 16oz box of pasta.