If you’re after a quick and delicious pasta dish, look no further than this 15-minute Red Pesto Pasta With Prawns! With only 5 ingredients and 15 minutes of cooking time, your whole family will love this super simple but extremely tasty pasta affair. This dish is perfect for a weeknight dinner but is also elegant enough for any get-together with friends or family.
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases, at no extra cost for you! Thank you!
The Love of Pesto
Regular readers will know that I have a weakness for anything pesto-flavoured. So much so, that I love making this delicious relish myself (like Hazelnut Pesto or Walnut & Cheddar Pesto). And the more I use it in cooking, the more I realise how versatile pesto can be! It’s great to mix with mayo and use as a dip, perfect to stuff chicken with or make a lovely crust for fish, I even use it in my savoury bakes, like these Sourdough Pesto Rolls.
But I have to admit that up until recently I have completely overlooked one thing – there is more than one variety of pesto! Having used basil in almost all of my recipes, I was missing out on various different flavours. And once I started cooking with red pesto, I was totally hooked. Typically made with sun-dried tomatoes, red pepper, cheese and nuts, this pesto is possibly more delicious than the green one!
Whilst homemade sundried tomato pesto is a thing of beauty, we are sharing a recipe that uses a shop-bought one! It’s perfect when you need a tasty dinner on your table within 15 minutes (or less!).
Ingredients and Substiutes
Not only does this pesto prawn pasta dish come together in under 15 minutes, it only requires 5 ingredients!
- pasta: both long noodles and intricately shaped small pasta will work well in this recipe. However, typically pesto is used for ribbon-style pasta like linguine or spaghetti!
- prawns: we used shelled, cooked frozen prawns, but we defrosted them beforehand. If you have raw prawns, make sure to cook them first before coating them in pesto.
- red pesto (sun-dried tomato pesto): choose your favourite brand, but we highly recommend using pesto that’s heavy on sun-dried tomatoes.
- parmesan: can be substituted with other hard cheeses like Padano Grana or Pecorino.
- parsley: is used for garnish only, but it really adds to the vibrancy and aesthetics of the dish. You can substitute it with some thinly sliced spring onion or snipped chive. Alternatively, try some chilli flakes on top for a spicy kick.
Cook pasta in salted boiling water following the instructions on the packet.
When the pasta is about 2 minutes before it’s cooked, heat a large frying pan on medium heat, the prawns (we used cooked defrosted prawns) and a tbsp of red pesto. Stir for a minute or two to coat and warm through.***If you’re using raw prawns, cook them in the pan first, then add the pesto to coat.
Drain the pasta and add it to the prawns alongside the remaining red pesto and stir to combine.
Divide the pasta between bowls, scatter parmesan on top and garnish with parsley!
The main difference is the ingredients used to make them. Green Pesto is typically made with basil as the main ingredient (but there are plenty of modern variations using carrot tops, spinach or rocket (arugula). Red pesto, on the other hand, is made with sun-dried tomatoes or red pepper (or both).
Red Pesto Pasta goes well with a bunch of different things, so you are not limited to prawns. Add some shredded cooked chicken instead! Or try this recipe with a bunch of vegetables, like courgettes, cherry tomatoes and chargrilled red pepper.
What Goes Well With Red Pesto Pasta?
To make it into a feast, add some delicious side dishes to your pasta. If you want to be on the traditional side of things, serve it with garlic bread (I mean, who doesn’t like garlic bread, right?). But we think every pasta dish deserves a healthy green sidekick, like:
- Garlic and Lemon Tenderstem Broccoli (Broccolini)
- Courgette Ribbon Salad
- Arugula (Rocket) Salad Tossed with Olive Oil & Pinenuts
How To Make This Red Pesto Pasta With Prawns More Special?
There’s only one way! Make your own fresh pasta! If you’ve always wondered how to make pasta at home, we have you covered. Read all about pasta dough and the different shapes that you can make with or without a pasta maker. We also have an article on How To Store Homemade Pasta.
And if you fancy going all out, make your own red pesto. This Sundried Tomato Pesto recipe by Don’t Go Bacon My Heart is utterly delicious!
Other Quick Recipes That Are Ready In Under 20 Minutes
Do you sometimes feel like you cannot be bothered to cook and order a takeaway instead? Well, what if we tell you that there are plenty of quick and easy recipes you can make in under 20 minutes? Here are some of our favourites:
- Lemon Butter Baked Salmon with Dill Creme Fraiche Sauce
- Quick Lemon Ricotta Pasta
- Quick Chinese Crispy Lemon Chicken
15-Minute Red Pesto Pasta With Prawns
- 200 g pasta
- 180 g prawns shelled, cooked, defrosted if frozen
- 3 tbsp red pesto (sun-dried tomato pesto)
- 10 g parmesan grated
- 1 tsp parsley finely chopped, for garnish
- Cook pasta in salted boiling water following the instructions on the packet.
- When the pasta is about 2 minutes before it's cooked al dente, heat a large frying pan on medium heat and add the prawns (we used cooked defrosted prawns) and 1 tbsp of red pesto. Stir for a minute or two to coat and warm through. ***If you're using raw prawns, cook them in the pan first, then add the pesto to coat.
- Drain the pasta and add it to the prawns alongside the remaining red pesto and stir to combine.
- Divide the pasta between bowls, scatter parmesan on top and garnish with parsley!
- Red Pesto Prawn Pasta is best served immediately after cooking. Leftovers should not be reheated as the prawns will overcook and become rubbery.
- Serve this pasta dish with garlic bread and your favourite green salad.