Pesto Macaroni and Cheese – A fast and flavorful one-pot meal of macaroni and cheese with basil pesto and a parmesan tomato topping.
This Pesto Macaroni and Cheese recipe was created as part of a shop that has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are my own.
Today I’m bringing you a flavorful, fast and easy one-pot meal. You can always use one of those, right? As the lazy days of summer are winding down and we’re settling back into regimented routines I’m relying on simple weeknight meals. I firmly believe in the importance of regular family dinners. Even in the midst of our busy schedules I try to gather my family around the table as often as possible.
One of my family’s favorite meals is homemade macaroni and cheese. I was excited to try the new Barilla Pronto Pasta. It creates one-pan pasta meals with no need to wait for water to boil, and no draining required. Yes, you read that correctly! You just add the water and pasta right to the pan and in about 10 minutes the pasta is done! It even maintains its shape and texture. It’s amazing!
I bumped up the flavor in this mac and cheese by adding Barilla Basil Pesto and a parmesan tomato topping. The pesto adds a balanced and delicious Italian herb flavor that compliments the mac and cheese perfectly. The parmesan crusted tomatoes add a pop of color and fresh flavor. If you have picky eaters in your family, you can easily skip the tomato topping and just serve them the creamy mac and cheese that’s underneath. For those that like tomatoes, I highly suggest taking the extra couple minutes to add them. They round out the dish wonderfully.
For this recipe I used rotini shaped pasta, but Barilla Pronto also comes in penne and half-cut spaghetti.
So there you have it – homemade mac and cheese made in one pan in under 30 minutes. Let’s dig in!
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Pesto Macaroni and Cheese
- 12 oz box Barilla Pronto Pasta I used Rotini
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup Barilla Basil Pesto
- 2 1/2 cups grated cheddar divided
- 3 medium sized tomatoes sliced (optional)
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese optional
Pour the pasta into a large skillet (about 12 inches in diameter). Pour 3 cups cold water into the pan; the water should cover the pasta.
Turn the stove burner to high and set a timer for 10 minutes. Cook on high, stirring frequently, until most of the water is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, add milk, and simmer for an additional 3 minutes, stirring constantly so the milk doesn't burn. Remove from the heat, add the salt, pesto, and 2 cups grated cheddar cheese, stirring until the cheese is melted. Preheat the broiler.
Sprinkle the top of the pasta with the remaining 1/2 cup cheddar cheese and place the sliced tomatoes on top of the cheese. Sprinkle the tomatoes with parmesan cheese. Place under the broiler for a minute or two, until the parmesan cheese melts and turns golden brown. Serve immediately.