Pesto Cavatappi Recipe from Noodles & Co.

Pesto Cavatappi Recipe from Noodles & Co.

Chase and I met in college, and dated almost all of the way through.
During those years one of our favorite meals was Pesto Cavatappi pasta at Noodles & Company right by campus, complete with one of their amazing rice krispies at the end :)
We probably ate this dish at least weekly and it was kind of one of our “places.”

Once we moved away from Noodles, I had to re-create this simple yummy pesto dish for us!
I usually switch to whole wheat noodles, but you can really use any kind in this dish!
*I’ve also recently tried it with “zoodles” (spiralized noodles made from zucchini) and
it was also delicious..maybe with some added chicken to make it more filling!)


1 tablespoon salt
1 pound cavatappi pasta (or whole grain, or zucchini noodles!)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1-2 garlic cloves
2 tomatoes, cored and diced
2 cups white mushrooms, chopped
½ cup dry white wine (optional– they use it, I haven’t yet)
¼ cup milk (you can use heavy cream if you’re feeling decadent…I try to health ours up a little)
1 cup pesto
1 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
1 breast chopped grilled chicken (optional)


Bring lightly salted water to a boil in a large pot. Add pasta and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes. **Don’t overcook!** Drain well, but save a little bit of the pasta water (1/2 cup to cup).

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, tomatoes + mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes, until some of the liquid has been released and the tomatoes + mushrooms are heated through.

Stir in the milk (and dry white wine if using), and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium and cook until the sauce has thickened slightly – about 2 minutes.

Add in pesto and chicken (is using) and stir a few minutes until heated through. Add pasta and toss until everything is mixed and coated in the sauce. If needed, pour a small amount of pasta water which adds creaminess. Put in a big bowl and sprinkle plenty of parmesan!

You can even make rice krispies for dessert if you really want the full Noodles experience … but good luck getting them as soft and gooey and perfect as they are at the restaurant! :)

Noodles pesto

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and here is our zucchini noodle version..
perfect for summertime ^^ :)