15-Min. Pesto Burrata Pasta + Sweet Cherry Tomatoes
Burrata-topped pasta with sweet tomatoes is taken to the next level with pesto. Make in as few as 15 minutes for lunch, dinner or even pasta salad.
Sometimes you just need an easy, go-to pasta recipe to throw together after a long day at work. And nothing, absolutely nothing, will help you unwind like plunging a forkful of saucy pasta into a rich, creamy ball of burrata (AKA dairy heaven).
This recipe should take about 15 minutes to throw together if you’re using pre-made pesto, but no more than 30 if you’re making pesto from scratch. Either way, that’s still faster than picking up takeout or waiting for your DoorDash driver!
Nutty, zesty, herbaceous pesto makes for a perfect pairing with sweet cherry tomatoes and luscious burrata with its pure, decadent cream flavor. Simple but flavorful and well-balanced.
Filling but doesn’t feel heavy.
Just so we’re on the same page here, a quick reminder:
Pesto: A sauce typically made with crushed pine nuts, basil, olive oil and garlic.
Burrata: The cheese to end all cheeses, in my humble opinion. Like mozzarella, but with a thick, creamy center that’s sort of like Greek yogurt or cottage cheese if you put it through a blender. Burrata is stored in plastic, water-filled containers to keep the cheese soft and fresh.
Burrata fiends know its simple flavor and indulgent texture is practically unparalleled. But a little-known fact about burrata is that it is probably the most fun cheese because LOOK AT HOW GOOD IT LOOKS WHEN YOU CUT INTO IT.
The flavor combo of pasta with burrata and tomatoes is just out-of-this world with a little bit of salt. Light, dreamy, creamy. It’s sort of a similar vibe to the ricotta/tomato sauce flavors in baked ziti, but not nearly as heavy.
I like to serve with a sprinkling of red chili pepper to add heat and a little drizzle of balsamic vinegar glaze for added sweetness.
There are so many variations possible with this recipe to add some extra protein. More on that later.
You could also season with fresh chives, olives, anchovies, an extra drizzle of olive oil. There are so many possibilities — that’s the beauty of an effortless recipe! There are a billion ways to reinvent it.
- Cherry tomatoes
- Salt and pepper
- Red chili flakes
- Balsamic vinegar glaze
For homemade pesto:
- Pine nuts
- Olive oil
- Lemon juice
- Parmesan or pecorino romano
- salt and pepper, to taste
How To Make A Pesto Pasta Recipe
You can go two routes with this recipe.
1. Store-bought pesto. Ain’t no shame in the corner-cutting game — especially on a busy weeknight.
2. DIY baby. This will only add another 15 minutes max. to your prep time, but I personally think it makes a big difference in flavor if you’ve got the time and ingredients handy.
If you want to make your own, I’ve got a really easy, customizable recipe for basil pesto, and it includes tips for fun variations like macadamia nut pesto, mint pesto and more. This basil pesto recipe is nutty, refreshing, zesty, luxurious and a little bit creamy.
The best part is that you throw some stuff in a food processor or blender and press a button. THAT’S. IT. It stores well in the fridge (the color will change a bit) and you can dump leftover pesto on just about anything.
To make pesto pasta, simply cook pasta according to the directions on the box until al dente (not too mushy, not too hard, juuuust right). Toss the pasta with your pesto and ta-da! Pesto pasta.
Making Chicken Or Shrimp Pesto Burrata Pasta
If you want extra protein you can top with chicken or shrimp. I would cook these separately in a pan with a seasoning blend of your choice before folding in. My go-to is the heavenly Magic Stuff (yes that is the name) from Hitching Post in California’s Santa Barbara County. Not sponsored, but I wish.
You know the drill: Cook chicken until it’s not soft and pink in the middle. But if you’re making shrimp, definitely cook until shrimps are pink all over.
You could even get fancy and add pancetta or a poached egg.
Turn This Into A Pasta Pesto Burrata Salad
This also makes a lovely, simple pasta salad! Just serve cold and maybe drop in some extra fix-ins like finely shaved red onion, capers, roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes or chives.
You might also considering swapping burrata for mini balls of water-packed mozzarella for ease of serving, if you’re making a big batch. Big burrata balls can be a little awkward to split between a crowd.
Grab A Glass: Daryn’s Pairin’
Note from Courtney: This food and wine pairing is brought to you by my wonderful dad and armchair sommelier, Daryn!
For white wine lovers, a nice complement to that herbaceous pesto and the creamy burrata in Courtney’s recipe is a delicious Sauvignon Blanc from California. I’m a big fan of Heitz Cellar’s Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc, which is made with 100% certified organic Sauv Blanc grapes sourced from their estate vineyard atop Howell Mountain. Lovely grapefruit and pineapple on the nose, crisp lemon and grassy feel in the palate.
For those who prefer red wines, you might pair this dish with the “shy Italian” varietal, Dolcetto. Dolcetto is a favorite in the Piedmont region of Italy, but we have excellent growing conditions for it along our coastal regions in California. I recommend the Palmina Dolcetto from Santa Barbara County. Bright red fruit on the nose, delicious cherry flavor on the palate, and super light tannins that bring out the flavors in Courtney’s dish.
Pesto Burrata Pasta + Sweet Cherry Tomatoes
- medium-sized pot
- serving bowl
- 4 c. pasta any shape
- ½ c. pesto see step 2 for my homemade pesto recipe
- 1 burrata ball
- 1 c. cherry tomatoes halved
- Salt and pepper to taste
- red chili flakes for garnish
- balsamic vinegar glaze for garnish
- Bring a well-salted, medium-sized pot of water to boil. Cook pasta until al dente, according to directions on box.
- When pasta has started to cool, toss with salt and pepper to taste, tomatoes, and premade or homemade pesto. Transfer to serving bowl. NOTE: To make homemade pesto, you’ll need fresh basil, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil, salt/pepper, lemon juice and (optional) parmesan. Instructions here for an easy, customizable homemade pesto recipe.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste, and (optional) sprinkle red chili flakes and drizzle balsamic vinegar glaze on top.
- Take burrata ball and place in the center of your serving bowl filled with pasta. Take a knife and cut open burrata ball to get to that amazing creamy dairy goodness. Scoop ½ of burrata ball onto each diner’s plate.Enjoy!
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