20-Minute Cheesy Pesto Pasta

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20-Minute Cheesy Pesto Pasta

a photo of a large bowl full of cooked angel hair pasta tossed with pesto, grape tomatoes, basil leaves, mozzarella cheese and pine nuts.

Need dinner on the table in 20 minutes? This Cheesy Pesto Pasta is quick and easy to make, and you can throw in any extra veggies lying in your produce drawer!

The BEST Pesto Pasta Recipe

If you’ve got a need for vegetarian or gluten-free recipes, these basil pesto noodles is a great dinner option. You can add chicken to make it a heartier dish, but it’s actually really fantastic with just grape tomatoes. Heck, you could even throw in chopped zucchini, which would also be yummy. In fact, I think I will next time.

Our favorite way to serve this pesto pasta is actually straight from the pan. I know, that doesn’t seem very classy, but the pan is sizzling hot and to bring it out and serve it straight into bowls really is so fun and it keeps everything fresh and fragrant versus putting it into a cold serving bowl.

We started with our Classic Pesto recipe. You just can’t beat the taste of fresh pesto! It’s our favorite and I think it’s the toasted garlic that really takes things over the top. We actually add a little more to the pasta as well. It’s ridiculous, but true. Garlicky, cheesy noodles are kind of awesome.

I don’t know how healthy pesto pasta is considering that you dump a full cup of cheese in there, but it’s certainly better for you than a lot of other pasta dishes out there. It’s fresh, simple and a really fast pasta to serve as a main dish. Not to mention it is full of flavor!

What’s Needed for Basil Pesto Pasta?

This pesto sauce pasta couldn’t be any easier to make! Here’s all you’ll need to make these pesto noodles:

  • Olive Oil
  • Garlic
  • Angel Hair Pasta
  • Basil Pesto
  • Shredded Mozzarella
  • Grape Tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes)
  • Black Pepper

The measurements for each ingredient can be found in the recipe card down below so keep scrolling for all the details.

How to Make Pesto Sauce Pasta

This pesto dish comes together in just 20 minutes! Here are the basic steps to mastering this recipe:

  1. Prep: Make the homemade pesto (if making at home) and prepare the pasta to al dente according to the package instructions (reserve the pasta water!).
  2. Sauté: Add the oil and garlic to a large skillet over medium heat and stir until fragrant. Reduce the heat then at the tomatoes and salt and sauté.
  3. Boil: Add some starchy pasta water and bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. You want the tomatoes to start burstin

The Little Things Newsletter #416 – Life, laughter, and lots of great food!

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Welcome to the weekend, my friends! It’s rainy and wet over here in Ohio today, but tomorrow’s forecast looks glorious. I’m looking forward to spending tomorrow afternoon napping on the back porch and enjoying the time with my family. 

ON THE BLOGS THIS WEEK: Street corn dip is a creamy, spicy, slightly sweet snack for any time of the year. With loads of great flavor from cilantro, lime, chili powder, and cumin, this is irresistible for anyone who loves Mexican street corn.

Creamy and fresh with a bit of tang, German cucumber salad brings back happy memories. Nothing says summer Sunday dinner at Grandma’s house quite like this old-fashioned salad.

Tangy, sweet pineapple rice with cilantro and lime is a guaranteed win for any pineapple lovers. My family gives it two thumbs up around the table every time I make it. This is a fun side dish that was originally inspired by this recipe for Hawaiian huli huli chicken. I wanted something sweet and just a bit tangy, and the rice worked out beautifully.

This is a sweet, moist cherry cake filled with fruit and drizzled with an almond glaze. It is a dessert you can pull together with minimal effort for maximum results.

Blueberry milkshakes are summer in a glass, perfect for sipping on a hot day or treating yourself after a long day. This is a creamy, dreamy milkshake bursting with juicy blueberries. So simple, yet so satisfyingly delicious.

Crunchy, sweet, and salty old fashioned haystacks bring my Grandmother’s kitchen to mind every time I make them.

Having published well over 100 ice cream recipes, I get asked a LOT of questions about ice cream makers. So, I’ve updated my gigantic ice cream maker review to highlight the best and the worst ice cream makers for 2024.

What I’m CRAVING: This Vietnamese bbq shrimp pasta looks so good! Bring on all the shrimp recipes this summer. Grilled, sauteed, boiled, I’ll take them all.

My FAVORITE THING this week is this Read more

Chocolate Cupcakes with Strawberry Frosting

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Chocolate Cupcakes with Strawberry Frosting

These chocolate cupcakes with strawberry frosting start with moist, fudgy chocolate cake. Then they're topped with creamy strawberry buttercream made from real strawberries.

These chocolate cupcakes with strawberry frosting start with moist, fudgy chocolate cake. Then they’re topped with creamy strawberry buttercream made from real strawberries.

Chocolate and strawberries – could there be a better combo? There’s just something about fudgy, creamy chocolate and fresh, sweet, juicy berries that go so perfectly together. And when Valentine’s day rolls around, these chocolate cupcakes with strawberry frosting are the perfect thing.

I always get really excited for Valentine’s Day, and I love the idea of taking a day to appreciate the people we love – and after cold, dreary January, I think everyone can use something to brighten their day.

I don’t typically buy gifts or do anything too fancy for Valentine’s Day – but I love to make a special treat to celebrate. And these chocolate cupcakes with strawberry frosting are great for February 14th, or whenever you’re looking for a chocolate cupcake recipe that’s just a little extra special.

How to Make Chocolate Cupcakes

The chocolate cupcakes are moist, fudgy, and have a perfectly soft cupcake crumb. Oil keeps the cupcakes moist. Then we’re using buttermilk for a soft, delicate cupcake crumb. If you don’t have buttermilk on hand – you can make your own with vinegar and 1% or 2% milk. Then for a super fudgy rich chocolate flavor, I recommend using dutch process cocoa.

Start by whisking all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, cream together all the wet ingredients. Then add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.

Spoon the batter into a cupcake pan lined with cupcake liners and bake. Let them cool completely before adding the frosting.

How to Make Strawberry Buttercream

For the strawberry frosting, we’re using real strawberries. You can use fresh or frozen berries – but if using frozen berries just make sure they aren’t packed in syrup or sugar.

First process the berries in your food processor or blender, and then put the juice through a metal sieve to remove the seeds. I usually do about 1/2 at a time and push the mixture through using the back of a spoon. It can be a little tedious – so if you don’t mind seeds in your frosting, you can skip this step.

Then boil the juice down until it’s thick like jam, and place it in the fridge or freezer to cool. After this is done – making the strawberry buttercream frosting is straight forward. Beat the butter until fluffy, then slowly beat in the powdered sugar followed by the cooled, boiled down strawberry puree.

PRO TIP: If you really want to amp up the strawberry flavor (and color), pulverize a half cup or so of freeze-dried strawberries, and mix those in.

What Piping Tip to Use on Cupcakes

You can either frost the cupcakes using a piping bag and tip (I used a 1M) or simply frost them with a knife.


Easy 3 Ingredient Chorizo Potatoes

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Easy 3 Ingredient Chorizo Potatoes

a red and white skillet with quick and easy 3 ingredient chorizo potatoes with cilantro on top

We went to Mexico a few year ago and these easy 3 ingredient chorizo potatoes had to be recreated for a savory breakfast or side!

We had the most amazing meals while staying in Mexico. Maybe the location helped a bit, maybe it was the sun, the pool at our side and the absolute peace of having nothing on our schedules to distract us from just loving and being together, but either way these Easy 3 Ingredient Chorizo Potatoes tasted like one of the most simply delicious things ever. We just had to recreate them!

Let me tell you a little bit about what I’m talking about. Cade and I did a speaking tour a few years ago. It was amazing. Have you heard of Time Out for Women before? It really is the most amazing weekend to go and fill up your tank to be a better person.

However, when you’re one of the speakers that comes with an extra load to carry as it means finding sitters to stay with your kids while you fly out of town. Praying and writing to come up with the best talk to give to the women who have sacrificed time, money and efforts to be there. It means staying up late and getting up early, worrying and working through nerves, etc.

It was the best experience of our lives, but by the end of the tour we knew we needed to get away as a family. And get away we did!!

San Jose Del Cabo, Mexico

We are going to be writing an entire post on why we chose the location we chose, where we stayed (Casa Mariposa is already being booked by our family for next year it was seriously that amazing!!!!) and what we did, but for now let me say this, it was everything you’ve always dreamed a vacation would be.

At Casa Mariposa there is a small staff to help you with what you need, the concierge is Carlos and Lupita does all the cooking. I’ll be honest with you, I thought for sure that we wouldn’t use them. Cade and I are so easy going and we love to cook and go out to eat so why would we need anyone?

We were wrong.

Lupita cooked breakfast and lunch for us every day, and it was not only delicious but made for an unforgettable experience. One morning she made us these easy 3 ingredient chorizo potatoes with simple huevos rancheros and I’m pretty sure Cade fell in love.

Easy 3 Ingredient Chorizo Potatoes

So what are Lupita’s papas con chorizo (or chorizo con papas)? Well, to be fair, we forgot to ask her how she made them, but I carefully ate them, savoring every bite and while our chorizo probably isn’t as good as theirs I’m pretty sure hers was the same as this recipe, or only slightly different.

All you need is 3 Ingredients:

  1. Yukon Gold Potatoes
  2. Minced, Fresh Garlic
  3. Chorizo

How to Make Chorizo Potatoes

These potatoes are first pan fried creating a roasted, caramelized flavor on the potatoes, and then spicy chorizo is thrown in along with a little garlic to bring out everything you’d want in a simple Mexican breakfast. Here is a little more detail:

  1. Place a large skillet over medium heat, add a drizzle


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Crunchy, sweet and salty old fashioned Haystacks bring my Grandmother’s kitchen to mind every time I make them.

Horizontal shot of crunchy creamy salted candies on baking sheet

Haystack Cookies

Haystacks are a treat my Grandma used to make for us when we visited. They often appeared on her Christmas cookie trays and in our treat bags when she packed lunches for us.

Are they candy? or are they cookies? I never can decide! They’re certainly sweet enough to be considered candies, but they remind me more of no-bake cookies. Whatever you call them, they are much enjoyed.


Are you wondering exactly what these weird-looking cookies actually are? They’re little haystack-looking mounds of deliciousness that are made from either melted chocolate or butterscotch mixed with peanut butter and crunchy chow mein noodles.

I typically make mine, like Grandma did, with melted butterscotch chips. She often stirred a handful or two of peanuts into hers and I’ve seen them made with coconut too. They’re pretty adaptable little cookies.

Overhead shot of crunchy creamy candy on white platter

The name of “haystack” is because they look a bit like haystacks as you drop them onto the baking sheet to cool. They’re super easy to make (a perfect kid-friendly recipe) and they have proven irresistible to snack on when they’re in our house.

We love the addition of a sprinkling of Maldon salt over each haystack. That salt balances the sweetness nicely and, as you know, I love a good salty-sweet treat.