Courgette and pesto pasta recipe

(647 ratings)

A deliciously simple spaghetti pesto pasta dish that's full of fresh flavours - perfect for a weekday evening meal.

  • Vegetarian
  • healthy
Preparation Time5 mins
Cooking Time15 mins
Total Time20 mins
Five A DayOne
Cost RangeCheap
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories411 Kcal21%

A light and fresh pasta dish with a fragrant herby sauce and lush chunks of courgette.

This courgette pesto pasta is such a vibrant and delicious dish to serve up. The pesto coats every piece of spaghetti in a lovely, piquant sauce, and courgette adds a lovely touch of summer. Courgettes, like most summer squashes, are in season from June to about October in the UK. This is when they are at their freshest, tastiest - and cheapest! Even outside the season you can make this pasta for under £1 per person, but using in season ingredients can bring the cost down even more.

This recipe is part of our cheap family meals collection – under £1 a head


  • 2-3 courgettes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 300g (10½ oz) spaghetti
  • 3 tbsp fresh green pesto
  • Parmesan shavings (or vegetarian alternative)
  • Small handful fresh basil leaves, torn, to serve




  1. Coarsely grate the courgettes and put to one side. Heat the olive oil in a pan and cook the onion for 5 mins or until softened.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti according to the pack instructions. Add the courgettes to the onion and fry for 2-3 mins or until soft.
  3. Drain the pasta and return to the pan. Add the courgettes, onion and fresh pesto, and toss through. Season to taste and serve with the Parmesan shavings and basil leaves sprinkled on top.

Top tip for making courgette pesto pasta

You can use spiralised courgette as a complete replacement for spaghetti, but we really like the mix of textures between some grated courgette and some al dente spaghetti in this dish. If any type of pasta will work for this recipe, so use whatever you have available.

Octavia Lillywhite
Food and Lifestyle Writer

Octavia Lillywhite is an award-winning food and lifestyle journalist with over 15 years of experience. With a passion for creating beautiful, tasty family meals that don’t use hundreds of ingredients or anything you have to source from obscure websites, she’s a champion of local and seasonal foods, using up leftovers and composting, which, she maintains, is probably the most important thing we all can do to protect the environment.