You know what’s great about pesto pasta?
There are so many different ways you can make it.
You can use a variety of cheeses, or you can stick to just one.
You can add other ingredients like pine nuts or roasted veggies, or you can keep it simple with just a drizzle of olive oil and some fresh basil leaves.
But there’s one thing we’ve noticed: no matter how you make your pesto pasta, there is one thing that almost always goes with it.
That thing is cheese!
We’re not talking about just any cheese—we’re talking about the best kinds of cheese that go well with pesto pasta.
So if you’re looking for new ideas on how to spice up your pesto pasta, we’ve got 10 cheeses that go well with pesto pasta just waiting for you below!
What Cheese Goes with Pesto Pasta?
The cheese that goes best with pesto pasta is parmesan cheese. Parmesan cheese is made from non-pasteurized cow’s milk, and it has a rich, nutty flavor. It has a creamy texture and a hard texture when grated or shaved.
This cheese goes well with pesto pasta because it adds a rich flavor to the dish, but it does not overpower the other ingredients like some other strong cheeses might do.
Still looking for options?
Then keep reading!
This cheese is a staple of Italian cooking and is used in just about every Italian dish out there.
If you’re looking for something that will make your pesto pasta stand out from the rest, try adding some fresh parmesan cheese to the mix!
2. Pecorino Romano
Pecorino Romano is a hard, salty cheese that has been aged for at least 5 months.
See Also: 17 Pecorino Cheese Recipes I Can’t Resist
It is a staple in southern Italy where it originated and is often used as a finishing touch on many different dishes.
This type of cheese would go well with any dish containing pesto sauce because it has a strong flavor that stands up against other strong flavors like garlic or anchovies!
Mozzarella is another staple of Italian cooking—it’s usually made from cow’s milk but can also be made from buffalo milk or other milks as well.
This cheese has a soft texture and a slightly sour taste that goes well with pesto pasta—it’s also very versatile so it can be used in many different types of dishes!
4. Ricotta Salata
This cheese is great because it has a crumbly texture that adds texture to your meal without taking away from the flavor of the pesto sauce or other ingredients in your dish.
It can be added as is or shredded into smaller pieces for an even more interesting flavor experience!
5. Fontina Cheese
Fontina is a wonderfully creamy cheese that goes great with pesto-based dishes and adds some extra pizzazz to your meal without overpowering it with its own flavor profile.
Fontina also melts beautifully when heated up, so you can use it as an addition to many different types of food!
Next up is Gorgonzola.
Gorgonzola is a veined blue cheese that was originally made from unskimmed cow’s milk in Italy but today can be found everywhere from France to Australia—and it’s delicious!
This cheese adds a tangy kick to your pesto pasta that goes perfectly with the basil and olive oil flavors found in traditional pesto sauces.
7. Feta Cheese
Feta cheese is a soft cheese that’s usually made from sheep’s milk or goat’s milk.
It has small or no holes in it and comes in many different varieties depending on where it was made.
This type of cheese would work well with pesto pasta because of its softness and mild flavor—it won’t overpower the taste of your dish!
8. Havarti Cheese
Havarti cheese is one of our favorites because it melts easily and has a creamy taste that pairs well with many different ingredients.
It’s best served melted on top of pasta dishes like pesto pasta or baked potatoes.
9. Asiago Cheese
This hard texture cow’s milk cheese is first produced in Italy, and it has a strong aroma that complements the basil and pine nuts in your pesto.
It also contains a distinct nutty flavor that will really bring out all those delicious flavors in your dish!
10. Brie Cheese
This soft cow’s-milk cheese is pale in color and comes from France; it’s best served at room temperature with crackers or baguette slices.
The mild taste of Brie makes it a great option for pairing with more intense flavors like pesto or garlic, so if you’re looking to add some new flare to your pesto pasta dish without overpowering it, this might be just what you’re looking for!
How to Pick the Right Cheese to Serve with Your Pesto Pasta
We all love pesto, but it’s not always easy to know what kind of cheese to serve with your pasta.
Luckily, we’ve done the work for you!
Here are some tips on how to pick the right cheese for your pesto pasta:
1. How Creamy or Hard Should Your Cheese Be?
It depends on what kind of pesto you’re making.
If you’re making a traditional pesto, like one made with pine nuts and basil, then go for a harder cheese like parmesan or pecorino romano.
But if you’re making a nut-free version that uses sunflower seeds as its base instead, then something creamy like ricotta will do just fine.
2. What Other Ingredients Are in The Dish?
If there are other ingredients in the dish aside from just pesto—like tomatoes or red onions—then consider using a soft cheese like mozzarella or goat cheese instead of something more firm like cheddar or provolone.
The softer and creamier the flavor profile is, the better it will go with whatever else is being added into the mix!
3. Do You Want A Mild Or Strong Flavor?
If you want a milder flavor, you can use mozzarella or ricotta.
However, if you like stronger flavors like parmesan or pecorino romano, then go for it!
Just remember that these cheeses are sharper than mozzarella and ricotta so they’ll bring out more of the basil flavor in your pesto sauce.
4. How Much Time Do You Have?
If you’re in a rush, choose an aged cheese over a fresh one, as it will be easier to grate or shave for your pasta dish.
Fresh cheeses are generally better suited for salads than pastas because they lack the extra depth of flavor that aged cheeses have.
10 Cheeses That Go Well with Pesto Pasta
- Pecorino Romano
- Ricotta Salata
- Fontina Cheese
- Feta Cheese
- Havarti Cheese
- Asiago Cheese
- Brie Cheese
- Pick any cheese from this list to use for your pasta meal.
- Prepare the rest of your delicious meal.
- Be ready to munch in no time.