Olive Pesto Pasta with Breadcrumbs

Close-up photo of a grey-speckled bowl with pasta, olive pesto, breadcrumbs, and topped with shredded basil.

As the site ages, I’m attempting to go through and update/retest some of the recipes I believe should have some staying power. These are the recipes I’ve love. This olive pesto pasta came about as a fluke, a dinner desperation. Ever since then, this pasta has become a staple, primarily for how easy and quick it comes together!

The Olives

When it comes to olives, I’m buying a small container from the olive bar on a weekly basis. We use olives on pizza, in salads, as a snack, and in pasta dishes, like this olive pesto pasta. It’s a lovely, salty recipe for this time of year.

As you can see in the recipe, I typically reach for kalamata but green/black ones would work just as well. Use what you might already have on hand (or is the easiest for you pick-up!)

The Pesto

I’m using the idea of ‘pesto’ here a bit loosely. It’s as if my base tapenade recipe mixed with a pesto and created this delightful spread. This recipe makes quite a bit so be prepared to use it in a few different ways. Use it as a spread on sandwiches, top a bit of hummus, or add it to a morning omelette.

Pasta for Days

I’m not usually particular about the shape of pasta but when it comes to this olive pesto pasta, I love it with long, thick noodles. Fettuccine or something similar works wonderfully. The olive pesto, with the help of just a splash of pasta water, clings to the noodles. Of course, you can use what you already have on hand- there’s no wrong pasta answer.

Two bowls of pasta on a dark green background.

Carbs on carbs

Finally, I realize the breadcrumbs on pasta might seem a bit much but I promise- it’s delightful. The crispy, golden breadcrumbs lend just enough texture to make the pasta really shine. You don’t need them but I highly recommend them. You could also use toasted/chopped nuts.


Really the star of this recipe is the pesto. It’s a rough variation from an olive tapenade but can function in a similar way. If you want to make a big batch of this pesto, it’s great not only on this pasta but also as a spread on sandwiches or pizza.

Pasta: If you’re looking to ditch the pasta, try cooked spaghetti squash or if you’re a fan of the spiralizer, sweet potato noodles.

Cheese: I like having cheese as an option to add rather than take away. However, this pasta dish is great with a bit of cheese sprinkle on top, like feta.

[tasty-recipe id=”33658″]

Close-up, side angle photograph of long pasta in an olive sauce and topped with basil.continue reading

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