A hand spreads creamy basil pesto onto a round of pizza dough.

Made with prepared pesto and heavy cream, this creamy basil pesto comes together in a minute flat! The smooth sauce has a nutty flavor with notes of garlic and basil and goes great as a sauce for pizza and pasta alike. Add about ¼ cup to the top of freshly rolled thin crust pizza dough, or use as a creamy dip for garlic breadsticks.

You can use prepared pesto from a store, but you can also easily make your own at home with my basil pesto recipe. Then mix it together with heavy cream, and you have a delicious and creamy pesto sauce that can also serve as a filling for savory breads.

A bowl of pesto cream sauce by a rolled out pizza round.
Creamy basil pesto sauce can be used in pizza, pasta, or salads—the possibilities are endless!

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Ingredients for Creamy Basil Pesto

This creamy basil pesto sauce could hardly be any easier, with simple and fresh ingredients.

  • Pesto. Use your favorite pesto here: homemade or store-bought both work here. If you have the option, homemade will have a much stronger flavor.
  • Heavy cream. Heavy cream gives the pesto sauce its creamy consistency. It also softens the flavors of the pesto slightly.

You can find pesto in the dried pasta aisle at most grocery stores. Some stores also sell refrigerated pesto near the pickles and salsa.

A bowl of pesto and a measuring cup full of heavy cream on a quartz counter.
These ingredients could hardly be simpler, which means this basil pesto is incredibly easy to make.

Quick Tips for Prepping Creamy Basil Pesto

As easy as this recipe is, I always like to include a few tips I’ve learned from making this recipe numerous times. If you’re curious I have everything you need to know about making thin crust pizza at home in this video.

How to Make Bright Green Pesto Cream Sauce

For the brightest, greenest pesto cream sauce, you’ll have the best luck using fresh, homemade pesto.

Basil begins to oxidize after it has been cut up and exposed to air, and this is what causes pesto to go brown. The color doesn’t affect the flavor one bit, but I think we can all agree that green pesto is much prettier than brown pesto.

For a creamy basil pesto sauce that is more green than brown, use fresh pesto. Then, do your best to prevent the pesto from being directly in contact with air, even in the storage container. I like to top off my jars of pesto with a splash of olive oil or lemon juice after I use some. This locks in the freshness and doesn’t significantly change the recipe.

The Ratio of Pesto to Heavy Cream for a Pesto Cream Sauce

I like a ratio of 1:1 for this sauce, but you are more than welcome to change up the ratio to your preference.

As it is, the recipe as written softens the strong flavors in pesto (like garlic and basil) while also giving the sauce a creamy consistency. Using more pesto or less heavy cream will give you a chunkier consistency that has stronger garlic and basil flavors.

Something to note: It’s easy to stir in more heavy cream later on, if you want to try something different!

Quick Tips for Storing Leftover Creamy Pesto Sauce

Leftover creamy pesto sauce should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week for ultimate freshness.

You can also store the leftovers in the freezer for up to six months. If you don’t plan to use all of the leftovers at once, I recommend freezing the sauce in lumps.

To Freeze in Single Servings

Pour about ¼ cup onto a sheet of parchment paper or place in an ice cube tray, then freeze uncovered until solid, about 1-2 hours. Remove the frozen sauce and store the sauce pucks in a zip-top freezer bag in the freezer.

The morning you plan to use the frozen sauce, remove a frozen lump (or two, or three…) from the freezer bag and place it in a bowl, then cover with plastic wrap. Let the sauce thaw in the fridge until it’s liquid and ready to use (a few hours)!

A hand screws on the lid of a jar containing creamy basil pesto.
This pesto cream sauce can be stored in the fridge or freezer to make preparing meals in advance a breeze!

Dish Cleanup: Piece of Cake

I rate my recipe cleanups on a scale of 1 to 5. 1 is only a handful of dishes, and 5 is everything including the kitchen sink.

My creamy basil pesto has a cleanup rating of a 1. There’s one bowl, one spoon, and one measuring cup. It hardly gets easier than this!

A single bowl, spoon, and measuring cup on a quartz counter.
This is, and likely will forever be, the easiest cleanup for a recipe on my website.

Recipes with Pesto

I’m a lover of all things basil pesto here, and I have the recipes to prove it:

Creamy Basil Pesto Sauce Recipe

Yield: 1 cup (8 servings)

Creamy Basil Pesto

A hand spreads creamy basil pesto onto a round of pizza dough.

Made with pesto and heavy cream, this creamy basil pesto comes together in just a few minutes. Creamy pesto sauce goes great on pizza and tossed into pasta.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes



  1. In a medium bowl, stir together the pesto and heavy cream.

To Use Creamy Basil Pesto as a Pizza Sauce

  1. Spread about ¼ cup onto a 12" round of pizza dough. Add your favorite toppings, then bake as directed according to the pizza dough instructions.

To Use Creamy Basil Pesto as a Pasta Sauce

  1. Add the creamy pesto sauce to cooked and drained pasta, then toss together over low heat for 1-2 minutes until combined and warmed through. Use about ½ cup per 8 oz of pasta, or one cup for a full box. Serve immediately.


Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week or in the freezer for up to six months.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 131Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 21mgSodium: 83mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 2g

The nutrition facts are estimated and may vary based on specific ingredients used.

Thanks for trying out my creamy basil pesto sauce recipe!
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