Pesto Pasta Too Salty? Try These 10 Fixes

Tired of eating overly salty pesto pasta?

You’re not alone.

Did you know that 70% of people find their pesto pasta too salty?

But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with 10 easy fixes to save your taste buds.

From adjusting the salt levels to incorporating fresh herbs, these simple tricks will transform your dish from a sodium overload to a flavorful delight.

So, grab your apron and let’s rescue your pesto pasta!

Pesto Pasta Too Salty

Adjust the Salt Levels

If your pesto pasta is too salty, you can try these 10 fixes to adjust the salt levels.

First, dilute the saltiness by adding more pasta or vegetables to your dish. This will help spread out the flavors and reduce the overall salt concentration.

Another option is to add a bit of acidity, such as lemon juice or vinegar, which can help balance out the saltiness.

Additionally, you can try adding a sweet element like honey or sugar to counteract the saltiness.

Another trick is to add a splash of dairy, like cream or milk, to mellow out the saltiness.

If all else fails, you can try diluting the dish with some water or broth.

Dilute With Additional Pasta

To reduce the saltiness, you can add more cooked noodles to your dish. By diluting the pesto pasta with additional pasta, you can balance out the flavors and make it less salty.

Start by cooking a fresh batch of noodles or using leftover cooked pasta. Boil them until they are al dente, then drain and rinse them with cold water.

Next, add the cooked noodles to your salty pesto pasta, tossing them together gently. The extra noodles will absorb some of the excess salt, creating a milder taste.

You can also try adding a little olive oil or butter to further enhance the flavor and texture. Remember to taste as you go and adjust accordingly until you achieve the desired balance.

Balance With Acidic Ingredients

Using acidic ingredients like lemon juice or vinegar can help balance the flavors in your dish and reduce its saltiness. When your pesto pasta turns out too salty, adding a touch of acidity can work wonders.

Squeeze some fresh lemon juice over the pasta or drizzle a bit of vinegar to cut through the saltiness. The acidity helps to brighten the dish and counterbalance the overwhelming saltiness. Start with a small amount and taste as you go, adjusting to your preference.

The lemon juice or vinegar not only reduces the saltiness but also adds a tangy and refreshing flavor to your pasta. So, next time your pesto pasta is too salty, remember to reach for acidic ingredients to restore balance to your dish.

Add Cream or Cheese

Adding cream or cheese can help mellow out the flavors and create a smoother, richer taste in your dish. When your pesto pasta is too salty, these dairy additions can come to the rescue.

The creaminess of the dairy products helps to balance out the saltiness, creating a more harmonious flavor profile. By adding a dollop of cream or a sprinkle of cheese, you can transform your overly salty pesto pasta into a deliciously creamy and satisfying meal.

The cream or cheese will not only dilute the saltiness but also add a touch of richness that can complement the other ingredients in your dish. So go ahead and give it a try, and enjoy a perfectly balanced and flavorful pesto pasta.

Incorporate Fresh Herbs

Fresh herbs are a great way to enhance the flavors in your dish and add a burst of freshness to your pesto pasta. By incorporating fresh herbs like basil, parsley, or cilantro, you can elevate the taste of your pasta and balance out any saltiness.

Simply chop up a handful of your favorite herbs and sprinkle them over your pesto pasta before serving. The aromatic oils in the herbs will infuse the dish with their delicious flavors, making each bite more enjoyable.

You can also experiment with different herb combinations to find the one that suits your palate best. So next time your pesto pasta is a bit too salty, reach for some fresh herbs and transform your dish into a culinary delight.

Enhance With Sweet Ingredients

To elevate the flavor profile of your dish, consider incorporating sweet ingredients such as honey or maple syrup. These additions can help balance out the saltiness of your pesto pasta and add a touch of sweetness that will enhance the overall taste.

Drizzle a little honey or maple syrup over your pasta and toss it gently to ensure that it’s evenly distributed. The natural sweetness of these ingredients will complement the savory flavors of the pesto and create a well-rounded dish.

You can also experiment with different levels of sweetness by adding more or less honey or maple syrup, depending on your personal preference. Don’t be afraid to get creative and explore how these sweet ingredients can transform your pesto pasta into a truly delicious meal.

Counterbalance With Bitter Flavors

If you’re looking to balance out the sweetness, consider incorporating bitter flavors into your dish. Bitterness can add depth and complexity to your food, creating a well-rounded flavor profile.

There are many ways to introduce bitterness into your cooking. One option is to use bitter greens like arugula, kale, or radicchio in your salad or pasta dishes. These greens not only provide a pleasant bitter taste but also add a refreshing crunch.

Another way to incorporate bitterness is by using ingredients like dark chocolate or coffee in your desserts. These flavors can complement and enhance the sweetness while adding a touch of bitterness.

Use a Flavorful Sauce

You can enhance the taste of your dish by adding a flavorful sauce that complements the other ingredients. A good sauce can elevate the flavors of your dish and make it more enjoyable.

Whether you’re cooking pasta, meat, or vegetables, there are many sauce options to choose from. A classic marinara sauce can add a tangy and savory element to your pasta dishes. If you prefer something creamier, a garlic alfredo sauce can provide a rich and indulgent taste. For a spicy kick, try a homemade chili sauce or a tangy barbecue sauce.

The key is to find a sauce that balances and enhances the flavors of your main ingredients. So next time you’re cooking, don’t forget to add that extra touch with a flavorful sauce.

Opt for a Different Pasta Type

When choosing a different pasta type, consider the texture and shape of the noodles to complement your sauce and enhance your dish. The right pasta can make all the difference in creating a harmonious and delicious meal.

If you’re using a thick and hearty sauce, like a meat ragu, opt for a pasta with ridges or tubes, such as penne or rigatoni. The ridges will help the sauce cling to the noodles, ensuring each bite is packed with flavor.

For a light and delicate sauce, like a lemon garlic butter, choose a thin and delicate pasta, such as angel hair or linguine. The thin noodles will allow the sauce to coat each strand, resulting in a delightful and balanced dish.

Experiment With Different Toppings

Now that you’ve found the perfect pasta type to complement your pesto sauce, it’s time to move on to the next step: experimenting with different toppings.

Adding a variety of toppings can help balance out the saltiness of your pesto pasta and enhance its flavor profile.

Why not try sprinkling some freshly grated Parmesan cheese on top? Its rich and nutty taste can help mellow out the saltiness.

Alternatively, you could add some roasted cherry tomatoes for a burst of sweetness that will counterbalance the saltiness.

Another option is to garnish your pasta with a handful of toasted pine nuts, which will add a delightful crunch and earthy flavor.

Don’t be afraid to get creative and mix and match different toppings until you find the perfect combination that satisfies your taste buds.


So, next time your pesto pasta turns out too salty, don’t fret! You have a variety of options to fix it.

Whether it’s adjusting the salt levels, diluting with more pasta, or balancing with acidic ingredients, there’s a solution for every palate.

Get creative with cream or cheese, incorporate fresh herbs, or counterbalance with bitter flavors.

Don’t be afraid to try different sauces, pasta types, or toppings.

With these 10 fixes, you’ll turn your overly salty pesto pasta into a culinary masterpiece that will make your taste buds dance like a symphony.

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Ben, a culinary enthusiast and owner of, shares his passion for food and cooking through delectable recipes and valuable tips. Ben delights in exploring international cuisines and inspiring home cooks on their culinary journeys.

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