This Pasta Salad with Pesto uses less than ten simple ingredients and comes together in minutes! Great to serve on its own or as a side, it’s perfect to make in bulk for picnics, barbecues, and
Table of Contents
Pass, the Pesto, Please!
When you think of pasta salad, you probably think of blad, cold noodles coated in creamy mayonnaise. But, that’s not what you’ll find in this recipe!
We freshened up the classic dish with fresh produce and zesty pesto as the sauce. The end result is a flavor-loaded dish that’s full of nutrients and is just as easy to make as the original.
Not to mention, this pasta salad with pesto:
- Uses just a handful of simple ingredients.
- Comes together in less than 30 minutes.
- Makes enough to feed a crowd.
- Can be enjoyed as a light meal or savory side.
Simple Ingredients You’ll Need
For this pasta salad with pesto, we swapped out heavy sauces for refreshing ingredients that are full of nutrients. It’s a great way to use up summer produce!
- Pasta – We prefer to use rotini for this recipe, but any small pasta you like best will work. If needed gluten-free noodles can also be substituted.
- Pesto – We pretty much always have a jar of homemade pesto on hand, but store-bought varieties taste great, too!
- Parsley – Included for a punchy, peppery taste.
- Cheese – A combination of Mozzarella pearls and shredded Parmesan cheese creates a creamy texture and rich, savory flavor you’ll love.
- Salt and Black Pepper – Use as little or as much as you’d like.
- Basil – Include this on top for a boost of refreshing flavor.
Boil, Combine, Eat: How to Make Pasta Salad with Pesto
The only cooking required for this recipe is preparing the pasta. Then, all you have to do is toss the ingredients together, and eat!
- Prepare the Pasta. Cook the pasta to al dente according to the package instructions. Then, drain the water, and set the noodles aside to cool.
- Combine. Add all the ingredients except the cheese and basil to a large mixing bowl, and gently toss to combine. Adjust the salt and pepper as needed to suit your preferences.
- Garnish. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese and fresh, torn basil leaves on top.
- Enjoy! Serve pasta salad chilled or at room temperature.
Common Questions About This Pasta Salad with Pesto Recipe
This recipe can be enjoyed on its own or given a boost of protein with the addition of shredded chicken, shrimp, beef, or turkey. Or, serve it as a side with a variety of main courses like turkey caprese sandwiches or chickpea chicken salad.
Of course, consult your doctor with any specific concerns. However, generally speaking, this pasta salad is a well-balanced dish! Featuring carbs, fats, vitamins, fiber, and nutrients, it’s an easy recipe you can feel good about.
Yes! Transferred to an airtight container, this pasta salad with pesto can be stored in the fridge for up to five days. Just be sure to give it a good toss before serving to redistribute the ingredients.
This recipe is best enjoyed cold or at room temperature. You just don’t want it to be hot!
More Pasta Salad Recipes
Looking for more ways to elevate your favorite summer side dish? Check out the tasty pasta salad recipes below!
- Caprese Pasta Salad
- Greek Orzo Pasta Salad
- Warm Italian Pasta Salad Recipe
- Easy Summer Pasta Salad with Fruit
Pasta Salad with Pesto Recipe
- 1 pound rotini pasta cooked according to package instructions
- 16 ounces grape tomatoes chopped
- 1 cup prepared pesto
- 1/3 cup fresh Italian parsley
- 8 ounces mini mozzarella pearls
- Salt to taste
- Black pepper to taste
- 1/3 cup red onion chopped
- Parmesan cheese and fresh basil for garnish
- Cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Drain, and set aside to cool.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked pasta, chopped grape tomatoes, prepared pesto, fresh Italian parsley, mini Mozzarella pearls, salt, and pepper.
- Add the chopped red onion to the bowl, and toss everything together until well combined.
- Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper, if needed.
- Garnish the pasta salad with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and torn fresh basil leaves.
- Serve the pasta salad with pesto chilled or at room temperature as a side dish or a light meal.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.