pesto pasta salad recipe

This pesto pasta salad is destined to your subsequent gathering. Or at the least, that’s what I hope! This recipe is gentle and so contemporary. It’s good for events, picnics and weeknight dinners, from spring by means of fall. Leftovers maintain properly for lunch, too.

Pesto and pasta are the celebs of this present, naturally. To make it a pasta salad, I added a pint of cherry tomatoes, just a few handfuls of contemporary arugula, and a few cheese. I like salty feta on this recipe, although mozzarella and Parmesan are additionally nice.

pesto pasta salad ingredients

This pasta salad recipe consists of home made pesto made with just a few little twists. As an alternative of pine nuts, I opted for extra inexpensive pepitas (inexperienced pumpkin seeds). You need to use pine nuts if you happen to’d somewhat—and even walnuts or pecans.

I like to make use of half contemporary basil and half contemporary parsley, which tastes much more attention-grabbing and likewise cuts down on prices (shopping for numerous contemporary basil may be costly). You would actually use all basil if in case you have an abundance rising in your backyard. I additionally add some contemporary lemon juice to brighten up the dish. Give it a attempt!

pesto process and tomatoes

Pesto Pasta Salad Suggestions

The recipe beneath is easy and easy, however listed below are some notes earlier than you get began.

  1. Reserve some pasta cooking water. We’ll want as much as 1/2 cup of the starchy pasta cooking water to assist carry this sauce collectively. To assist me bear in mind, I all the time place a heat-proof glass liquid measuring cup within the sink subsequent to the colander.
  2. Rinse the pasta below cool water instantly after cooking. Rinsing the pasta reduces the quantity of starch on the floor of the noodles, in order that they don’t clump collectively earlier than you may have an opportunity to toss them in pesto sauce.
  3. To make this dish gluten free, merely substitute your favourite gluten-free noodles. A sturdy corn-and-quinoa mix normally works properly in one of these dish.
  4. To make it vegan, merely don’t add cheese. To make up for the flavour and substance that cheese supplies, attempt including olives and/or chickpeas to the dish.
  5. Serve promptly. This pasta salad is greatest served inside just a few hours, however leftovers will maintain comparatively properly within the fridge, coated, for as much as 4 days. The one draw back is that the arugula will wilt a bit with time.

how to make pesto pasta salad

Watch Easy methods to Make Pesto Pasta Salad

pesto pasta salad in serving bowl

Extra Recent Pasta Dishes

When you get pleasure from this pesto pasta salad, attempt these recipes subsequent:

Please let me understand how your recipe seems within the feedback! I like listening to from you.

pasta salad with pesto


Pesto Pasta Salad

  • Writer: Cookie and Kate
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Prepare dinner Time: 10 minutes
  • Complete Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings 1x
  • Class: Salad
  • Technique: By hand
  • Delicacies: Italian
  • Weight loss program: Vegetarian

4.8 from 27 opinions

This pesto pasta salad recipe is bursting with contemporary taste. It’s gentle, wholesome and straightforward to make. Excellent for picnics and potlucks! Recipe yields 6 to eight aspect servings.



  • 1 pound complete grain pasta (fusilli, rotini, penne or farfalle)
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 3 handfuls child arugula or spinach
  • Elective cheese: ½ cup or extra crumbled feta cheese, little mozzarella balls or grated Parmesan
  • Elective additions: ½ cup thinly sliced Kalamata olives and/or 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained (or 1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas)
  • Freshly floor black pepper


  • ½ cup pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds)*
  • ½ cup packed contemporary basil leaves
  • ½ cup packed contemporary flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • ¼ cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • ½ teaspoon superb salt
  • ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Carry a big pot of salted water to boil for the pasta. Prepare dinner the pasta till al dente in keeping with the bundle instructions. Earlier than draining, reserve about ½ cup pasta cooking water, then drain and instantly rinse the pasta below cool water to stop the noodles from sticking collectively. Switch the pasta to a big serving bowl.
  2. In the meantime, to organize the pesto: In a small skillet, toast the pepitas over medium warmth, stirring typically, till they’re aromatic and making little popping noises, about 4 to five minutes. Pour half of the pepitas right into a bowl for later (we’ll use them as garnish).
  3. Pour the remaining pepitas right into a meals processor. Add the basil, parsley, lemon juice, garlic and salt. Course of whereas slowly drizzling within the olive oil, stopping to scrape down the edges as obligatory, till the pepitas have damaged all the way down to create a reasonably easy sauce.
  4. To assemble the pasta salad, pour all the pesto over the pasta and toss till the pasta is calmly and evenly coated, including a tiny splash of reserved pasta cooking water if essential to skinny it out. Then add the cherry tomatoes, arugula, remaining toasted pepitas, and any optionally available add-ins (cheese, olives and/or chickpeas).
  5. Toss once more to mix, then season to style with pepper. If the pasta wants extra taste, add salt, to style, or a splash of lemon juice. If the flavors are too daring, let it relaxation for a couple of minutes, and add just a little splash of olive oil if essential to tone down the remainder. This recipe will maintain properly, coated and refrigerated, for as much as 4 days.


Recipe tailored from Vegan Goodness by Jessica Prescott.
*Change it up: You need to use pine nuts, walnuts or almonds within the pesto as a substitute of pepitas (though the dish will now not be nut-free, if that’s related to you).
Make it gluten free: Use your favourite gluten-free pasta.
Make it dairy free/vegan: Simply don’t add any cheese!

▸ Diet Data

The knowledge proven is an estimate supplied by an internet diet calculator. It shouldn’t be thought of an alternative choice to knowledgeable nutritionist’s recommendation. See our full diet disclosure right here.

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