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Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe – Cookie and Kate

pesto pasta salad recipe

This pesto pasta salad is destined on your subsequent gathering. Or at the very 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 fall. Leftovers hold nicely 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 really like salty feta on this recipe, although mozzarella and Parmesan are additionally nice.

pesto pasta salad ingredients

This pasta salad recipe consists of do-it-yourself pesto made with just a few little twists. As a substitute of pine nuts, I opted for extra inexpensive pepitas (inexperienced pumpkin seeds). You should utilize pine nuts in the event you’d slightly—and even walnuts or pecans.

I like to make use of half contemporary basil and half contemporary parsley, which tastes much more fascinating and in addition cuts down on prices (shopping for a number of contemporary basil may be costly). You may actually use all basil you probably have an abundance rising in your backyard. I additionally add some contemporary lemon juice to brighten up the dish. Give it a strive!

pesto process and tomatoes

Pesto Pasta Salad Suggestions

The recipe under is straightforward and easy, however listed here 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 deliver this sauce collectively. To assist me keep in mind, I at all times place a heat-proof glass liquid measuring cup within the sink subsequent to the colander.
  2. Rinse the pasta beneath cool water instantly after cooking. Rinsing the pasta reduces the quantity of starch on the floor of the noodles, so that they don’t clump collectively earlier than you’ve got 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 often works nicely in any such dish.
  4. To make it vegan, merely don’t add cheese. To make up for the flavour and substance that cheese offers, strive 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 hold comparatively nicely within the fridge, lined, 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 Find out how to Make Pesto Pasta Salad

pesto pasta salad in serving bowl

Extra Contemporary Pasta Dishes

For those who get pleasure from this pesto pasta salad, strive these recipes subsequent:

Please let me understand how your recipe seems within the feedback! I really 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
  • Food plan: Vegetarian

4.8 from 30 opinions

This pesto pasta salad recipe is bursting with contemporary taste. It’s gentle, wholesome and simple to make. Good 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
  • Non-compulsory cheese: ½ cup or extra crumbled feta cheese, little mozzarella balls or grated Parmesan
  • Non-compulsory 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 advantageous salt
  • ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Convey a big pot of salted water to boil for the pasta. Prepare dinner the pasta till al dente in keeping with the package deal instructions. Earlier than draining, reserve about ½ cup pasta cooking water, then drain and instantly rinse the pasta beneath cool water to stop the noodles from sticking collectively. Switch the pasta to a big serving bowl.
  2. In the meantime, to arrange 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 are going to 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 essential, till the pepitas have damaged all the way down to create a reasonably easy sauce.
  4. To assemble the pasta salad, pour the entire pesto over the pasta and toss till the pasta is frivolously 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 non-compulsory 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 a bit splash of olive oil if essential to tone down the remaining. This recipe will hold nicely, lined and refrigerated, for as much as 4 days.


Recipe tailored from Vegan Goodness by Jessica Prescott.
*Change it up: You should utilize pine nuts, walnuts or almonds within the pesto as a substitute of pepitas (though the dish will 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!

▸ Vitamin Data

The knowledge proven is an estimate offered 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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