Pesto Pasta Salad


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Pesto Pasta Salad is a favorite for a summer picnic, barbecue or even a potluck! Bright pesto, mozzarella cheese balls (AKA bocconcini), sun dried tomatoes and kalamata olives are the perfect combination! I love pasta salad recipes and this is definitely near the top of my list!

Colorful and flavorful, this basil pesto pasta salad will wow any crowd! Serve it as a side with grilled honey mustard chicken or on its own with a slice of homemade garlic bread!

Image of prepared pesto pasta salad in a glass bowl with tomatoes, basil, mozzarella and olives.

How to Make Pesto Pasta Salad

Pesto Pasta Salad combines our favorite Italian inspired ingredients in a creamy pesto dressing! Juicy ripe tomatoes, creamy mozzarella and olives and zesty sundried tomatoes and the perfect combination.

  1. Pasta: Cook pasta al dente (‘to the bite’). Cool and set aside. Any medium pasta shape should work just fine!
  2. Dressing: Whisk together pesto, mayonnaise, and red wine vinegar in a small bowl.
  3. Mix: Combine the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl. Toss with dressing and season with basil, salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate at least two hours before serving.

Pesto pasta salad prepared in a glass bowl with the basil and dressing on the side.

Add Protein for a Full Meal

I love an Italian Pasta Salad and we often add proteins to for a complete meal on a warm summer night. Grilled chicken breasts are the perfect addition to this recipe to make it a full meal! Shrimp is another great addition.

I prefer to use homemade pesto to make the easy dressing for this pasta salad but store bought will work too. Use any leftover pesto to marinate your meats before grilling.

A serving of pesto pasta salad in a white bowl, garnished with basil.

Leftover Pasta Salad

This pasta salad will last for 4-5 days in the fridge. If you know you’ll be storing this for a few days, don’t half the cherry/grape tomatoes, keep them whole.

Can Pasta Salad be Frozen? Pasta salad is best eaten fresh. Fresh veggies and pasta can often become mushy when frozen and defrosted.

More Delicious Pasta Salads

Pesto Pasta Salad

Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Holly Nilsson
Course Salad
Cuisine Italian
This refreshing pasta salad is the perfect combination of mozzarella, tomatoes and olives!

Ingredients

  • 8 oz tortiglioni or rotini pasta cooked and cooled
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes halved
  • 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes diced
  • 1/2 cup small mozzarella balls
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives pitted
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup pesto
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

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Instructions

  1. Mix pesto, mayonnaise and red wine vinegar in a small bowl.
  2. Combine pasta, tomatoes, mozzarella and olives in a large bowl. Toss with dressing and season with salt & pepper to taste.
  3. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.
  4. Chop fresh basil and sprinkle on top just before serving
Nutrition Information
Calories: 338, Fat: 19g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 9mg, Sodium: 449mg, Potassium: 300mg, Carbohydrates: 34g, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 4g, Protein: 9g, Vitamin A: 760%, Vitamin C: 5.4%, Calcium: 86%, Iron: 1.2%

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword caprese salad, Pesto Pasta Salad

 

REPIN this Fresh Salad

Pasta salad in a small white bowl, showing cherry tomatoes, olives and mozzarella balls

This pesto pasta salad recipes is a fresh favorite! It is loaded with pasta, tomatoes, olives and mozzarella balls and tossed in a tangy vinaigrette! #spendwithpennies #pestopastasalad #coldpastasalad #sidedish #capresepastasalad
This pesto pasta salad recipes is a fresh favorite! It is loaded with pasta, tomatoes, olives and mozzarella balls and tossed in a tangy vinaigrette! #spendwithpennies #pestopastasalad #coldpastasalad #sidedish #capresepastasalad

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About the author

Holly

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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