Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe

Pesto Pasta Salad makes a delicious recipe perfect for serving warm or cold! Made with pasta, fresh pesto, tomatoes, onions, and cheese, pesto pasta salad is always a favorite.

Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe from

I absolutely love this time of year. You know, when the days are longer so that you can enjoy suppers a little later and still have plenty of time to play outside for a while. Bedtimes are later, mornings are slower. One of the things I look forward to each day is taking my morning cup of coffee out onto the back porch to check on our container gardens. They are growing beautifully and if all keeps going as it seems it will, we are sure to have a bumper crop!

One of the more prolific growing items in my gardens is my herbs – specifically my basil. I’ve been making caprese salads and pesto as much as possible and made this pesto pasta salad over the weekend. Ready in just a few minutes, it is perfect served warm as soon as it is stirred together and just as delicious the next day served cool, which makes it great as a make ahead side dish for the summer.

I love to make this pasta salad with tons of layered flavor. I toss in grape tomatoes that I’ve halved, diced red onion, salty cheese like feta crumbles or a parmesan, and then I stir it all together with fresh pesto and then throw in toasted sunflower seeds for extra crunch. So good!

Seriously, this is one of our favorites throughout the summer. If you’d like to make it a full meal, you can easily add a bit of chicken, salmon, or tuna for protein for a one dish meal in minutes.

Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe from


Here’s my Pesto Pasta Salad recipe. I think you are going to love it!

5.0 from 3 reviews
Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Pesto Pasta Salad makes a delicious recipe perfect for serving warm or cold! Made with pasta, fresh pesto, tomatoes, onions, and cheese, pesto pasta salad is always a favorite.
Serves: 6-8
  • 1 (16-ounce) package bowtie pasta
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • 1 (8-ounce) package feta cheese, crumbled or Parmesan cheese, chunks
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds
For the Pesto:
  • 4 cups fresh basil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • ¾ cup Parmesan cheese
  1. Bring pasta to boil in large stockpot over medium heat. Cook according to package instructions. Remove from heat and pour through a strainer when cooked. Pour into a large mixing bowl. Add grape tomatoes, onion, feta cheese and sunflower seeds. Make pesto by adding all ingredients to a food processor or blender until smooth. Pour over pasta and stir until well-combined. Serve warm or store in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature to serve.



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  1. 9

    Kim Honeycutt says

    My niece makes a pesto pasta salad and I absolutely love it. She has never given me a recipe. Now I have one and it sounds so delicious!! Thanks you for sharing this! You know I’m pinning it!!!

  2. 11


    I know exactly what you mean about the basil! Mine is growing so fast I literally made a bouquet of it and put it in a little vase on my kitchen counter. I’m thinking making your pesto pasta recipe might be where that bouquet goes next. :)

    • 12


      I love making bouquets of fresh herbs. They just make the whole kitchen smell amazing! I hope you like the pesto made with sunflower seeds. I’m totally smitten with it!

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