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 addapinch.com

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 addapinch.com

 

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

Print Recipe
5 from 7 votes

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.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time20 mins
Servings: 6 -8
Author: Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch

Ingredients

  • 1 16-ounce package bowtie pasta
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes halved
  • 1/2 red onion diced
  • 1 8-ounce package feta cheese, crumbled or Parmesan cheese, chunks
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds

For the Pesto:

  • 4 cups fresh basil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • 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.

 

23 comments on “Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe”

  1. I could eat this every day of the week!

  2. So light and fresh! I need to get myself a basil plant.

  3. I’m jealous of your basil! Love the simplicity of this salad!

  4. This sounds so good. I’m totally craving this for dinner tonight 🙂

  5. Thank you for the nice recipe, Robyn.

  6. 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!!!

  7. 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. 🙂

    • 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!

  8. Can I sauté the onion and the tomato?

  9. Getting ready to make it. Wish me luck!

  10. Best pasta salad EVER! Thanks for the recipe. Quickly becoming a staple for potlucks. On this island in the tropics, it’s appropriate all year!!!

  11. Wow! This is amazing! ANd I’ve never had so many compliments on a recipe!

  12. Man-O-Man did I get rave reviews upon serving this to my sig-oth. She didn’t want the dressing (for who knows what reason) but she said you can make this anytime you want; it’s delicious. I didn’t have bowtie pasta so I used corkscrew pasta.

    After the first meal I added some black beans, M-m-m-m so much better, and it was already great. We devoured the 12 servings in 3 days.

    Thank-you for the recipe.

  13. Robyn,
    This is the first time on this site for me.   I had just made pesto and was looking for a salad recipe, hoping for one with farfalle.  

    This recipe was delicious.  I would not have thought of adding feta, but what a nice touch.  I also love the crunch and taste of the sunflower seeds

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