Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe


5 from 8 votes
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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!

Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe

5 from 8 votes
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 Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 1 16-ounce package bowtie pasta
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 Feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds

For the Pesto:

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


  • 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.


Calories: 377kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 23g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 403mg | Potassium: 336mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1605IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 198mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.


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Robyn Stone is a cookbook author, wife, mom, and passionate home cook. Her tested and trusted recipes give readers the confidence to cook recipes the whole family will love. Robyn has been featured on Food Network, People, Southern Living, and more.

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Recipe Review


  1. Susie says:

    5 stars
    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

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      So happy you are here, Susie! I’m glad you enjoyed this! xo

  2. Will Mackllin says:

    5 stars
    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.

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      Wonderful to hear, Will! I am so glad you both enjoyed it! Thanks!

  3. Judy Roth says:

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

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      Really glad you enjoyed it so much, Judy! I love this salad and the flavor it has! Thanks! xo