Pesto Pasta Salad. With just 5 ingredients this fresh cold pasta salad is the perfect summer side dish. Made with homemade Pesto, cherry tomatoes and tender pasta this pasta salad pairs perfect with just about every grilling recipe!
Pesto Pasta Salad
I love pasta salads during the summer. They are easy to make, filling, and make great side dishes for just about everything that I can cook on the grill. I like to make a few different pasta salads and keep them in the fridge for quick lunches and quick side dishes for dinner.
This pesto pasta salad is my newest pasta salad love. I has some extra homemade pesto sitting in the fridge a few weeks ago and really wanted something with pesto as a side dish for the grilled burgers I was making but I didn’t want it to be super time consuming. I thought an eays pesto pastta salad would be perfect and iti was.
My whole family loved this pasta salad with pesto and since the first time I tossed it together I have made it a few more times since and there were never any leftovers. I hope your family enjoys it as much as mine did.
Easy Pasta Salad Recipes
- Chickpea pasta Salad
- Egg Salad Pasta Salad
- Tuna Pasta Salad Recipe
- Sun dried tomato pasta salad
- Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Salad
- Tahini Pasta Salad
- Italian Pasta Salad
- Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad
- BLT Pasta Salad
- Taco Pasta Salad
Variations Of this recipe
Add protein. Want to make it a full meal pasta salad? Cooked shrimp and cooked chicken are great add ins.
Add more veggies. If you want to add more veggies peas, cucumbers, black olives, and bell peppers are great additions.
Mozzarella cheese balls. I like using the mini mozzarella cheese balls but you can also use string cheese cut into pieces or large mozzarella cheese balls cut into pieces.
Tips for Making Pasta Salad
Don’t overcook the pasta. It is important to not overcook the pasta. Cook just until al dente and then drain them and then cool the pasta while in the strainer with cold water until all of the pasta is cooled. This will prevent a soggy pasta salad.
Cool the pasta completely. Just like overcooking pasta will give you a mushy pasta salad, so will noodles that are not cooled all the way. As soon as they are done cooking you want to shock the pasta with cold water to stop the cooking process.
Let pasta salad sit before serving. You can serve this pasta salad immediately after making it however I find pasta salad is best when it has time to sit in the fridge and all of the flavors are able to mix together. Letting the pasta salad sit for a few hours before serving results in a more flavorful and delicious pasta salad!
Change up the pasta. I like using rotini pasta, but you can also use fusilli, bowtie pasta, elbow macaroni, or any type of pasta that is small.
What to serve with Pasta Salad
There are lots of great main dishes and side dishes that go along well with this easy macaroni salad recipe. Check out some of our favorites dishes that we make when we are having this cold macaroni salad. Seriously anything that you cook on the grill will work perfectly with this cold pasta salad recipe. Check out some of my favorite summer dishes that go well with pasta salad.
- Steak Kabobs
- Hot dogs
- Grilled Corn on the Cob
- Grilled Steaks
- Chili Lime Chicken
- Bacon Wrapped Scallops
- Grilled Salmon with Avocado Salsa
Can I make Pasta Salad ahead of time?
Yes! You can make this pasta salad up to 3 days before serving.
How to store Pasta salad?
While this pasta salad is best served on the same day you make it you can store it to enjoy later or store leftovers. This pasta salad recipe needs to be stored in the fridge and is best stored in an air-tight container. You can use a bowl and plastic wrap but I find an air-tight container like these is best. This pasta salad will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Pesto Pasta Salad Ingredients
- 1 pound pasta
- 1 cup homemade pesto
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 10 basil leaves, sliced
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese balls
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
How to Make Pesto Pasta Salad
Cook pasta according to directions on the box for al dente, drain the pasta and then rinse under cold water.
While the pasta is cooking make the fresh pesto if you are using fresh pesto.
Wash and slice the cherry tomatoes.Wash and slice the fresh basil.
In a large bowl add the cooked and cooled pasta, pesto, tomatoes, basil and parmesan cheese.
Mix well so everything is combined.
Easy Pesto Recipes
- Cook pasta according to directions on the box for al dente, drain the pasta and then rinse under cold water.
- While the pasta is cooking make the fresh pesto if you are using fresh pesto.
- Wash and slice the cherry tomatoes.
- Wash and slice the fresh basil.
- In a large bowl add the cooked and cooled pasta, pesto, tomatoes, basil and parmesan cheese and mix well.