This easy pesto pasta salad is made with pesto, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, spices, and fresh basil. It’s a great pasta dish to bring to a summer potluck or picnic! Plus, It’s colorful and loaded with fresh flavor.
Why this Summer Pasta Salad in a Winner!
This dish is so easy to make and is absolutely delicious! I love the combination of the pesto and pasta, it’s just so good. The salad is also nutritious and is a great way to use up fresh tomatoes and basil. It’s perfect for a quick lunch or dinner.
Pesto Pasta Salad Ingredients
This recipe is super easy in that you really need only a handful of ingredients. If you have fresh cherry tomatoes on hand, and basil you’re already halfway there. Any type of pasta will work, and you can use cubed, or mini mozzarella pearls.
Additionally, jarred (or fresh) pesto sauce will work. We prefer Barilla Rustic Basil Pesto which is about $3.99 a jar. You will need the entire mini jar for this recipe.
How to Make Pesto Pasta Salad
To make the salad, start by cooking the pasta according to the package directions. Once it’s cooked, drain it and rinse with cold water.
Then, add the pasta to a large bowl along with the pesto, tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil. Toss everything together until it’s evenly mixed.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper, cover, and store in the fridge to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
If you’re looking to keep your basil pesto pasta fresh, then you’ll want to store it in an airtight container in the fridge. This way, your pasta will last for up to five days. This pasta salad tastes better after 24 hours in the refrigerator.
Summer Pasta Salad Recipes
Looking for more tasty summer pasta salad recipes? Check out some of our favorites below!
- Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad
- Tuna Pasta Salad with Pickles
- Chicken Bowtie Pasta Salad
- Crab Pasta Salad
- Greek Pasta Salad
Easy Pesto Pasta Recipe
- 5-quart stockpot
- cutting board & knife
- Large bowl
- 16 ounces small pasta shells
- 1 cup fresh basil sliced thin
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes sliced in half
- 8 ounces mozzarella pearls
- ¾ cup jarred pesto
- salt & pepper to taste
- Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Once done, rinse pasta shells under cool water, and strain out any excess liquid.
- In a large bowl, combine the cooled, cooked pasta, pesto sauce, cheese, salt, black pepper, tomatoes, and fresh basil.
- Cover bowl with plastic wrap or foil and place the bowl in the fridge to allow the flavors to marinate for at least 30 minutes.