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Pesto Pasta Salad | Made with Only 5 Ingredients!

Pesto Pasta Salad is a simple and delicious Italian pasta salad made with only five ingredients. Using store-bought pesto, fresh mozzarella, and tomatoes, you are going to love how flavorful and easy this pasta salad is.

Pesto pasta Salad on a white serving platter.

If you are looking for a simple and quick pasta salad that everyone will love, then you have to try this Pesto Pasta Salad. Made with only five ingredients, this is sure to become a new favorite pasta salad that’s great for any occasion.

This recipe for Pesto Pasta Salad is great to serve for brunch, barbecues, or potlucks. I love to make a batch and have it on hand for the week. For another delicious tomato-based salad, be sure to try Italian Tomato Onion Salad or this tasty Bruschetta Salad.

And, if you have store-bought pesto on hand, then this salad a perfect way to use it up. While nothing beats fresh homemade pesto, there are some store-bought brands that come close. My personal favorite is the Kirkland brand pesto that you get at Costco.

balsamic vinegar, tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, dried pasta, and pesto on a wooden cutting board.

However, you will probably have a lot of pesto leftover. Check out my other recipes linked below for more ideas on what to make with pesto sauce. And, if you don’t use it all up now, pesto also freezes beautifully and is great for later uses.

Recipe in a large white oval serving bowl with basil and drizzle overtop.

Read on to see how easy it is to make this pasta salad.

What to make with leftover pesto

Store-bought pesto is one of my favorite kitchen short cuts. However, I always seem to have more than enough leftover. Check out these delicious and easy recipes using leftover pesto sauce.

Pesto Tortellini Skewers are a simple appetizer that’s make-ahead friendly.

Antipasto Sliders on King’s Hawaiian Rolls are a tasty sandwich full of the antipasto flavors you love.

Pesto has many delicious uses other than just tossing with pasta. It’s a great sandwich spread, bruschetta topper, or mix with equal parts of red wine vinegar for a simple and tasty salad dressing.

How to Make Pesto Pasta Salad

Pesto Pasta Salad is quick to make and perfect for any occasion. The dish only requires five ingredients and can be assembled in minutes.

Firstly, you will need to cook the pasta according to package instructions or until it is al dente. After cooking, drain the pasta and rinse with cold water. Pour the drained cooled pasta into a large mixing bowl.

Cooked Farfalle in a large mixing bowl.

Then, add in the remaining ingredients, including halved cherry tomatoes, diced fresh mozzarella, store-bought pesto sauce, and balsamic vinegar.

overhead photo of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

Then, gently toss the salad together and that’s it! You can serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.

Pesto Pasta Salad tossed together in a large mixing bowl with a wooden spoon.

I like to serve pesto pasta salad in a large serving platter. Right before serving I drizzle on balsamic glaze and garnish with fresh basil.

Pesto Pasta Salad in a large white oval platter garnished with basil and balsamic glaze.

Recipe substitutions and additions

The recipe for pesto pasta salad is a great basic recipe to have on hand. You can switch things up by adding or changing ingredients in the recipe.

Here, the recipe calls for farfalle pasta, but you can use any smaller pasta you have on hand such as fusilli or macaroni. While I used tricolor farfalle, all one color is fine too.

As for the pesto, feel free to use whatever variety you like. Traditional pesto is made from basil, but there are delicious varieties made from kale or spinach.

Some delicious additions to the recipe would be sliced olives, diced red onion, sun dried tomatoes, toasted pine nuts, diced artichoke hearts, or diced salami. Whatever ingredients you would find on an antipasto platter would work great here.

Overhead closeup photo of pesto pasta salad with balsamic drizzle overtop.

Pasta Salad Recipes

Be sure to check out these other delicious pasta salad recipes:

Greek Pasta Salad with Whole Wheat Noodles

Rotisserie Chicken Pasta Salad

Asian Noodle Salad with Peanut Dressing

Pasta Salad with Veggies and Corn

Italian Pasta Salad | Antipasto Style

overhead photo of 5 ingredient pest pasta salad in a white oval platter.

I hope you love this recipe for Pesto Pasta Salad! Please comment below if you try it. Enjoy!

Pesto Pasta Salad in a large white oval platter garnished with basil and balsamic glaze.
Print Recipe
5 from 5 votes

Pesto Pasta Salad

Only five ingredients needed for this delicious pesto pasta salad recipe! Use whatever small pasta shape you like and top with homemade or store-bought pesto sauce.
Prep Time15 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Italian side dish, pasta salad, pesto pasta salad
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 287kcal
Author: angelakallison
Cost: 6-8

Ingredients

  • 1 16 ounce package farfalle pasta (plain or tri colored)
  • 1 16 ounce package cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 16 ounce package fresh mozzarella, cut into bite sized pieces
  • ½ cup store-bought pesto
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh basil and balsamic glaze for topping (optional)

Instructions

  • Cook farfalle according to package directions until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water. Pour the drained pasta into a large mixing bowl.
    Cooked Farfalle in a large mixing bowl.
  • To the pasta, add the tomatoes, mozzarella, pesto, and balsamic vinegar. Toss well to combine. Taste for salt and pepper.
    overhead photo of pesto pasta salad in a large mixing bowl.
  • If desired, top with basil leaves and drizzle with balsamic glaze before serving.
    Recipe in a large white oval serving bowl with basil and drizzle overtop.

Video

Notes

This is a great basic pasta salad recipe to add additional toppings, such as garbanzo beans, sun dried tomatoes, diced olives, or toasted pine nuts. 
Pesto Pasta Salad in a white plate.
Recipe Rating




Sara Welch

Thursday 19th of August 2021

Enjoyed this for dinner last night and it did not disappoint! So easy and flavorful; was the perfect meal for a busy weeknight!

Heather

Thursday 19th of August 2021

I love pasta salad, and I love caprese salad, and this recipe sounds like the perfect combination of the two. So I know I'm going to love this pesto pasta salad! YUM!

angelakallison

Thursday 19th of August 2021

It's so good, you're going to love it!

Pam

Thursday 19th of August 2021

Perfect timing as I have tons of pesto, tomatoes and a nice balsamic glaze to use up.

angelakallison

Thursday 19th of August 2021

Yeah! So happy this works for you.

Beth

Thursday 19th of August 2021

Yummy! What a great salad and the family is going to love this recipe! Pesto is one of my favorites to add to pasta and it’s so easy to make too!

Teodora Grujic

Thursday 19th of August 2021

Oh, I'm off to the kitchen. Perfect combo!