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.
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.
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.
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.
Then, add in the remaining ingredients, including halved cherry tomatoes, diced fresh mozzarella, store-bought pesto sauce, and balsamic vinegar.
Then, gently toss the salad together and that’s it! You can serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.
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.
Pasta Salad Recipes
Be sure to check out these other delicious pasta salad recipes:
I hope you love this recipe for Pesto Pasta Salad! Please comment below if you try it. Enjoy!
Pesto Pasta Salad
- 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)
- Cook farfalle according to package directions until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water. Pour the drained pasta into a large mixing bowl.
- To the pasta, add the tomatoes, mozzarella, pesto, and balsamic vinegar. Toss well to combine. Taste for salt and pepper.
- If desired, top with basil leaves and drizzle with balsamic glaze before serving.