Yes, this really is the PERFECT pesto pasta salad to make anytime of the year. The colors are beautiful and the flavors please the palate. While enjoying the perfect pesto pasta salad during the holidays is amazing, you don’t have to wait all year.
You can make this recipe whenever you want, and the ingredients are almost always in season. By adding pesto and a few other key ingredients, you can really change the way we look at pasta salad and how often we want to eat it.
Ingredients for Pesto Pasta Salad
Making the perfect pesto pasta salad isn’t so much about the pasta salad. Having just the pasta and the pesto isn’t quite enough. After all, a salad has at least a handful of ingredients to become a salad. This salad will require peas, uncooked rotini, pine nuts, green olives, cherry tomatoes, and some olive oil.
These ingredients will get you to the perfect pesto pasta salad. However, there is one more step that is just as important, the pesto sauce. You can make a half pesto pasta salad if you want but the sauce takes this salad to the next level.
Basil Pesto Ingredients
Basil pesto is a major component to pesto pasta salad. You can easily find pesto sauce, more specifically, basil pesto sauce premade at almost any grocery store. But there is something better about making your own pesto sauce at home. This process is easier than you think and won’t take much time at all.
You just need fresh basil leaves, grated parmesan-Reggiano, olive oil, pine nuts, garlic cloves, and some salt and pepper. Again, don’t worry, most of this will be handled by a food processor or blender. You will not need to chop anything or slice or dice or anything like that.
Pesto Pasta Directions
Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package. Make sure its not too soft.
Strain pasta and then run cold water through it for a bit until it is cooled down.
Combine the pine nuts and basil in a food processor with a few pulses.
Add the garlic and pulse a bit more.
Slowly add olive oil in a slow stream while pulsing in the food processor.
Make sure you scrape the walls of the food processor to get all ingredients properly mixed in.
Add the cheese and pulse until nicely blended.
Add the cherry tomatoes, chopped fresh basil leaves, peas, and olive oil.
Add salt and pepper to taste and place in the fridge to chill.
Chill for an hour and serve! We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
Perfect Pesto Pasta Salad
Basil Pesto Ingredients
- 2 cups basil leaves fresh
- 1/2 cup Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano Cheese grated
- 1/2 cup olive oil extra virgin
- 1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
- 3 garlic cloves
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
Pesto Pasta Salad
- 1 cup peas frozen or fresh
- 4 cups rotini uncooked
- 1 cup basil pesto fresh
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 2 tbsp green olives or olive tapenade finely chopped
- 12 oz cherry tomatoes
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- fresh basil leaves
Basil Pesto Directions
- Combine the pine nuts and basil in a food processor with a few pulses.
- Add the garlic and pulse a bit more.
- Slowly add olive oil in a slow stream while pulsing in the food processor.
- Make sure you scrape the walls of the food processor to get all ingredients properly mixed in.
- Add the cheese and pulse until nicely blended.
Basil Pesto Pasta Salad Directions
- Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package. Make sure its not too soft.
- Strain pasta and then run cold water through it for a bit until it is cooled down.
- Put the pasta in a big bowl. Mix in the fresh basil pesto, green olives, and pine nuts.
- Add the cherry tomatoes, chopped fresh basil leaves, peas, and olive oil.
- Add salt and pepper to taste and place in the fridge to chill for one hour.
More Healthy Recipes
Dairy Free Salad Recipes | Salad isn’t the first thing people think of when they are thinking about foods that should be dairy free. But you’d be surprised how often a salad sneaks some dairy in there.
Healthy Chicken Caprese Recipe | Chicken caprese is an amazing dish that doesn’t require as much effort as you may think.
Easy Healthy Breakfast Quesadilla Recipe | Starting your day off with a quesadilla that is actually healthy is what dreams are made of for so many people.
Low Carb Portobello Mushroom Pizza Recipe | Portobello mushrooms are capable of becoming so many things, even a pizza that is actually healthy for you.
Low Carb Healthy Breakfast Wraps | Wraps come and go, and people say they’re healthy and then they aren’t. But these wraps are hard to argue against.