Pesto Salad is made with homemade basil pesto, pasta and cherry tomatoes. Once tried you know it is a keeper for lunch, dinner, picnics, because everything comes so easy together and the result will impress everyone.
Friends there is one thing that never gets old or boring at any time, pasta is always a winner.
And for real this Pesto pasta salad is no exception.
Reasons to love this Pesto Salad
You can cook your pasta fresh or use leftover which will save you a good amount of time.
Everything is so easy, because we make our pesto from scratch and add some cherry tomatoes to our salad, done.
The combination from pasta, pesto and tomatoes is truly simple, yet taste like you eat in an amazing restaurant.
Pesto can be made ahead to save up time as well.
What you need for this Pesto Salad recipe
Pasta: I like to use fusilli pasta, because I find the shape for this pesto pasta salad really amazing. It holds the pesto and the juicy tomatoes in a great way. Otherwise I find penne is also amazing here, because the shape and texture goes great with all the other salad ingredients.
Cherry tomatoes, quartered but you can absolutely let them in half. After testing I found that if you quartered them it provides a more delicious texture and with just the right bite. Halve them will still be are great texture.
What’s in this homemade pesto
Let me tell you, this basil pesto is unmistakably delicious and that with just a handful of ingredients:
I like to use a lot of fresh basil, as it provides a lovely green color and absolutely fresh taste..
Pine nuts add an amazing and a wonderful nutty flavor. You can also use walnuts or cashews instead of pine nuts.
Vegan parmesan: Use your favorite or make it easily at home with my Vegan Parmesan Cheese (3 ingredients, 1 min): It adds lots and lots of cheesy flavor which is always delicious.
Extra virgine olive oil is what I use, because I really want to add a deep and savory flavor to the pesto. Any olive oil will work, if you prefer a milder taste.
Garlic: makes any pesto more delicious and flavorful
How to make Pesto Salad
Prepare the pesto
To the bowl of a food processor add pine nuts, olive oil, parmesan, basil, garlic and a pinch of salt and pepper. Process until everything is combined and smooth. Alternatively you can use your blender.
Cook pasta or use leftover
Any leftover pasta? Skip this step and go straight forward. Otherwise cook pasta according to the package directions.
Combine salad and serve
Into a bowl combine pasta, cherry tomatoes and of course pesto. Mix and combine, serve on plates or bowls.
Leftovers are great for around 5 days. Freezing is not recommend, because tomatoes will get mushy along the way through freezing.
What to add to Pesto Salad
This salad is great as it is, but if you find it need something extra. Here are some inspirations:
- Roasted red peppers
- Olives: Black, kalamata or green olives are great
- For a spicy kick: crushed pepper or a dash hot sauce
- Spinach or arugula for more texture
- Extra pine nuts, walnuts or cashews for crunch
Other salad recipes to try
- 8 oz pasta
- 3 Tbs pine nuts
- 5 cups basil
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup vegan parmesan
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
- salt, pepper to taste
- Prepare pesto:
Into the bowl of a food processor or blender add pine nuts, olive oil, parmesan, basil, garlic and a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Process until everything is combined and smooth.
- Cook pasta:
Do you have leftover pasta? Skip this step and go straight to the next one. Otherwise, cook pasta according to the package directions.
- Combine salad and serve:
In a mixing bowl combine pasta, cherry tomatoes and of course pesto. Mix and combine, serve.
- Leftovers are amazing for 5 days. Do not freeze, because tomatoes will get mushy along the way.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1.5 cups
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 443Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 376mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 9g