Summer pesto pasta salad is a delicious and simple pasta salad side dish with bowtie pasta, grape tomatoes and smothered in an easy 5 minute pesto dressing.
- How to make a Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe
- What kind of Jarred Pesto is recommended?
- What other Pasta types can be used over Farfalle Pasta?
- What do Pine Nuts Taste like? Is there a substitution?
- How long do Pesto Pasta Left overs keep?
- Can this pasta be made ahead of time and served the next day?
- Are there any suggested additions to this pasta Salad?
- What recommendations to serve along side this salad at a picnic?
- farfalle pasta
- prepared jarred pesto
- Hellmann’s mayonnaise
- fresh Parmesan cheese
- olive oil
- fresh spinach
- grape tomatoes
- pine nuts
How to make a Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe
Cook pasta according to package directions.
Drain completely and rinse with cold water to cool.
In a separate bowl, add pesto, mayonnaise, cheese and oil and mix well.
Pour over pasta and mix well to evenly coat.
Add spinach and tomatoes and mix well.
Serve topped with pine nuts.
What kind of Jarred Pesto is recommended?
Really any store bought Pesto brand you love is fine, but I tend to use Classico Basil Pesto. Just give it a good stir when it comes in a jar.
What other Pasta types can be used over Farfalle Pasta?
Farfalle pasta (also known as butterfly or bow tie pasta) is great for this side dish as the main pasta. First, its pretty and presentation matters. Second, its a thick pasta that really allows the full grab of the pesto dressing. Technically, when it comes to pasta salad noodle substitution, “any” noodle could play a part. The main recommendation is to look at the ability for a noodle to hold the dressing and goodies without getting overwhelmed and saturated. Therefore if you do need a substitute, large penne would do a fair job and large shells (not small shells) would do the trick in a pinch.
What do Pine Nuts Taste like? Is there a substitution?
Pine nuts are small and sweet and give almost a butter like texture. You could easily substitute other nuts for pine nuts (or leave them out all together). Pine nuts are actually from PINE CONES, which may come as a bit of a shock and can be a bit expensive. As far as similar tasting nuts, almonds are thought to have a similar texture and taste to the pine nut but chopped cashews, walnuts or even pecans give the same crunch with a bit of flavor. Just remember that each nut has its own particular taste and not all may be exactly what you want for pesto. Try dipping a few nuts in pesto prior to smothering the entire salad and altering the recipe.
How long do Pesto Pasta Left overs keep?
Pesto pasta salad can be kept in an air tight containers (to seal freshness and flavor) for 3-4 days in a cold fridge.
Can this pasta be made ahead of time and served the next day?
Absolutely! Just give it a stir prior to serving to gather any settled dressing.
Are there any suggested additions to this pasta Salad?
I think one of the most delicious things about pasta salad side dishes is that they are easy to alter. While this pesto pasta is perfect in its own right, feel free to try a tiny square chunks of cheese like mozzarella or cheddar. Another great addition to the pesto flavor is surprisingly avocado! Bits of avocado bring some more green to this dish as well as taste creamy with the tangy pesto.
What recommendations to serve along side this salad at a picnic?
Pasta salads do their job at gatherings as a great filling side dish that keeps for days after as delicious left overs. But no on likes just one pasta salad choice! If you want to keep with the pesto theme, this Shrimp Pesto Pasta salad is a great variation in the same flavor family. If you want to totally switch it up to have a variety of choices, try BLT pasta Salad, Bacon Ranch Pea Pasta and you cannot go wrong with cold macaroni pasta salad with lots of fresh veggies.
- 1 box, 12 oz. farfalle pasta
- 1/2 cup prepared pesto
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 cup chopped fresh spinach
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, quartered
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- Cook farfalle pasta according to package directions. Farfalle pasta is the same thing as bowtie or butterfly pasta and works great to hold heavy pesto dressing.
- Drain pasta completely of boiled water and rinse with cold water to cool before moving on.
- In a separate bowl, add store bought jarred pesto, mayonnaise, grated Parmesan cheese, water, olive oil and mix dressing well.
- Pour pesto dressing over pasta and mix well to evenly coat all of the pasta sides.
- Add chopped spinach and grape tomatoes and toss again to combine all ingredients.
- Optionally add a little salt and cracked pepper prior to serving.
- Serve pasta salad topped with pine nuts or one of the other suggestions in the recipe.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 498Total Fat: 41gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 31gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 453mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 10g
Nutritional information is automatically calculated with ingredients and serving size and may not be accurate. Please always double check with your own nutritional apps as well.