Simple Cold Pesto Pasta Salad



For the Basil Pesto

For the Pasta Salad: 


  1. Cook the Pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta. Cook the pasta according to package directions.
  2. Drain & Rinse Pasta: Once the pasta is cooked, drain completely and run under cold water to prevent pasta from sticking. Transfer into a large mixing bowl.
  3. Blend Pesto: Meanwhile, add all of the basil pesto ingredients to a mini food processor or small blender and blend until smooth. Start with 2 tbsp of water and if needed, slowly add a little more to adjust the consistency to your preference. It can be thicker like a traditional pesto or thinned for more of a salad dressing consistency.
  4. Mix Salad: Add the pesto to the bowl with the rest of the ingredients and mix well to distribute the veggies through and coat everything in sauce.
  5. Serve: Divide evenly into 6 bowls, finish with a drizzle of olive oil or spinkle of parmesan or feta cheese, if desired and enjoy. 


I used a 325 mL can of sliced, black ripe olives. You can use less or more to your preference. Substitute kalamata olives if you like.

Other veggies that work well in this recipe as additions or substitutes are cucumber, artichokes, capers, sun dried tomatoes, zucchini, broccoli or green peas.


  • Serving Size: 1/6th of recipe
  • Calories: 383
  • Sodium: 174 mg
  • Fat: 10 g
  • Carbohydrates: 62 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Protein: 12 g

Keywords: summer pesto pasta salad, cold pesto pasta salad

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