Pasta Pesto Salad

            This is the perfect pasta salad for picnics or barbecues. I have also brought this to potlucks and buffets. It includes a tasty sauce that covers the pasta. You will want to use a pasta that has crevices, or holes, something to hold the delightful sauce.

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There are colorful vegetables and the sauce! Oh my! The sauce is something of a delight on it’s own. I use it whenever I can on or in other foods too.

            This is one of those salads that allow variations and still taste perfect. When I have an overabundance of garden vegetables, I use those in this pasta salad. During the colder months, I will look for which produce is in season or on sale. Talk about super easy to put together, wow!

Once the pasta is cooked, you will have this on the table in 20 minutes or less. So this pasta dish will also be great for those days that you do not have much time.

Frequently Asked Questions:

            Can I make this ahead of time?

You already know that a pasta salad only improves over time. Go ahead and make this ahead. The pasta and the vegetables will soak up flavors from the sauce. It can sit in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

            Can I freeze the pasta salad?

I have not had a reason to try to freeze this pasta salad yet, it goes so quickly that you likely will not either. However, from what I have surmised about freezing cooked pasta and then thawing it, I do not recommend this. Besides, the refrigerated life is up to five days, that should be enough time to eat it all and want to make more.

            What do I serve this with?

This is fabulous with grilled chicken or turkey legs. I love to serve this with sandwiches and even meatloaf.

            What other vegetables can I use?

Do not be afraid to try any other vegetables in this dish. I have used beans and corn and served this on Mexican night. I have used broccoli and cauliflower and served it at BBQs.

            How do I serve this?

When I want people to think I am fancy, (lol) I will lay a leaf of lettuce or spinach down and then place a rounded scoop of this pasta on the top of the lettuce leaf.

What do you need to make Pasta Pesto Salad

            1 cucumber chopped into pieces

            2 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

            16 ounces pasta cooked according to package directions, then drained and cooled with cold water

            3 tbsp Pesto Sauce

            Salt and pepper to taste

            6 ounces fresh mozzarella balls

How to make Pasta Pesto Salad

FIRST STEP:

Cook the pasta according to the package directions

Peel and chop the cucumber into pieces

SECOND STEP:

Slice the cherry tomatoes in half

Place the drained and cooled pasta into a large mixing bowl

THIRD STEP:

Add the 3 tbsp pesto sauce

a)

b)

Stir to mix and coat the pasta

FOURTH STEP:

Add in the diced cucumbers

Add in the sliced cherry tomatoes

Stir the vegetables with the pasta

FIFTH STEP:

Salt and pepper added to taste

Add the mozzarella cheese balls

Stir to combine

SIXTH STEP:

Garnish with fresh parsley and serve.

Enjoy!

YUM!

Pasta Pesto Salad

Pasta Pesto Salad

Yield: 12
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cucumber chopped into pieces
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 16 ounces pasta cooked according to package directions, then drained and cooled with cold water
  • 3 tbsp Pesto Sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 ounces fresh mozzarella balls

Instructions

FIRST STEP:

Cook the pasta according to the package directions

Peel and chop the cucumber into pieces

SECOND STEP:

Slice the cherry tomatoes in half

Place the drained and cooled pasta into a large mixing bowl

THIRD STEP:

Add the 3 tbsp pesto sauce

Stir to mix and coat the pasta

FOURTH STEP:

Add in the diced cucumbers

Add in the sliced cherry tomatoes

Stir the vegetables with the pasta

FIFTH STEP:

Salt and pepper added to taste

Add the mozzarella cheese balls

Stir to combine

SIXTH STEP:

Garnish with fresh parsley and serve.

Enjoy!

Nutrition Information:
Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 60Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 6gCholesterol: 140mgSodium: 18mgCarbohydrates: 120gSugar: 12gProtein: 8g