This easy Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe is filled with vegetables and a flavorful pesto sauce! A colorful pesto pasta salad that’s easy to make for a potluck or BBQ.

Make this colorful PESTO PASTA SALAD for your next BBQ or potluck! It's full of healthy vegetables all coated in a basil pesto sauce!

It was more than six years ago that I first shared this pesto pasta salad recipe here on Kristine’s Kitchen. When I looked back at that old post, my first thought was how delicious this pasta salad is.

My second and third thoughts? Wow, that photo is bad. Then… what was I thinking when I wrote that recipe? It was more of a list of what you could add to your pesto pasta salad than an actual recipe. And a disorganized list at that!

The base recipe is a really good one, and this Pesto Pasta Salad deserved a new photo shoot, recipe video and updated recipe instructions asap! Now you can add it to your list of what to make this summer, along with my Greek Pasta Salad, Spinach Pesto Pasta, and classic Italian Pasta Salad!

Make this colorful PESTO PASTA SALAD for your next BBQ or potluck! It's full of healthy vegetables all coated in a basil pesto sauce!

This pesto pasta salad is so colorful, it’s like you’re eating a rainbow. All of those fresh, colorful vegetables provide fiber and nutrients. One way to make sure you’re eating a healthy, varied diet is to eat the rainbow, and why not start with this flavorful pasta salad?

Make this colorful PESTO PASTA SALAD for your next BBQ or potluck! It's full of healthy vegetables all coated in a basil pesto sauce!

This pesto pasta salad is a crowd-pleasing dish that’s great to bring to a potluck or BBQ. As written, the recipe makes a lot (it feeds at least 10 as a side dish). If you’re making it for just a few people, I’d recommend halving the recipe.

I made this pasta salad last weekend to bring to a BBQ at my parents’ house. We had leftovers, but no one minded because I was able to send them home with my family and enjoy some myself for lunch the next day. 🙂

As with any pasta salad recipe, you can easily customize this one to fit your tastes.

Tips for making this Pesto Pasta Salad:

  • Use your favorite pasta shape.
  • Change up the vegetables for a different pasta salad every time!
  • Make your pesto sauce with basil, spinach, kale, or a combination of these. I used almonds in my pesto because Julia isn’t allergic to them. Pine nuts or walnuts work well, too.
  • Pesto pasta salad will keep for 2-3 days in fridge.

Make this colorful PESTO PASTA SALAD for your next BBQ or potluck! It's full of healthy vegetables all coated in a basil pesto sauce!

To make this pesto pasta salad I used my:

Make this colorful PESTO PASTA SALAD for your next BBQ or potluck! It's full of healthy vegetables all coated in a basil pesto sauce!

Make this colorful PESTO PASTA SALAD for your next BBQ or potluck! It's full of healthy vegetables all coated in a basil pesto sauce!

Pesto Pasta Salad

Servings: 8 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
This easy Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe is filled with vegetables and a flavorful pesto sauce! A colorful pesto pasta salad that's easy to make for a potluck or BBQ.

Ingredients

For the Pasta Salad:

  • 12 ounces short pasta shapes, such as fusilli, cavatappi, farfalle, penne or campanelle
  • 1 cup pesto sauce, see recipe below or use store-bought
  • 2 bell peppers, any color, chopped
  • 1 English cucumber, chopped
  • 8 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 14 ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • black pepper, to taste

For the Pesto Sauce:

  • 3 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
  • ½ cup toasted pine nuts
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, 2 ounces
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup olive oil

Instructions
 

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente. Drain pasta well and transfer to a large bowl to cool.
  • If making homemade pesto sauce, place all pesto ingredients except olive oil into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. With the food processor running, slowly pour the olive oil in a steady stream through the feed tube. Process until incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Stir the pesto sauce into the cooled pasta until the pasta is coated with the sauce.
  • Add the bell peppers, cucumber, tomatoes, artichoke hearts and green onions to the bowl and stir to combine. Season with pepper, to taste. If the pasta salad seems dry, drizzle on a little bit of extra virgin olive oil and stir to incorporate.
  • Pasta salad can be served immediately, but is best if chilled for at least 2 hours before serving. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days.
Calories: 438kcal, Carbohydrates: 41g, Protein: 10g, Fat: 26g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g, Monounsaturated Fat: 12g, Cholesterol: 5mg, Sodium: 380mg, Potassium: 382mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 2197IU, Vitamin C: 59mg, Calcium: 108mg, Iron: 2mg
Nutrition information is an estimate.
Cuisine: American
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Tried this recipe?Mention @kristines_kitchen on Instagram or tag #kristineskitchenblog.

 

This site contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting Kristine's Kitchen!