I am in a pasta salad making mood, so I decided to make one more batch for this weekend. I already made one pasta salad for this weekend, but I have a bunch of these ingredients on hand from other recipes and I don’t want them to go bad over the long weekend. I used a recipe from My Recipes as a base and substituted ingredients I already had, and ended up with this Pesto Pasta Salad!
Cook the pasta according to the “al dente” directions on the package. Drain and run under cold water. Set aside.
To make the pesto, combine the basil, parsley, garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, pepper and walnuts in a food processor. (I ended up being just short of 1/3 cup walnuts, so I also added in a few toasted pine nuts.) Blend until smooth. Pour in olive oil and blend until there is a thick paste. Add the Parmesan and combine until blended. Add more salt and pepper, to taste.
Because I am making this for the weekend, I only made a tiny batch fully mixed so I could taste it. The pesto mixture is so so creamy that you honestly might not even need the feta. The tomatoes and red onions add a wonderful contrast to the pesto and the cucumbers add a nice crunch to the salad. I will try to take some photos this weekend of the fully assembled salad, but if it is anything close to what I just sampled, I think my friends will be happy.
- 1 or 2 bunches of packed fresh basil
- 1 bunch of packed fresh parsley
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- Juice and zest from 1 lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/3 cup walnuts (or toasted pine nuts)
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 box gemelli or other short pasta
- 1 small container plain 2 percent Greek yogurt
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 3 small cucumbers, sliced
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup feta cheese
- Cook the pasta according to the “al dente” directions on the package. Drain and run under cold water. Set aside.
- To make the pesto, combine the basil, parsley, garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, pepper and walnuts in a food processor. (I ended up being just short of 1/3 cup walnuts, so I also added in a few toasted pine nuts.) Blend until smooth. Pour in olive oil and blend until there is a thick paste. Add the Parmesan and combine until blended. Add more salt and pepper, to taste.
- Prepare all of your vegetables. After chopping the red onion, run it under cold water to remove some of the bite. Slice your cucumbers and halve your tomatoes.
- Combine the pesto and Greek yogurt in a large bowl.
- Add the pasta and vegetables and toss to coat.
Sounds delicious! I want to come! I love pesto, and love the idea of adding it to pasta salad! I will do this next time I make pasta salad, for sure!
wow that’s yummy salad 🙂 lovely clicks!!!
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Tori @ The Shiksa in the Kitchen says
I’ve totally been in a pesto mood lately. Something about summer makes me crave fresh herbs. Pasta salad is a great way to go with the weather warming up… yum!
That looks incredible! I love the idea of a pesto pasta salad! Delicious!
This sounds great! I can’t believe I’ve never thought to use pesto in pasta salad before =)
The Culinary Lens says
I love pesto in pasta salad some much bang for your buck flavor wise when it comes to time spent
If I want to use store bought pesto sauce & make it for 16 people how much pesto sauce do I use?
Kaitlin @ I Can Cook That says
You need to double all of the ingredients for 16 servings. I think 4 cups of pesto would work with two cups of Greek yogurt, 2 boxes of pasta, etc.