This Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe features bow tie pasta and fresh ingredients for a summer salad or side dish that is full of flavour!
Meals don’t have to take long to put together or be complicated. An example of that is my Pesto Pasta Salad.
It includes amazing, simple ingredients that can be thrown together in just 15 minutes as a side or simply added pre-cooked, chopped chicken for a complete meal!
What Is Pesto?
The word “pesto” is an Italian verb meaning “to crush”.
It is traditionally made by crushing the ingredients with a mortar and pestle.
There are a variety of ways to make pesto, but the most popular variety is made from basil, garlic, pine nuts, and olive oil.
Can I make Pesto Pasta Salad Ahead of Time?
Pesto doesn’t really hold up well after being exposed to air, it tends to oxidize and darken. For this reason, I wouldn’t add the pesto until just before serving.
I also find that the pesto sticks better to the pasta when you toss it in while the pasta is still warm. For that reason, I probably wouldn’t make this salad ahead of time, it really tastes best when freshly made.
How to Store Pesto Pasta Salad
With the above kept in mind, the salad can be stored in an air-tight container in the fridge for 3-5 days. I just find that it is at it’s best when freshly made and served.
Ingredients for the Pesto Pasta Salad
Farfalle Pasta – I used Barilla Farfalle pasta for this dish, you want to cook it al dente and make sure your water is properly seasoned. Swap for any dry pasta of your choice, but shapes like rotini and penne work best.
Pesto – If you like homemade pesto, go for it, otherwise store bought pesto is perfectly fine here.
Grape or Mini Sweet Tomatoes – Cherry tomatoes would work well here. If you can’t get the mini varieties try Roma tomatoes chopped or sun-dried tomatoes.
Black Olives, or Kalamata Olives – I would not substitute with green olives.
Fresh Mozzarella – If you cannot get your hands on Mozzarella, substitute with Burrata.
Shredded Parmesan Cheese – Don’t use the grated jarred kind of parmesan, freshly grated is the best here.
Looking for more Easy to Make Pasta Salads?
Check out some of my favourite pasta salad recipes:
This Mexican Macaroni Salad recipe is a very versatile summer salad perfect for picnics and barbecues as as a tasty side dish.
Calabrese pasta salad is wonderful pasta dish featuring roasted red peppers served either warm or cool as a side dish or entrée.
How to Make Pesto Pasta Salad
1 package (454 g) Barilla Farfalle Pasta (This is about 16 oz or 4 Cups of dry pasta)
1 Cup Pesto
1 Cup Grape or Mini Sweet Tomatoes
1 Cup Kalamata Olives
4 oz Fresh Mozzarella, torn
Shredded Parmesan Cheese
Cook the pasta in salted water for 11-12 minutes, or until just perfectly al dente. Drain and place in a large bowl.
While the pasta is cooking, slice your olives in half.
Grab those cherry tomatoes and slice them up too.
Throw them in the bowl with your cooked pasta along with the pesto and your mozzarella. I used homemade jarred pesto I already had but you can use store bought or your own favourite recipe.
Toss everything together and either serve warm or chill before serving. It’s great both ways!
Don’t forget to sprinkle each serving with some shredded Parmesan for a little extra perfection.
- Pesto Pasta Salad
- 1 package Barilla Farfalle Pasta, 454 g
- 1 Cup Pesto
- 1 Cup Grape or Mini Sweet Tomatoes, halved
- 1 Cup Black Olives, or Kalamta Olives, halved
- 4 oz Fresh Mozzarella, torn
- Shredded Parmesan Cheese
- Cook the pasta in salted water for 11-12 minutes, or until just perfectly al dente.
- Drain pasta well and place in a large bowl along with the rest of the ingredients.
- Toss until well combined.
- Serve immediately or chill until ready to serve.
Serving Size:1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g
Wasn’t that easy? For more inspiration check out the Barilla’s #ShareTheTable for recipes, tips and more!
Disclosure: This post has been brought to you by Barilla. All thoughts and opinions are honest and my own.
Elizabeth Lampman is a coffee-fuelled Mom of 2 girls and lives in Hamilton, Ontario. She enjoys travelling, developing easy recipes, crafting, taking on diy projects, travelling and saving money!