This Italian Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe is an easy pasta salad that's full of flavor! Cold pesto pasta salad is perfect for any night of the week or take it to your next summer BBQ.
Course: Side Dish
Author: Malinda Linnebur
8ouncesdried pasta, use a short pasta such as penne, rotini, macaroni or something similar
1(15 ounce)can white kidney beans or great northern beans, drained and rinsed
1/2cup pesto sauce, homemade or store bought
1/2-1cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4cup Italian salad dressing
1/4cup sliced olives
1/4cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4cup toasted pine nuts
Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse in cold water.
Meanwhile in a large bowl combine the pesto, Italian dressing, beans, tomatoes, olives, and cheese. Stir in pasta. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Top with toasted pine nuts just before serving.
I STRONGLY suggest you spend the extra time to make your own pesto for this salad if you can. It makes all the difference. But I do realize the need for convenience too, trust me I have 8 kids!
You can make this pesto pasta salad 24 hours in advance and store in the refrigerator.
This salad can be changed up very easily. Add in your favorite rotisserie or grilled chicken, any type of short pasta works great or try cheese tortellini, change out the white beans for garbanzo beans, add in fresh mozzarella balls, add cucumber or spinach. Pretty much anything that goes well in a salad will work here.