The Perfect Pesto Pasta Salad

Main Meals | August 19, 2016 | By

This is perfect for dinner or a summer side dish, and it’s SO quick and easy to make. Let’s soak up summer while we can, save this pesto pasta salad for your labor day BBQ’s! Pesto Pasta Salad 2

You guys, I know summer is winding down but I am not quite over it yet. Don’t get me wrong, I love the fall just as much as any other girl. But summer, summer is my favorite. I wish the hot weather would stay all year long. And despite my love for sweaters, pumpkin spice everything, and apple picking..fall is the gateway into the hell that is winter. Nope, not a winter girl.

So ANYWAYS- back to summer. I know you’ve got a few more BBQ’s left in your summer plans. Or at least a few more busy outdoor days where you are looking to prepare a quick and easy dinner. This pesto pasta salad should most certainly be on your menu. It’s easy, can be made for a side or a meal, and who doesn’t love pesto?

Pesto Pasta Salad 3 Pesto Pasta salad 4

I know there are a lot of challenges when making side dishes for big parties because people have all kinds of different dietary needs these days. Gluten free, vegan, vegetarian, meat lover, meat hater, allergic to fun. Kidding. But seriously, this dish is so customizable to everyone. Have a vegan? Eliminate the cheese. Gluten free? Use rice noodles or another type of noodle. Meat lover? Add chicken strips or steak tips. Allergic to fun? Eliminate the person.

Make this dish asap, and long live summer!!

Pesto Pasta Salad 5

Pesto Pasta Salad
Serves 5
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 bunch asparagus, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
  2. 1 tbsp olive oil
  3. salt and pepper
  4. 1 pound whole wheat penne or spirals
  5. 1 container grape tomatoes, rinsed and halved
  6. 1 15-ounce can white beans, rinsed
  7. 1/4 cup pesto
  8. 1 cup mozzarella balls
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Add asparagus, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste to a foil lined cookie sheet and cook for 20 minutes or until soft.
  3. While roasting, cook the pasta.
  4. Drain pasta and let it cool for a few minutes, then add pasta, asparagus, tomatoes, beans and pesto to a bowl and toss lightly.
  5. Add mozzarella, and toss again.
  6. Can be served hot or cold.
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Pesto Pasta Salad

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