This pesto pasta salad is so fresh and easy! The combination of cold pasta, vibrant pesto, creamy mozzarella, and cherry tomatoes is a match made in heaven.
How to make Pesto Pasta Salad
- Start off by cooking your pasta al dente in a pot of salted boiling water.
- Drain the cooked farfalle and combine it with the basil pesto and remaining ingredients listed in the recipe card below.
- This salad tastes best when chilled.
Should you rinse pasta?
- The only time pasta should be rinsed is when you want to stop it from cooking immediately and cool it down right away. This method is usually only used for cold pasta salads.
- But if you’re making a hot pasta dish that will be served with a sauce, do not rinse it. The starches help the sauce adhere to the noodles, so rinsing will create the opposite effect.
What is pesto?
Pesto is a sauce consisting of basil, pinenuts, olive oil, garlic, and parmesan cheese. It can be served as a sauce for salads, a spread for sandwiches, or even a base for Italian pasta dishes.
What to serve with pasta salad
Cold salads are often served with hot meats like chicken, beef, pork, or even fish. Here are some examples of things you could serve with a chilled salad like this one.
- Grilled chicken kabobs
- Pork kababs
- cedar plank salmon
- panko crusted salmon
- Healthy chicken meatballs
Do you love pesto? Try these other recipes!
- Baked pesto salmon– a lemon pesto butter salmon baked to flaky perfection.
- Chicken pesto pizza– The perfect summer pizza that’s easy and satisfying.
- Caprese sandwich recipe– everything you want in a Caprese salad but in the form of a hot panini.
Pesto Pasta Salad
- 1 box bowtie pasta
- 1/2 cup basil pesto
- 1 1/2 cups pearl mozzarella
- 16 oz cherry tomatoes
- Bring a pot of water to a boil then generously salt the water and add the Farfalle pasta to the pot. Cook al dente.
- Once the pasta is done cooking, pour it into a colander and rinse with cold water to stop the pasta from cooking.
- Now place the pasta into a large bowl and stir in the pesto, pearl mozzarella, and sliced cherry tomatoes.
- Serve chilled.