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Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe

 Total time: 20 minutes

Published: September 19, 2022

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This is easy and fast Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe It’s made with fresh ingredients and lots of flavor! This is the perfect side dish for any gathering, backyard barbecue, or potluck.

Why this recipe works

perfect for summer: Pasta salads are my favorite for hot season side dishes, and this pesto pasta salad recipe is a great game changer. Throw in some fresh vegetables and shredded chicken and this pasta salad is the perfect side dish!

simple and delicious: This pasta salad is not only easy to prepare, but it is also very satisfying! Sometimes the best meals are the ones made with fresh, simple ingredients. With just eight ingredients, this salad packs an incredible amount of flavor, texture, and that spring-summer vibe you want in a pasta salad, even if it’s so good you’ll want to make it year-round!

oh so cool: Is there a more iconic flavor combination than basil and tomatoes? They make such a fresh and dreamy flavor that I love. Paired with savory Parmesan and a brilliant Italian dressing, you’ll be truly impressed with this pasta salad recipe!


  • fusilloni– I use Fusilloni for this recipe, but any bite-sized pasta will work!
  • italian salad dressing– Use your favorite Italian dressing from the store.
  • pesto– You can use potted or homemade pesto.
  • spinach and arugula– The fresh vegetables in this pasta salad kick it up a notch and add texture, vitamins, and minerals!
  • Chopped chicken– To make it super easy, you can use rotisserie chicken or boil the chicken ahead of time.
  • Cherry tomatoes– Cut in half.
  • Parmesan– Add grated Parmesan on top or try feta or mozzarella.

that’s how you do it

step by step instructions

  1. First, cook the pasta according to package directions. Rinse cooked pasta under cold water and place in a large bowl.
  2. make quickly cooked pasta, shredded chicken (rotisserie chicken works great!), cherry tomatoes, Parmesan, and fresh spinach and arugula.
  3. beat together basil pesto with italian salad dressing to pour over the salad. Finally, mix everything together and complete it with some grated black pepper and grated Parmesan and serve immediately or serve early and chill to serve later.

expert advice

  • try to add cucumbers, feta cheese, mini mozzarella or fresh basil! If you want a vegetarian pasta salad, skip the chicken. For a tastier treat, try adding some crispy bacon! This pasta salad is versatile and your options are endless!
  • Instead of pesto in a jartry using my homemade pesto as the base for this recipe!
  • Pesto Pasta Salad can be served as a side dish or as food with some grilled corn on the cob and fresh fruit salad!

More recipes to try

Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe

This quick and easy pesto pasta salad recipe is made with fresh ingredients and loads of flavor! This is the perfect side dish for any gathering, backyard barbecue, or potluck.

Servings: 4 servings

  • Boil pasta for 8-9 minutes until tender, rinse with cold water, drain and place in a large bowl.
  • Add spinach and arugula, shredded chicken, tomatoes, and Parmesan pasta bowl.

  • Whisk together Italian salad dressing and pesto until smooth, then pour over pasta. Stir to combine. Garnish with ground black pepper and grated Parmesan to taste.
  • Serve immediately or cover and chill for up to 8 hours, stirring just before serving.

Cover tightly and refrigerate up to 24 hours before serving.

Calories: 860 kcal, Carbohydrates: 97 g, Protein: 39 g, Fat: 34 g, Saturated Fat: 7 g, Cholesterol: 76 mg, Sodium: 744 mg, Potassium: 585 mg, Fiber: 5 g, Sugar: 6 g , Vitamin A: 2297 IU, Vitamin C: 9 mg, Calcium: 195 mg, Iron: 3 mg

Meet the author: Tiffany

Hi, I’m Tiffany: cook, photographer, mother, and gluttonous taco eater. I’m passionate about turning simple flavors and ingredients into flavorful meals the whole family will enjoy, with minimal prep and cleanup, so there’s more time to eat and enjoy. Stay a while and help yourself to a taco or two.

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