Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe

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This healthy pesto pasta salad recipe is full of flavor. The roasted veggies, grilled corn, and homemade pesto make this a standout summer recipe. This recipe is perfect for a BBQ or picnic and can be served warm or cold.


Why You’ll Love Healthy Pasta Salad

This salad just tastes like summer – it showcases delicious produce like yellow squash, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, and corn. Paired with lovely pasta a homemade pesto sauce – it’s a crowd-pleasing dish.


Ingredients for this Pesto Pasta Salad

  • 1 pound dried fusilli pasta
  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced into half-moons
  • 1 medium yellow squash, sliced into half-moons
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes 
  • 3 ears corn
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher, divided
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1/2 cup fresh pesto*
  • optional – additional salt and pepper, fresh basil for topping

*Use store bought pesto if you don’t want to make your own. We like DeLallo’s Simply Pesto.


How to Make a Pesto Pasta Summer Salad

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Heat a grill or grill pan to medium heat. 
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it heavily. Cook the fusilli according to package directions, until it’s al dente. 
  3. Toss the zucchini, squash, and cherry tomatoes with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and half the salt and pepper. Place them flat on a baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the tomatoes have slightly burst. 
  4. Toss the corn with the remaining olive oil and salt and pepper. Place it on the grill or grill pan and cook each side for two minutes or until it’s lightly charred. Remove it from the heat and allow it to cool for a few minutes before cutting the kernels off the cob. 
  5. Drain the pasta. Combine it with the roasted vegetables, charred corn, and fresh pesto. Toss to combine. Add extra S&P if desired and chopped basil. 
  6. Serve warm or cold. 


What’s the Best Pasta?

When you’re making a pasta dish, it’s not just about the sauce. You want to find a noodle that’s the right shape, that has a porous texture that sauce will cling to, and that has a pleasing flavor. When we buy pasta, we spend a little extra to make sure it’s bronze-die cut (this the traditional way of cutting pasta) so that it has a coarser texture. We also buy pasta that is made from durum wheat and that looks a bit coarser. Cheaper pasta is usually slippery and not made with stone-ground flour, so it doesn’t hold sauce well and doesn’t taste as good. Finally, you’ll want to look for a slow-dry pasta, it tastes better when it’s cooked to al dente.

To recap – you want to buy dried pasta that says it’s bronze-cut, made from durum wheat, and slow-dried.


Tips for This Pasta Salad Recipe

  • This dish can be served warm or cold and travels well – so it’s perfect for a picnic or party.
  • If you want to make it more substantial, add a few cups of shredded rotisserie chicken and/or a half cup of crumbly feta.
  • This dish will keep in the refrigerator for up to two days. If you do keep in the fridge, we would suggest serving it cold. The zucchini and squash have an unpleasant texture when reheated in a microwave.

Let us know if you make this pesto pasta salad recipe – you can tag us on Instagram @thishealthytable.

Yield: 6 servings

Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe

Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe

This pesto pasta salad recipe is a delicious summer meal. It's heavy on vegetables and has a delicious pesto base.

Prep Time 6 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Additional Time 5 minutes
Total Time 36 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dried fusilli pasta
  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced into half-moons
  • 1 medium yellow squash, sliced into half-moons
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 3 ears corn
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1/2 cup fresh pesto*
  • optional - additional salt and pepper, fresh basil for topping

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Heat a grill or grill pan to medium heat. 
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it heavily. Cook the fusilli according to package directions, until it’s al dente. 
  3. Toss the zucchini, squash, and cherry tomatoes with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and half the salt and pepper. Place them flat on a baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the tomatoes have slightly burst. 
  4. Toss the corn with the remaining olive oil and salt and pepper. Place it on the grill or grill pan and cook each side for two minutes or until it’s lightly charred. Remove it from the heat and allow it to cool for a few minutes before cutting the kernels off the cob. 
  5. Drain the pasta. Combine it with the roasted vegetables, charred corn, and fresh pesto. Toss to combine. Add extra S&P if desired and chopped basil. 
  6. Serve warm or cold. 

Notes

*Use store-bought pesto if you don't want to make your own.

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 397Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 290mgCarbohydrates: 48gFiber: 5gSugar: 6gProtein: 11g

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