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+ servings
Creamy Pesto Pasta Salad
Prep Time
25 mins
Total Time
25 mins
Pesto is great with pasta whether it's warm OR cold. This creamy pesto pasta salad is a great make-ahead side dish to feed a crowd, or a great dinner all on its own.
Course: Entrées, Side Dishes, Salads
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: Vegetarian, Pasta, Lunch, One Pot Meal, Quick and Easy
Servings: 8
Calories: 495 kcal
Author: The Blue Jean Chef, Meredith Laurence
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves packed tightly
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound campanelle rotini or gemelli pasta
  • 1 cucumber halved and sliced
  • 2 cups red and yellow cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 orange pepper large dice
  • ½ red onion thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella diced or small balls
  1. Cook pasta according to the package instructions, until it is al dente – about 9 minutes. Drain the pasta and rinse it with cold water to wash off the starch. Transfer the pasta to large bowl and let it cool.
  2. Make the dressing. Using a food processor running with the lid on, drop the garlic and Parmesan cheese down the feed tube and process to fine crumbs. Add the pine nuts and process again. Add the basil leaves and drizzle the olive oil down the feed tube slowly while the processor runs and blends everything together. Add the buttermilk and mayonnaise and process until smooth. Season to taste with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Set the dressing aside.
  3. Add the cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, orange peppers, red onion and fresh mozzarella to the bowl with the pasta. Pour the dressing over the top and toss to coat. Season the salad with salt and fresh ground black pepper and serve chilled.

Recipe Video

Nutrition Facts
Creamy Pesto Pasta Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 495 Calories from Fat 234
% Daily Value*
Fat 26g40%
Saturated Fat 7g35%
Cholesterol 32mg11%
Sodium 609mg25%
Potassium 395mg11%
Carbohydrates 49g16%
Fiber 3g12%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 17g34%
Vitamin A 1245IU25%
Vitamin C 30.4mg37%
Calcium 237mg24%
Iron 1.7mg9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.