This Pesto Pasta Salad Is the Perfect Summer Lunch

By July 23, 2017Recipes

Eat your veggies (and pasta, too) with this simple pesto pasta salad.

With summer in full swing, we’ve entered the season of beach vacations, barbecues, and days spent outdoors. There’s nothing like a warm day with friends to boost your mood, and we all know how important it is to stock up with lots of good food and snacks to make the outdoors-y days all that much better.

That’s what this pesto pasta salad is for. It’s hearty yet light, comforting yet fresh, and satisfying yet healthy. It’s a great one to pack in tupperware and bring along to the beach, to a park, to a barbecue, and even to school or work. Sure, it’s great for summer, but this meal is good for literally any time of year – just switch up the veggies to what’s in season. It’s the perfect way to eat your greens and your pasta, too!

I love the salty, herby brightness of pesto. When paired with its classic companion, pasta, how could it go wrong?

Time: 20 minutes

When to eat it: lunch or a light summer-y dinner – perfect to bring along to picnics and barbecues!

Perks: delicious, easy, barely any cooking required, filled with veggies, easy to pack

Makes: 1 serving, but can easily be doubled, tripled, or decupled (x10!)

Sh*t You Need:

75-100 g dry pasta (fusilli is my favorite for this)
1-2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, depending on how thick your pesto is (more if it’s thicker)
Salt and pepper, to taste
A handful of whatever veggies you want, blanched or raw (my favorites include peas, cherry tomatoes, zucchini and asparagus – sometimes just one, sometimes a combo of them)
3 tablespoons of your favorite pesto (red, green, store-bought or homemade all work)
2 tablespoons of toasted pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, or chopped pistachios (feel free to add more!)
A big bunch of leafy greens – spinach or arugula work best
Lots of good quality shaved parmesan

The recipe:

1. Cook pasta according to directions. Let it cool slightly.

2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the pesto, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

3. Add the rest of the ingredients and toss well. That's it!

4. Pack to bring with you on the go or enjoy immediately. It can even be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.


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Author Tanvi Ahuja

Tanvi is a student at the University of Cambridge across the pond in the UK! Family, friends and food are her favorite things. She is obsessed with all things chocolate, strawberry and nut-butter and even has a food blog called Strawberry Chocolate Concoction. A black belt in karate and former competitive swimmer, Tanvi loves staying fit and encouraging others to do so as well. She’s happiest when surrounded by the people she loves - a sprinkling of yummy food and sunny weather wouldn’t hurt either!

More posts by Tanvi Ahuja