Pesto Veggie Pasta Salad
This Veggie Pasta Salad recipe is easy to make, full of flavor, and be made with spinach, basil, and tomatoes--- but you can add whatever veggies you desire! The pesto and addition of fresh mozzarella cheese bring this easy summer recipe next level.
Servings: 8 servings
- 8 ounces small-shaped pasta
- 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes cut in half or quartered
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese diced
- 1 cup baby spinach roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup pesto store-bought or homemade (see recipe below)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Cook pasta in salted boiling water until al dente, following package instructions. Drain and set aside to cool.
Add tomatoes, mozzarella, and chopped spinach to a large bowl. Once pasta is cooled, add to the bowl then top with the pesto.Stir well to combine and coat the pasta in the pesto.
Taste the pasta and add additional salt and pepper as needed. Sprinkle with remaining basil. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Spinach and Basil Pesto
- ½ cup packed basil leaves
- 2 cups packed baby spinach
- ¼ cup toasted sliced almonds, pine nuts, or any nut/seeds you like
- 1 small garlic clove or ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp water
- 2 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese
- Add basil, spinach, nuts, garlic, salt, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, and water to a food processor. Blend until the pesto is smooth. Stop and scrape down the sides and bottom and blend again several times to make sure everything is well incorporated.
- Once pesto is smooth, blend in parmesan cheese. If the pesto is very thick add another splash of water and blend again. Taste the pesto and add additional salt and pepper as desired.
Calories: 262kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 334mg | Potassium: 237mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1185IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 186mg | Iron: 1mg