Summertime brings on special gatherings with friends + family that we all cherish.  Beach days, pool parties, & BBQ’s  mean increased hosting duties or the  need to contribute an amazing dish to a fabulous party.  No worries, I’ve got you covered with an easy & delicious Pesto Pasta Salad for Summer!

Never wanting to show up empty handed, but not wanting to slave in the kitchen each time I needed to make a dish for a party, led me to create this tried + true recipe.  It has always been a huge hit with everyone that has ever had it – even with kids!


The beauty of this recipe is that it only uses 4 key ingredients.  The rest you can add to your taste.

Pesto Pasta Salad Ingredients:

1lb. fusilli pasta (corkscrew)
1 jar pesto*  (per 1lb of pasta) or you could certainly make your own fresh pesto with this recipe
1 cup sweet pearl tomatoes (cut in 1/2 or if larger slice in 1/4ths)
1 small sweet maui onion (diced & sauted)

Cook the pasta in salted water according to the package directions.  While the pasta is cooking, dice onion and saute in olive oil, salt & pepper until transparent & sweet.  Drain your pasta, and rinse under cold water.  Allow pasta to dry slightly, then toss in a your serving bowl with pesto and diced onions being sure to get the pesto into every nook & cranny of the fusilli.  Slice your pearl tomatoes, adding as many as desired for taste and a pop of color.  Cover & place in the refrigerator until ready to serve.


How I like to serve it:

Right before I bring the salad out, I like to top it with a hand full of baby spinach leaves for freshness and a sprinkle of goat cheese for an added layer of incredible flavor and creamy texture.   Every time I eat it – I still can’t believe how well all the flavors meld in your mouth with this easy & perfect combination of ingredients.

If you know your guests are a bit finicky, you can always keep the toppings on the side in separate serving bowls for them to add as desired.   You can also add toasted pine nuts or any other toppings you desire.

Enjoy, and be sure to share with all of us in the comments below any other ideas for toppings.


* Pesto alla Genovese/Basil Pesto was purchased at Trader Joes



  1. Deanna shared this tasty pesto salad with family on Fathers Day and it was a big hit. Not a morsel left in the bowl.

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