It is time to celebrate summer time! And nothing screams more summer than this pasta salad! It is a super tasty recipes to make for all kinds of gatherings with friends and family. I love to make this recipe for picnics and barbecues. It is a light, easy and healthy pasta salad recipe with roasted vegetables that is also great for lunch and dinner. And have I mentioned that it is ridiculously delicious? Trust me, this is the best pasta salad with red pesto!
Ingredients for the pasta salad
The ingredients for this pasta salad are all very simple and basic. You need:
- bell pepper
- cherry tomatoes
- red pesto (sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, pine nuts, parmesan cheese, olive oil)
The list is a tad bit longer than the ones of other recipes you will find here, but don’t worry! This recipe is so easy, you are definitely going to enjoy making this one.
How to make the best pasta salad with red pesto
Sooo, let’s get into how you prepare this flavorful pasta salad. For this recipe, we have to take care of three things: the pasta, the pesto and the veggies.
Let’s start with the pasta. I went for whole-wheat fusilli when I made this recipe. You can absolutely go for any kind of pasta you like. Just use something that is short, like fusilli or farfalle. Then, cook the pasta according to the instructions and set the pasta aside.
Next, we take care of the veggies for the salad. You simply cut the eggplant into dices, the bell pepper into slices and the mushrooms into quarters. Then, you put the veggies in a bowl, add olive oil, mix everything, place the vegetables on a baking sheet and roast them in the oven for approx. 20 minutes using 350 °F (180 °C). As for the arugula and cherry tomatoes, you simply cut the arugula into smaller pieces (optional) and cut the cherry tomatoes in half. Then set them aside until you assemble the salad.
The last thing that is missing is the pesto. You make the pesto by grating the parmesan, peeling the garlic, placing all ingredients in a food processor and then pulsing them to create a nice pesto. I always slowly add the olive oil while pulsing. When the pesto is done, check if you like the consistency. If you prefer it creamier, slowly add a bit of water and pulse some more while adding more water until you have reached your preferred consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.
And now comes the fun part: assembling our super flavorful pasta salad. Place the pasta and the pesto in a bowl and mix. Next, add all of the veggies and then mix until you have this wonderful and incredibly delicious pasta salad. Add salt and pepper to taste. And you are done!
This might look like quite few steps, but it is actually super easy to make this salad. And trust me, it is soooo worth it! I just love it.
Extra tip: the salad tastes even better when it is fully cooled down. I like to place it in the refrigerator before eating or just prep it in advance. But you can absolutely just eat it at room temperature! It will taste very delicious either way.
Here are a few more ways in which this pesto pasta salad can be modified to fit your needs:
- Make it gluten-free: Simply go for gluten-free pasta! You could choose red lentil fusilli or chickpea penne. There are several options available and they will all taste delicious with this recipe.
- Switch it up: Sometimes, eating the same veggies can get a bit boring. So feel free to use different vegetables for the recipe. You could also incorporate seasonal veggies, such as asparagus. It will go very well with this recipe!
- Add protein: You can absolutely eat this recipe as a side and prepare your favorite type of protein with it. I am a huge fan of salmon! Simply add whatever you love.
If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag a photo #bitesofberi on Instagram, friends!
The Best Pasta Salad with Red Pesto
- Food processor
- 3 oz sun-dried tomatoes
- 2 garlic cloves
- ⅓ cup pine nuts
- ½ cup parmesan grated
- ½ cup olive oil extra virgin
- salt and pepper
Pasta and Vegetables
- 1.1 lbs pasta
- 1 eggplant
- 1 bell pepper red or yellow
- 8.5 oz mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon olive oil extra virgin
- 7 oz cherry tomatoes
- 3.5 oz arugula
- salt and pepper
- Cook the pasta according to instructions and set aside until the salad is assembled.
- Preheat the oven to 350 °F (180 °C).
- Cut the bell pepper into slices, the mushrooms into quarters and the eggplant into dices. Place them in a bowl, add the olive oil and mix everything. Place the vegetables on a baking sheet and roast them in the oven for approx. 20 minutes until slightly browned.
- Cut the cherry tomatoes into halves and the arugula into smaller pieces (optional). Set aside until the salad is assembled.
- Peel the garlic and grate the parmesan cheese. Add all the ingredients, except for the olive oil, to the food processor. Slowly start pulsing and add the olive oil while pulsing.
- Add water for a creamier consistency if preferred. Add salt and pepper to taste.