Pesto Pasta Salad

    1 hour 25 min

    This is a super flavourful pasta salad that will go over famously at picnics and summer barbecues. A quick homemade pesto is combined with pasta, cherry tomatoes, Parmesan and mozzarella.

    34 people made this

    Serves: 8 

    • 500g fusilli pasta
    • 90g fresh basil leaves
    • 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese
    • 4 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
    • 2 cloves garlic
    • 4 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 punnet cherry tomatoes, halved
    • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
    • 110g fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into strips
    • salt and pepper to taste

    Prep:25min  ›  Cook:15min  ›  Extra time:45min chilling  ›  Ready in:1hr25min 

    1. Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to the boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, stir in the fusilli, and return to the boil. Cook the pasta uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta has cooked through, but is still firm to the bite, about 12 minutes. Drain.
    2. Place basil, 4 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, pine nuts and garlic into a blender or food processor; cover and chop to a coarse paste. Add the olive oil in a slow, steady stream. Continue processing until a soft paste has formed. Set pesto aside.
    3. Combine the cooked pasta, tomatoes, 3 tablespoons Parmesan, mozzarella and pesto in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Cover bowl, refrigerate to chill for 45 minutes, and serve.

    Recently viewed

    Reviews & ratings
    Average global rating:

    Reviews in English (26)


    The real caprese salad is my all time favourite salad, so this idea seemed good too. The combination of fresh basil pesto and the mozzarella cheese really works! Couple of minor things: saved a few basil leaves and slivered them over top of the salad, and added a bit of sweet aged balsamic vinegar, because I usually add that to the tomato version of this salad. Also, fresh mozzarella cheese doesn't shred, so I chopped it into thin slices. Thanks!  -  15 Jul 2009  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    This is delicious! You can't go wrong with basil, tomato and cheese. One thing I didn't think to do that I should have done - rinse the pasta with COLD water before combining it with the pesto, cheese and tomatoes. I simply drained it and it ended up melting my cheese. It's still good, but would be better with un-melted cheese.  -  27 Dec 2009  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    I made this recipe for a cool dinner dish tonight after a hot day here in the Sierra Nevada's and it didn't dissapoint. I thought the pesto was a little light and I doubled the pesto recipe (I'm pregnant so fat content be damned!) and added a 6 oz can of olives halved and loved it! Thank you for the new summer staple at my house!  -  14 Jul 2009  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)