Walnut Pesto Pasta Salad

Walnut Pesto Pasta Salad

Happy Labor Day! Will you be relaxing at home, or potluck-hopping your way through the day? We have a few get-togethers planned, one of which is a potluck, so I thought I’d give summer one last hurrah and whip up this pasta salad to bring.

I’m always looking for recipes that make perfect leftovers to last us throughout the week. Salads seem to do the trick because they are so versatile and last a long time! Ben has also been asking for more pasta recently, since he has started eating pescatarian with me.

I was so pleased with the way this salad came out. Homemade walnut pesto is the perfect dressing! Just don’t make the mistake I did of adding the pasta when it’s still too hot, otherwise it will just absorb all the pesto! Allow your pasta to cool to room temp first so you don’t have to make more pesto later.

You could also add black olives, salami or pepperoni to this salad and it would be even better!

Walnut Pesto Pasta Salad
Recipe Type: Salad, picnic
Cuisine: vegetarian, healthy
Author: Claire McCormick of “Claire Tastes”
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 12
Perfect for your Labor Day potluck or to last for the short week ahead!
Ingredients
  • 3 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1 box whole wheat rotini
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 red onion, minced
  • 8 oz mini mozzarella balls (“perlines”)
  • 1 bag chopped kale
  • 1 cup frozen peas
Instructions
  1. In a food processor, combine all ingredients for pesto except for the olive oil and vinegar. Pulse on high until roughly chopped, then drizzle in oil and vinegar until smooth. Add more water or oil if you like!
  2. Prepare pasta to al dente and drain, reserving 1 cup of the liquid.
  3. Return 1 cup pasta water to the pot and add kale. Bring to a boil then cover and reduce to low until kale is steamed. Remove from heat.
  4. Return pasta to pot and add tomatoes, red onion, mozzarella balls, and peas.
  5. When pasta has cooled, toss with pesto and serve!

Walnut Pesto Pasta Salad

Enjoy!

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