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overhead view of pecan pesto salad in bowl

Pesto Pasta Salad

  • Author: Lexi
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x


Pesto pasta salad is a dish that hits all the right notes. It’s quick and easy to make, full of fresh seasonal ingredients, highly versatile and packed with nutrients!




  • 2 packed cups spinach
  • 1 packed cup basil
  • ¼ cup fresh mint
  • ½ cup raw, unsalted pecans
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Freshly squeezed juice from ½ of a medium lemon
  • 4 tbsp nutritional yeast*
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • ½ cup olive oil (more to thin out if desired)

Pasta Salad:

  • 1 lb. fusilli pasta (gluten free or regular)
  • 1 ½ cups cherry tomatoes, halved widthwise
  • 1 cup zucchini, quartered and sliced thinly
  • ¾ cup red onion, sliced thinly
  • ¼ cup kalamata olives, halved 
  • ¼ cup castelvetrano olives, sliced
  • 4 oz quartered canned artichoke hearts
  • ½ avocado, diced



  1. Add all ingredients except the olive oil to a blender or food processor and blend until mostly smooth. 
  2. With the motor running, slowly stream in the olive oil and continue to blend until pesto reaches desired smoothness. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Refrigerate in an airtight container for 3-5 days.

Pasta Salad:

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions (make sure to salt your pasta water generously!).
  2. Meanwhile, prep all of your vegetables.
  3. When pasta is finished cooking, drain, transfer to a large mixing bowl and toss with sliced vegetables (except avocado) and pesto.
  4. Add avocado and toss gently. Serve warm or refrigerate and serve cold. 


*You can sub ¼-⅓ cup parmesan cheese or dairy free parmesan for the nutritional yeast.

Read the blog post for more info on how to freeze homemade pesto!

  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Stovetop

Keywords: pesto pasta salad