*This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for your support.

Sun-dried tomatoes and basil bring intense flavor to this pesto pasta salad. The recipe is super easy, packs a lot of punch, and is sure to be a crowd pleaser.

sun-dried tomato pesto pasta salad on a salad platter
Table of Contents

This sun-dried tomato pesto pasta salad combines cooked cold pasta, sun-dried tomato pesto, cherry tomatoes, toasted pine nuts, crunchy arugula, and fresh basil leaves. It’s incredibly flavorful and provides a welcome variety to classic Italian pasta salad.

Instead of tossed with a dressing, pesto pasta salad is seasoned with pesto sauce. I love to use a homemade sun-dried tomato pesto (also known as red pesto or pesto rosso) for this. Sun-dried tomatoes are super aromatic and turn this cold pasta salad into a family favorite. 

pesto pasta salad with fresh vegetables

Plus, my recipe for sun-dried tomato pesto is made without parmesan cheese and thus turning this recipe into a vegan pesto pasta salad! 

Do you prefer green pesto? Then use this vegan basil pesto recipe to make the salad.

Ingredients

You can find the quantities in the recipe.

Pesto Pasta Salad Ingredients-1
  • Pasta → Of your choice! I like to use rigatoni, fusilli, penne, or farfalle. Feel free to use gluten-free pasta.
  • Cherry Tomatoes → Add freshness and some juiciness. Can also be substituted with chopped tomatoes of your choice.
  • Arugula & Fresh Basil → For a color intense salad and extra flavor! 
  • Pine Nuts → Provide a great crunch and nutty flavor. Be sure to toast them first!
  • Olive Oil → Just a little to toss the salad. Feel free to add some balsamic vinegar or lemon juice too.
Pesto Pasta Salad Ingredients-2
  • Red Pesto → Sun-dried tomatoes, the oil in which the tomatoes are packed in, toasted almonds, garlic, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup (or sugar), salt & pepper.

Visual Step-by-Step Instructions

This visual step-by-step instruction will help you along the way – definitely recommended if you’re a cooking beginner! 😉

  • Pesto: Toast almonds in a skillet without oil for 5 minutes until golden brown. Place them with the remaining pesto ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until the pesto has the desired consistency.
Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe Step 1-2
  • Cook pasta according to the packet instructions in boiling salt water until al dente. Drain, toss with some olive oil if desired, and set aside to cool for 15 minutes.
  • Toast pine nuts in a skillet without oil for 5 minutes until golden brown.
  • Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a glass jar and shake well or whisk them together in a small bowl.
  • Arrange all pasta salad ingredients in a large bowl. Add the pesto on top and toss well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe Step 3-4

Make-Ahead & Storage Instructions

This salad can be made up to a day in advance and stored in the fridge until needed. Hint: I like to take it out of the fridge about 30 minutes before serving! For the arugula to stay crunchy and not to wilt, fold it under the salad just before serving. 😉

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. It will stay fresh for up to 2 days.

vegan pasta salad with pesto rosso, arugula, and tomatoes on a serving platter

More Delicious Pasta Salad Recipes

If you make this recipe, I’d love for you to give it a star rating ★ below. 

Please follow me on InstagramPinterest, and Facebook or sign up for my free newsletter to never miss the newest recipes. I would be thrilled to welcome you to my community & thank you so much for your support! 💕

📖 Recipe

nudelsalat mit pesto, cherrytomaten, und rucola

Pesto Pasta Salad

Sun-dried tomatoes and basil bring intense flavor to this pesto pasta salad. The recipe is super easy, packs a lot of punch, and is sure to be a crowd pleaser.
Author : Aline Cueni
5 from 1 vote

Click on the stars to leave a vote!

Prep Time :15 minutes
Cook Time :15 minutes
Total Time :30 minutes
Servings : 4
Calories : 562kcal

Ingredients
 
 

Pasta Salad

  • 10.5 oz pasta I recommend fusilli, penne, or rigatoni
  • 1 ½ cup cherry tomatoes halved
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts toasted
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Pesto Rosso

Instructions
 

  • Pesto: Toast almonds in a skillet without oil for 5 minutes until golden brown. Place them with the remaining pesto ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until the pesto has the desired consistency.
  • Cook pasta according to the packet instructions in boiling salt water until al dente. Drain, toss with some olive oil if desired, and set aside to cool for 15 minutes.
  • Toast pine nuts in a skillet without oil for 5 minutes until golden brown.
  • Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a glass jar and shake well or whisk them together in a small bowl.
  • Arrange all pasta salad ingredients in a large bowl. Add the pesto on top and toss well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Notes

Oil: Using the oil, in which the sun-dried tomatoes are packed in, adds extra flavor to your pesto. Plus, it’s an excellent way to use it up. ➝ You can mix it with olive oil if there isn’t enough oil in the jar.
Pesto: This recipe tasted best with homemade pesto. Anyhow, sometimes there is just not enough time, the quicker way is to use store-bought pesto. The salad tasted delicious too with this homemade basil pesto (green pesto).
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Nutrition

Calories: 562kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 16g | Trans Fat: 0.003g | Sodium: 104mg | Potassium: 809mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 819IU | Vitamin C: 39mg | Calcium: 73mg | Iron: 3mg

Comments

No Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.