Pesto Pasta Salad

Packed full of flavour, this pesto pasta salad with bocconcini is a delicious meal on its own, or a side dish for BBQs and family dinners.

It’s salad season baby, and by salad I mean copious amounts of pasta covered in delicious pesto… right?

This one is budget-friendly, easy to make (you seriously don’t even have to make your own pesto if you don’t want to, and at $1.90 a jar, I can understand why you wouldn’t!). Make and take to a party, or make on a Sunday, and eat for lunches throughout the week.

Pesto Pasta Salad

What goes with pesto pasta salad? I think you can’t go past a BBQ chicken with this dish, you could even shred the chicken and toss is through. Alternatively a nice fillet of cooked salmon makes for a fresh, filling dinner idea.

Can I make it ahead of time? Absolutely. This pasta salad is a recipe that you can definitely make ahead of time. You want the pasta to be cold, so it has to be made ahead. You can make it the day before and store in an air-tight container.

How do I make my own pesto? Making your own pesto is so easy, especially if you’re growing your own basil at home and want to use it up. I generally just toss basil leaves, parmesan, olive oil, garlic cloves, toasted pine nuts, and a little salt into a blender and blitz. If you want to follow a recipe, this is a good one.

Want more deliciously easy recipes? Browse through hundreds of my tried and tested recipes, or take a look at my free recipe eBook filled with budget-friendly dinner ideas. You can also keep up-to-date by following along on Instagram or Facebook.

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Pesto pasta salad

Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe

  • Author: fatmumslim



250g short pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 lemons, juiced and zested
1 red capsicum, sliced into quarters, stems and seeds removed
1 large zucchini, sliced in quarters, in strips
1 punnet of cherry tomatoes
1 jar of classic pesto {I use this one}
1 220g tub of baby bocconcini balls, drained
salt and pepper, to taste


1. Cook the pasta as per the packet instructions.
2. In a large bowl place the olive oil, garlic, the lemon zest, lemon juice and the capsicum, zucchini, and cherry tomatoes, and toss to coat.
3. On a BBQ or in a frying pan on high heat, cook the vegetables, for around 4 minutes on each side.
4. Once the pasta is cooked, drain and set aside.
5. Chop the vegetables into bite-sized pieces.
6. In a large bowl combine the cooked pasta, pesto sauce, chopped vegetables, and bocconcini balls. Toss to combine. Serve while warm, or cold.

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