Simple & Fresh Pasta Pesto Salad

I hate lunch. I hate thinking about what to eat and I hate making it.

Lunch is stupid. The End.

Lately, I’ve gotten back into the wormhole of Pinterest for some inspiration in the kitchen. I should also mention that I hate making dinner too. I like dinner, but I hate prepping and then cooking it.

So, back to Pinterest. Since it’s summer, I created a board specifically for light & fresh summer foods:


Have I tried any of these recipes yet? Nope. That is, until today.

This is the recipe that inspired me:


I say inspired because I went a different route and made it quick and easy for myself based on what I had in my fridge and pantry. That’s the beauty of this recipe, you can go crazy with it by adding extras* (suggestions below) or keep it simple like I did.

What you’ll need (this couldn’t be easier or simpler):

  • Your favorite boxed pasta. I chose ridged elbows. The ridges really help retain the pesto, so be sure to purchase a pasta with ridges.
  • Pesto. Now, you could make your own, or you could buy a really great quality fresh pouch like I did. Ain’t nobody got time to food process!
  • Grape or cherry tomatoes.
  • Salt/Pepper to taste.
  • Parmesan cheese.

photo (29)

So, super simple! All ingredients cost about $8.00.

  • Bring pasta water to a boil and dump in desired amount of pasta for your meal. (I used half a box which will provide me with three meals.)
  • Cut tomatoes in half. Place them in the bottom of the bowl.
  • Drain pasta and rinse with cold water. Add to bowl with tomatoes.
  • Add in desired amount of pesto.
  • Toss everything together and give it a taste.
  • Add salt/pepper if the mood strikes you.
  • Top with Parmesan cheese. Fresh is preferable, but canned will do.


photo (30)

If you like your pasta salad cold, prepare earlier and refrigerate for awhile. Since this doesn’t have mayo in it, it’s great for camping, picnics or BBQ’s.

*On to the extras I mentioned above. If I was making this for dinner or to bring to a friends house, I’d add a few other items to it to make it a bit heartier.

  • Mozzarella pearls (Ciliegine)
  • Red onion
  • Small handful of spinach
  • Sliced olives
  • Chopped red bell pepper
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • Lemon juice for flavor pop

The ideas are endless! And if you want to make it creamy, by all means add some mayo. To keep it light, I omit the mayo.


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