An easy homemade pesto elevates a casual pasta salad recipe to a must-try dish. Pasta salads are ideal for summer days when it's too hot to eat fresh-from-the-oven dishes.
3 cups packed fresh basil
1 cup packed fresh parsley
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 pound gemelli or other short pasta
1 cup plain 2 percent Greek yogurt
2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
How to Make It
Make pesto: In a food processor puree basil, parsley, garlic, lemon juice, salt, pepper and pine nuts until smooth. With motor running, add olive oil and process until a thick paste forms. Add Parmesan and pulse twice. Season with more salt and pepper, if desired.
Make salad: Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain and run under cold water to stop cooking.
In a large bowl, combine pesto and Greek yogurt and stir until well blended. Add cold pasta and toss to coat with dressing. Top with tomatoes. Serve salad at room temperature or cover and refrigerate to serve chilled.
Really delicious! Yum! I made the pesto with walnuts and added some extra walnuts to the finished salad. I added chicken, onion, and cucumber. I will be making this again.
Great summer recipe. I will enjoy it in the winter as well.
We had an explosion of basil and plans to attend a Memorial Day cookout, so I found this recipe in searching. It was a major hit at the party. I added some sliced black olives for a bit more interest. Also, you can use less olive oil than is called for, especially since you'll be blending your pesto with greek yogurt for the dressing. I used very good quality olive oil, and combined with the freshly picked basil, this was a great salad. I'll definitely make it again.
Loved the blend of yogurt with fresh pesto, but added a bit of sugar to take the edge off, then perfect. Didn't have tomatoes so added sundried tomatoes, chopped hazelnuts, chopped cranberries and feta cheese. Yummy salad and will definitely do again.
I modified this recipe somewhat: bought Central Market pesto (yummy), added cucumber and red onion along with the tomatoes and added lemon pepper and a little lemon juice as others suggested. I served tonight with burgers and hotdogs and it was just delicious! I'll even have leftovers for tomorrow's lunch! It's a deinite repeater.
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