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Creamy Pesto Pasta Salad

Vegetarian

This crowd-pleasing creamy pesto pasta salad with artichokes, black olives, tomatoes, and red onion is simple to throw together in just 20-minutes. Naturally vegetarian.

Front shot of bowl of creamy pesto pasta salad on wood surface with three grape tomatoes and a basil leaf.

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One of my absolute favorite things to make in the summer is pasta salad. It’s typically easy to prepare, doesn’t take much time, and is so versatile.

Additionally, they are nearly impossible to mess up meaning pretty much anyone can successfully prepare one. The only thing better than that is how good they taste.

And this pasta salad is no exception. Its base is a creamy mixture of basil pesto and mayonnaise. Stir ’em together, add a little lemon juice, and BAM, you’ve got a flavor-laden sauce that’s poppin’ with herby goodness.

As always this salad is loaded with veggies including artichokes and red onions, which are both in season right now. It’s vegetarian and can easily be adapted to gluten-free with the use of GF pasta.

You can seriously throw this salad together with ease in just 20 minutes, so keep it in mind next time you’re invited to a barbecue or pot-luck at the last minute. It will no doubt be a hit!

White bowl of pesto pasta salad on wood surface with a wooden spoon topped with a grape tomato shot from above.

Ingredients (+ notes & substitutions)


Ingredients for pasta salad in bowls shot from above.
  • Orecchiette pasta: Or whatever pasta you prefer. For GF make sure you pick out a pasta that does not contain gluten.
  • Mayonnaise: Full-fat recommended.
  • Basil pesto: Homemade or the brand of your choice.
  • Lemon juice: For brightness.
  • Grape or cherry tomatoes
  • Red onion
  • Salt and pepper: To taste.

How to make creamy pesto pasta salad (+ tips)


Cook orecchiette pasta according to package instructions. Immediately drain and run cold water over the noodles until they are cool.

In a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise, basil pesto, and lemon juice.

Mayo pesto sauce in white bowl shot from above.

Add the orecchiette pasta, artichokes, black olives, tomatoes, and red onion; stir to coat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately or refrigerate for later.

Half shot of large bowl of pasta salad shot from above.

How to store


Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to five days.

Large white bowl of creamy pesto pasta salad shot from above with wooden spoon and grape tomatoes.
Close up of creamy pesto pasta salad in white bowl shot from above.
Close up of white bowl with creamy pesto pasta salad on wood surface with a grape tomato.

More pasta salad recipes you may enjoy:


  • Lemon Orzo Salad w/ Asparagus, Arugula, & Feta: This herbaceous lemon orzo salad is a wonderful Spring side dish incorporating fresh seasonal produce like asparagus and arugula, garlic, and feta. Naturally vegetarian.
  • Pesto Orzo Salad with Summer Vegetables: Herbaceous and fresh; this delightful pesto orzo salad with summer vegetables including corn, cucumber, and tomato and fresh mozzarella is simple to prepare in under 20-minutes and a great take-along dish to your next cookout or potluck. Vegetarian and gluten-free adaptable.
  • Green Goddess Pasta Salad: Making up this green goddess pasta salad is an herbaceous homemade green goddess dressing, fresh Spring vegetables like asparagus, broccoli, and artichokes, and of course, pasta! It’s simple to prepare, takes just 20-minutes, and is gluten-free and vegetarian adaptable.

If you make this creamy pesto pasta salad I’d love your feedback. Please leave a comment and/or a rating below as I greatly value your opinion. Or snap a pic and tag me on Instagram @taoofspiceblog. Love, light, and happy cooking ya’ll ♥

Front shot of bowl of creamy pesto pasta salad on wood surface with three grape tomatoes and a basil leaf.

Creamy Pesto Pasta Salad

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

This crowd-pleasing creamy pesto pasta salad with artichokes, black olives, tomatoes, and red onion is super easy and can be thrown together in just 20 minutes. Naturally vegetarian.

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces orecchiette pasta 
  • 3/8 cup mayonnaise
  • 3/8 cup basil pesto
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 14 ounce can artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup sliced black olives
  • 1 cup halved grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • Salt and pepper to taste 

Instructions

    1. Cook orecchiette pasta according to package instructions. Immediately transfer to a strainer and run cold water over the noodles until cool. Drain.
    2. In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, basil pesto, and lemon juice.
    3. Add the orecchiette pasta, artichokes, black olives, tomatoes, and red onion. Stir to coat. Serve immediately or refrigerate for later.

    Storage: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to five days.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: ~ 1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 177Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 277mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 4g

The nutritional information provided is computer generated. It is only an estimate and intended for informational purposes only. Nutrition details may vary depending on various factors such as origin, freshness of ingredients, etc

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