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Pesto Pasta Salad

We grow a large crop of basil each summer and make dozens of jars of pesto sauce to use in dishes such as this salad. You'll love the combination of garlic and herbs.
  • Total Time
    Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
  • Makes
    18-20 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 package (16 ounces) spiral pasta, cooked, drained and cooled
  • 1 cup julienned fully cooked ham
  • 1 cup julienned carrots
  • 1 cup thinly sliced celery
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 cup julienned zucchini
  • 1 cup cubed Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1/3 cup chopped radishes
  • 1 can (6 ounces) medium pitted ripe olives, drained and halved
  • 1 jar (2 ounces) chopped pimientos, drained
  • PESTO DRESSING:
  • 3 to 5 garlic cloves
  • 2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
  • 3/4 cups grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup whole almonds, toasted

Directions

  • In a large bowl, combine the first 13 ingredients; set aside. For dressing, process garlic in a blender or food processor until finely chopped. Add basil, cheese, slivered almonds, salt, tarragon, pepper and sugar. Process 15-30 seconds or until coarsely chopped. With the motor running, gradually add oil until mixture is smooth. Add vinegar and process until blended. Pour over salad; toss to coat. Just before serving, add whole almonds.
Nutrition Facts
1/2 cup: 315 calories, 21g fat (4g saturated fat), 14mg cholesterol, 402mg sodium, 23g carbohydrate (3g sugars, 3g fiber), 11g protein.

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