Pasta Salad…it’s a great side dish for Summer picnics, pool parties, or weekday burgers on the grill. This Basil Pesto Pasta Salad is super simple to throw together and you can make it ahead of time so it will be ready when you are.
All you need to make this yummy side dish is pasta, basil pesto, some mozzarella cheese, and your choice of fresh veggies. You can use either store bought or fresh homemade basil pesto in your pasta salad. If you want to make your own, there are all kinds of recipes on Pinterest like this one. I used Classico Traditional Basil Pesto in my salad this time.
I used tricolored rotini pasta to add a little more color to the finished dish. Cook the pasta according to package directions – making sure to not overcook it. Drain and rinse the pasta with cool water and add to a bowl. Cut the mozzarella cheese into small cubes and add to the pasta. Then add whatever veggies you have on hand. I added broccoli florets and grape tomatoes cut in half. Gently toss the salad with desired amount of pesto – I used about 1/2 cup. Then put it in the fridge to chill. You can make this several hours ahead, or even the day before you are ready to serve it.
Your family doesn’t like broccoli? Use your favorite veggies – cauliflower, zucchini, yellow squash, sweet peas – whatever you’d like. You can also add some cooked chicken or turkey (a rotisserie chicken from the deli would work great!) to turn this into a main dish on a hot Summer evening. Add some bread and fruit for a light dinner that won’t heat up your kitchen!
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