This easy to make Pesto Pasta Salad is always a top requested pasta salad recipe. Loaded with Caesar salad dressing, pesto, pasta, pine nuts, parmesan cheese, olives, and tomatoes and covered in a simple creamy dressing.
Keyword pasta salad recipe, pesto pasta salad
Prep Time 20minutes
Cook Time 8minutes
refrigeration time 1hour
Total Time 1hour28minutes
Author Jessica - Together as Family
1box (12 oz)tri color rotini pasta
⅔cupcreamy caesar salad dressing
1cupchopped roma tomatoes
1can (3.8 oz)sliced or chopped black olivesdrained
¾cupshredded parmesan cheese
⅓cupsliced green onion
Cook pasta according to package directions. Don't forget to salt the pasta water. I use about 1 teaspoon.When pasta is done cooking, drain it in a colander, and rinse with cold water.
In a mixing bowl combine the caesar dressing, basil pesto, salt, and garlic powder. Stir together. Add the drained & rinsed pasta into it and stir until all the noodles are coated well.
Add the chopped tomatoes, olives, parmesan cheese, pine nuts, and green onions into the bowl and stir to combine everything together.
You can either serve this salad right away OR put it in the fridge for 1-2 hours before serving.Leftovers will keep well, in a covered container, for up to 3 days. If leftovers are dry, simply add some additonal Caesar salad dressing and stir to combine.
Pine Nuts : If you want to and have the time, try toasting the pine nuts before adding them into the salad. Toasting the pine nuts adds a whole new flavor and it's really good. I just put the pine nuts into small sauté pan and let it cook over medium heat for several minutes. Stirring often to make sure they don't burn. A good substitute for pine nuts are cashews or almonds. Olives : If you can't find the 3.8 oz black olive sized can at your grocery store you can get two of the small (2.25 oz) cans. You can either use sliced black olives or chopped black olives. Tomatoes : Use chopped Roma tomatoes or you can use halved cherry/grape tomatoes. You can use more or less of the tomatoes depending on preference. Parmesan Cheese : I use the parmesan cheese that you buy pre shredded in the bags. You could also shred your own from a wedge. I would suggest not using the finely grated parmesan cheese that you get in the can. You know the cheaper dried parmesan cheese.Caesar Salad Dressing : Make sure and use a Caesar dressing that you love because that flavor really shines through. I love using Ken's Steakhouse Caesar dressing. Serving Size : The nutrition information listed is for 12 servings of the pasta salad. Each serving being about ½ cup.