Walnut Pesto Pasta Salad

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Is there anything better than fresh basil? I don’t think so. I love its slight natural sweetness and its bold flavor. My aunt and uncle have the most gorgeous basil plants that are growing like crazy and I have a love of finding uses for specific ingredients, especially when they are in abundance.

Walnut Pesto Pasta Salad6

Pesto seemed like the perfect thing. Don’t even get me started on how much I love the flavors of pesto. It makes me want to kiss my fingers and bellow “Mamma Mia!” like a fat Italian man. There are so many possibilities with pesto. You can add it to sauces, spread it on bread, use it as a dip, or make pasta salad!

Walnut Pesto Pasta Salad2

This is kind of a cheap version of pesto because I skipped the pine nuts. I adore pine nuts but the prices are crazy high right now so I figured we could do without. Besides, walnut pesto is really good.

Walnut Pesto Pasta Salad5

Am I the only one loving the heat? I am probably more excited about the summer weather than most because I have been in the opposite season for a while. Jumping from cold and rainy right into hot and sunny is a strange experience. I love it! I was getting sick of being cold and now I get to skip a month of winter. It’s like having your cake and eating it too.

Walnut Pesto Pasta Salad3 This pasta salad is the perfect thing to make on a hot day. The flavors are so fresh and summery. Perfect for any picnic or poolside lunch.

Walnut Pesto Pasta Salad

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 6 servings

Walnut Pesto Pasta Salad


  • 16 ounces spiral-shaped pasta, cooked
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 4 ounces mozzarella, cubed
  • 1/2 cup half & half
  • 1 cup fresh spinach, packed
  • 1 cup pesto, packaged or recipe follows
  • salt & pepper
  • Walnut Pesto:
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 1/3 cups freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, tightly packed
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups olive oil
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper


  1. First make the pesto if using homemade. Combine all ingredients in food processor or blender and pulse until nearly smooth. Refrigerate for up to a week or freeze for up to 4 months.
  2. Pulse 1 cup of pesto with spinach and half & half until smooth.
  3. Toss in a large bowl with pasta, onion, tomatoes, and mozzarella.
  4. Salt and pepper to taste and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

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  1. says

    Omg this looks and sounds SO good! Best ingredients all combined in one meal (I love pasta, spinach, pesto, tomatoes…) I have to try this 🙂


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