Pesto Pasta Salad

This creamy pesto pasta salad recipe is easy and bursting with flavor! It’s the perfect easy summer side dish. What’s…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

This creamy pesto pasta salad recipe is easy and bursting with flavor! It’s the perfect easy summer side dish.

Pesto Pasta Salad

What’s more a quintessential summer dish than a great pasta salad? Try this Pesto Pasta Salad recipe, which celebrates everything seasonal in summer! It features chewy bowties with pops of fresh cherry tomatoes, tangy artichokes and peppery baby arugula. Make a batch of fresh basil pesto or grab some at the store, then mix it up in to a creamy dressing to cover everything. This one was so irresistible, we couldn’t stop exclaiming how good it was after stuffing in each bite (and our 5 year old gobbled it up!).

Ingredients in this pesto pasta salad recipe

This pesto pasta salad recipe is simpler than most pasta salads because the ingredient list is short and sweet. The most important thing here? A high quality pesto. It’s best with homemade, but you can use purchased as well (see below for more). Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Bowties (farfalle) or other short-cut pasta
  • Canned artichoke hearts
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Sliced pepperoncini
  • Baby arugula
  • Shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Basil pesto
  • Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • Mayonnaise
  • Salt
Pesto Pasta Salad

For the pesto: homemade vs storebought

This pesto pasta salad tastes the best when you make it with homemade basil pesto, with fresh summer basil! Of course, we know that’s not always possible. Here’s the thing about pesto: purchased pesto varies greatly between brands. Many purchased brands taste intensely acidic or have an odd aftertaste. Here’s what to know:

  • Homemade pesto has the best flavor! Basil Pesto is best homemade. You can also try Arugula Pesto or Kale Pesto.
  • Purchased pesto brands vary greatly in flavor: some are very acidic. We’ve experimented with lots of different brands: and they all have a different salt and acid level.
  • Squeeze packs of fresh pesto are now on the market, and some have better flavor than jars. Experiment to find one you love!

Notes on the pasta salad dressing

This pesto pasta salad has a deliciously creamy pasta salad dressing that you’ll adore, featuring both Greek yogurt, mayonnaise and pesto. We made this one creamy because we find that pesto on it own can become sticky and dry. Mixing it with a little yogurt and mayo helps it to coat the pasta better. Don’t want to use Greek yogurt? You can substitute sour cream instead.

Pesto

Use any type of short cut pasta

This pesto pasta salad works with any type of short cut pasta you have on hand! We like bowties for this one because of the look and the way that it distributes with the other ingredients. Here are some other types of short cut pasta that work well:

  • Bowties (farfalle): our favorite!
  • Spirals (fusilli)
  • Penne
  • Shells (medium-sized)
  • Orecchiette
  • Gemelli
  • Gigli

Make ahead and storage for pesto pasta salad

This pesto pasta salad is a great salad for a picnic or a barbecue! It tastes best immediately after making, but it does store well. If you make in advance and refrigerate, you may want to refresh the flavors before serving since pasta salad can lose some flavor while storing. Here’s what to know:

  • Pesto pasta salad lasts for up to 4 days in the refrigerator. It’s great for cookouts or healthy lunches throughout the week.
  • After refrigeration, make sure to refresh the flavors. Bring the salad to room temperature. Taste and see if you need to add a pinch of extra salt. If the pasta salad seems dry, add a dollop of sour cream, mayo or pesto to revive the creamy texture.
Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe

More pasta salad recipes

There’s nothing like a great pasta salad for a summer event, be it a barbecue, cookout or picnic! Here are a few more pasta salad recipes we love:

This pesto pasta salad recipe is…

Vegetarian.

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Pesto Pasta Salad

Pesto Pasta Salad


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 12 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 5 to 6

Description

This creamy pesto pasta salad recipe is easy and bursting with flavor! It’s the perfect easy summer side dish.


Ingredients

  • 8 ounces short cut pasta (we used farfalle)
  • 14 ounce can (8.5 ounce dry weight) quartered artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • ⅓ cup sliced pepperoncini
  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • ⅓ cup basil pesto (homemade or purchased, or kale pesto or arugula pesto)
  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as desired

Instructions

  1. Start a large pot of well-salted water to boil. Boil the pasta until al dente according to the package instructions. Drain the pasta and run cool water over it until it’s room temperature, then shake off any extra water.
  2. Prepare the vegetables: roughly chop the artichokes and slice the tomatoes.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the pesto, Greek yogurt, mayonnaise and kosher salt. Add the drained pasta, vegetables and Parmesan cheese and stir to combine. Taste and add another ¼ teaspoon salt depending on the saltiness of the pesto. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 3 days. (Allow to come to room temperature and if desired, add a pinch more salt. If the pasta salad seems dry, add a dollop of sour cream, mayo or pesto to revive the creamy texture.).
  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Pesto pasta salad, pesto pasta salad recipe, pasta salad with pesto

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Grilled Summer BBQ Chicken Pizza.

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The post Grilled Summer BBQ Chicken Pizza. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

This is our favorite BBQ chicken pizza – it’s a slice of heaven! Made entirely on the grill, this has summer crisp corn, BBQ sauce, ranch dressing and tons of herbs. Finish it with some pickled onions. Delicious!

Everything I want on a pizza is right here… OH MY GOODNESS.

grilled summer BBQ chicken pizza

Look at this pile of flavor right here. Puffy, charred dough loaded up with all the things.

grilled summer BBQ chicken pizza

This summer grilled pizza is stacked. We’re talking smoky, charred chicken in BBQ sauce. Corn off the cob. Crisp green onions and chives. Lots of cheese – cheddar, mozzarella, parmesan! Fresh chives, pickled onions and all the herbs. And of course, my favorite ranch dressing for drizzling all over. 

It seriously does not get better than this. 

grilled summer BBQ chicken pizza right off the grill

This pizza is one of those meals that just tastes like summer.

We’re grilling the entire thing, so it’s charred and smoky and wonderful. You can always use an ooni pizza oven too if you have that – we love ours. But sometimes, throwing everything right on the grill while it’s still hot from the chicken is the way to go. It’s easy, it keeps the house cool and it tastes like heaven. 

grilled summer BBQ chicken pizza

So I have made a million different versions of BBQ chicken pizza before.

We’ve done whole wheat ones, french bread pizzas, everything. There are a few musts for me when it comes to creating the whole BBQ chicken flavor that I love. First, the charred smokiness from the grill. Obviously. Next, I love to do sharp cheddar. Also, a really good BBQ sauce, even a homemade one like this chipotle version. Green onions, chives, fresh herbs are also all key here for it to taste incredible. 

grilled summer BBQ chicken pizza

The corn here is what makes the pizza really special. It adds a bit of sweetness so we have the whole sweet and savory flavor going on here. It also adds a crisp little crunch from the kernels. You can throw the corn on fresh – like literally slice it off the cob and add it on the pizza – or you can grill it while you grill the chicken and cut it off the cob.

Whichever you prefer. Either way, it adds so much to this perfect pie.

grilled summer BBQ chicken pizza

And, you know,  I usually love to do caramelized onions with anything BBQ chicken-flavored, but I didn’t want to turn on my gas burner for an hour. Heat wave problems.

So we kept it fresh and light with my quick pickled onions which you can make ahead of time. I have them in my fridge at all times. They are delicious on everything: salads, tacos, bowls, sandwiches and of course pizza.  (more…)

The post Grilled Summer BBQ Chicken Pizza. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Chocolate Zucchini Baked Oatmeal

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They&#8…

German Chocolate Cake Energy Bites

When the craving strikes for German chocolate cake, these chocolaty, coconutty, pecan-filled energy bites come to the rescue fast! They’re rich, decadent, satisfy your sweet tooth, and come together in just 25 minutes with 9 simple ingredients.

They’re a filling snack or treat to enjoy throughout the week or share with friends. Did we mention they’re vegan, gluten-free, and naturally sweetened?

German Chocolate Cake Energy Bites from Minimalist Baker →

Oven Roasted Eggplant

This roasted eggplant recipe is so tasty that you might find yourself devouring it straight off the baking sheet. Yes, eggplant skeptics – even you. The thing about cooking eggplant is that it’s easy to get wrong. Underdo it, and it’s…


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Lentil Salad

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The post Lentil Salad appeared first on Skinnytaste.

This healthy Lentil Salad with cooked lentils and diced carrots, celery, bell pepper, onion, parsley, and lemon juice is perfect for making ahead for lunch as the flavors only get better overnight.

Lentil Salad
Lentil Salad

I love warm lentils, like in my Chicken and Lentil Soup and Lentils and Rice with Eggs and Bacon, but I was never really a fan of lentils in a salad (I’m a picky legume eater). But that all changed years ago when I bought a cold lentil salad at a health food store. I enjoyed everything about it – except for the high price. Lentils are so affordable to cook at home, so I knew I had to try making the salad myself. My homemade version was a fraction of the cost of the store-bought one, so save your money, and make this salad ASAP! It’s also vegan, high in fiber and protein, and only about 100 calories per serving.

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The post Lentil Salad appeared first on Skinnytaste.

9 Bevs & Bites to Toast the End of Summer

We’ve teamed up with Patrón Tequila for an end-of-summer lineup you won’t want to miss (psst: there are cocktails involved). Their handcrafted tequilas—like smooth Patrón Reposado—make for highly sippable beverages that’ll help you savor the season.

We’ve teamed up with Patrón Tequila for an end-of-summer lineup you won’t want to miss (psst: there are cocktails involved). Their handcrafted tequilas—like smooth Patrón Reposado—make for highly sippable beverages that’ll help you savor the season.


The end of summer is upon us (doesn’t it seem to go by more quickly every year?). And while the days are still long and the weather’s still warm, we can’t think of a better time to head outside for a barbecue or throw a last-minute dinner party. With just a few good recipes for simple, grillable dishes (meaty and vegetarian!) and little- or no-cooking-required salads, the food’s covered and you can think about the drinks.

Read More >>

Mint Lemonade

This mint lemonade recipe is easy and refreshing! The cooling, herbaceous notes of mint pair perfectly with the zing of…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

This mint lemonade recipe is easy and refreshing! The cooling, herbaceous notes of mint pair perfectly with the zing of lemon.

Mint Lemonade

Here’s a beverage that’s ideal for summer sipping: Mint Lemonade! This recipe is ideal for when you have loads of this fresh herb on hand. The cooling, herbaceous notes of the mint are a perfect pair with the acidic pop of the lemon. What could be more refreshing? It’s simple to whip up and perfect for parties and entertaining. Or, make a big pitcher to drink off of all week! Here’s our master method.

Ingredients for mint lemonade

This mint lemonade recipe skips making a simple syrup on the stovetop, and goes right to the blender. In fact, all you need to do is blend mint and sugar, then mix it with lemon juice to form lemonade. As a note, this recipe is best in summer you’ve got fresh mint to spare. It calls for 1 cup mint leaves, which can get expensive if you’re buying store-bought out of season. Here’s what you’ll need for this recipe:

  • Fresh mint
  • Lemons
  • Sugar
Mint Lemonade recipe

How to make mint lemonade (basic steps)

It’s very easy to make your own homemade lemonade! The most time consuming part? Juicing the lemons! Here are the basic steps for how to make this mint lemonade (or jump to the recipe below for quantities):

  • Juice the lemons. Using a press juicer is the quickest way to juice lemons: it gets out the most juice and saves your fingers from tiring out from squeezing. The next best choice? A handheld citrus juicer.
  • Blend the mint, sugar and water. Give it a whiz in the blender.
  • Double strain it with a fine mesh strainer! This is the important part. You’ll want to strain the liquid twice to avoid floating sediment that forms from the blended mint.
  • Mix the pitcher. Then mix it in a pitcher with the lemon juice and more cold water.
  • Garnish with fresh mint! This is also important. Garnishing with another sprig of mint is important for getting the right mint aroma to each sip.
Mint lemonade

Variations on this recipe

There are other fun ways to mix up this mint lemonade recipe: like making it sparkling or spiked! Here are a few fun variations:

More lemonade recipes

Want more homemade lemonade flavors? Once you’ve whipped up mint lemonade, try these variations:

This mint lemonade recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free.

Print
Mint Lemonade

Mint Lemonade


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8 drinks

Description

This mint lemonade recipe is easy and refreshing! The cooling, herbaceous notes of mint pair perfectly with the zing of lemon.


Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups fresh squeezed lemon juice (7 to 8 large lemons)*
  • 7 cups water, divided
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup mint leaves, loosely packed
  • Ice, for serving

Instructions

  1. Juice the lemons. Add the lemon juice to a pitcher with 6 cups cold water.
  2. In a blender, combine the sugar, mint leaves and 1 cup warm water. Blend until fully combined.
  3. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl. Then strain it back through the strainer into the pitcher with the lemon juice. (Double straining helps to remove sediment that would otherwise form at the top of the liquid.)
  4. Add ice to the pitcher. Garnish each glass with a sprig of fresh mint, to get the most of the mint flavor.  Serve immediately or store refrigerated for up to 3 days.
  • Category: Drink
  • Method: No Cook
  • Cuisine: Lemonade
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: Mint lemonade, mint lemonade recipe

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Mango Frosé.

This mango frosé is the perfect summer treat! It only requires two ingredients: a bottle of wine and frozen mango. Could not be easier or more delicious! Hello I am here with your weekend treat! Which is the easiest most delicious frosty treat you can make right now. Seriously, when you see how simple this […]

The post Mango Frosé. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

This mango frosé is the perfect summer treat! It only requires two ingredients: a bottle of wine and frozen mango. Could not be easier or more delicious!

Hello I am here with your weekend treat!

Which is the easiest most delicious frosty treat you can make right now. Seriously, when you see how simple this is you won’t believe it. 

Guys, this could not be easier. I mean, it’s very embarrassing just HOW easy this is.

All you need is:

A bottle of rosé, right out of the fridge.

Frozen mango.

YEP.

Yes. That is it. Much like my lemonade frosé or frozen strawberry lemonade, that is all you need to make this come together fast. These are SO incredibly simple but really delicious at the same time. Especially if you’re a mango freak like we are over here.

My watermelon frosé from a few years ago is one of my favorite summer drinks EVER. If you can even call it a drink. It’s a grown up slushy/dessert and so lovely for summer. Especially the dog days of August when it’s so super hot. I’m always looking for new twists on, well, everything.

So of course mango had to come into play.

We use frozen mango a lot – mostly in smoothies, occasionally in a frozen mango margarita. Regardless, I always have it in the freezer and since it’s so accessible, this recipe can be made in a pinch. Plus, it’s much easier for me to have good frozen mango as opposed to fresh mango – I can rarely find good ones that are ripe in time for me to use them. 

Also! It’s possible that I love rosé even more when it’s frozen, so this really hits the spot. It’s refreshing, icy, cooling and perfect right now. Pop in a sprig of mint and let’s go!  (more…)

The post Mango Frosé. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

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We love these satisfying s…

Grilled Teriyaki Chicken Skewers (Quick Marinating!)

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We love these satisfying skewers with noodle salads, stir-fries, grilled veggies, or served simply with rice and steamed broccoli! Bonus? They come together quickly with 9 ingredients you probably have around. Let us show you how it’s done! 

How to Make Grilled Teriyaki Chicken Skewers

These flavor-filled skewers start with a quick teriyaki-inspired marinade made with tamari (or soy sauce), coconut sugar, garlic powder, rice vinegar, and toasted sesame oil.

Grilled Teriyaki Chicken Skewers (Quick Marinating!) from Minimalist Baker →