Homemade Pesto Pasta Salad

    1 hour 25 minutes

    Homemade pesto combined with tomatoes and mozzarella cheese make a wonderful pasta salad. A great side dish.

    30 people made this

    Serves: 8 

    • 500g fusilli pasta
    • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
    • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
    • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
    • 2 cloves garlic
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 250g cherry tomatoes, halved
    • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
    • 125g fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into strips
    • 1 pinch salt and pepper to taste

    Preparation:25min  ›  Cook:15min  ›  Extra time:45min chilling  ›  Ready in:1hour25min 

    1. Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, stir in the fusilli and return to a boil. Cook the pasta uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta has cooked through but is still firm to the bite, about 12 minutes. Drain.
    2. Place basil, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, pine nuts and garlic into a blender or food processor; cover and chop to a coarse paste. Add the olive oil in a slow, steady stream. Continue processing until a soft paste has formed. Set pesto aside.
    3. Combine the cooked pasta, tomatoes, 3 tablespoons Parmesan, mozzarella and pesto in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Cover bowl, refrigerate to chill for 45 minutes and serve.

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    Reviews in English (27)


    The real caprese salad is my all time favourite salad, so this idea seemed good too. The combination of fresh basil pesto and the mozzarella cheese really works! Couple of minor things: saved a few basil leaves and slivered them over top of the salad, and added a bit of sweet aged balsamic vinegar, because I usually add that to the tomato version of this salad. Also, fresh mozzarella cheese doesn't shred, so I chopped it into thin slices. Thanks!  -  15 Jul 2009  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)


    This is delicious! You can't go wrong with basil, tomato and cheese. One thing I didn't think to do that I should have done - rinse the pasta with COLD water before combining it with the pesto, cheese and tomatoes. I simply drained it and it ended up melting my cheese. It's still good, but would be better with un-melted cheese.  -  27 Dec 2009  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)


    I made this recipe for a cool dinner dish tonight after a hot day here in the Sierra Nevada's and it didn't dissapoint. I thought the pesto was a little light and I doubled the pesto recipe (I'm pregnant so fat content be damned!) and added a 6 oz can of olives halved and loved it! Thank you for the new summer staple at my house!  -  14 Jul 2009  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)