Tri-Color Pesto Pasta Salad

So let me just clear the air a little. I am not a huge fan of mayonnaise, or any mayonnaise based salads. Don’t get me wrong, I am fine with a light spread of mayonnaise on my sandwich or burger, I love me some fry sauce (which I know has mayonnaise in it), I am even okay with dressings that have mayonnaise in them,  but I am just not the one at Subway saying, “Load on the Mayonnaise”, or at the church picnic saying, “Can I have another huge scoop of that mayonnaise flavored potato salad”.  I am not sure if this non-love stems from when I was in Taiwan as a missionary and someone gave us pizza loaded with a creamy white sauce on it and cheese. And after I ate a few pieces I asked what it was (you know where this is heading) come to find out that,  yes…it was a mayonnaise and cheese pizza. Yuck. I am gagging just thinking about it, and wondering how such a beautiful thing like pizza, could have been made so wrong. Anyways, you get my point!

Which is why I LOVE, this Pasta Salad. Instead of mayonnaise, It is mixed with creamy Ceasar dressing, pesto, and parmesan cheese so the flavors are phenomenal.  And its loaded with fresh tomatoes, olives, and topped with toasted pine nuts. Basically everything good in the world.

Also, it is SOOOO EASY  to throw together, and can be made ahead of time. We ate this as a main dish, but it would definitely win the hearts of all of your family and friends and be a perfect side for any summer potluck BBQ. My kids were even salivating over this one!

Tri-Color Pesto Pasta Salad

Printable recipe

printable recipe with picture

*Note: You could probably use any kind of small pasta for this salad. It won’t be as colorful, but it will still retain the same great flavor!

1 12 oz. package tri-color rotini pasta, cooked and drained
3 roma tomatoes, diced
1 can black olives, sliced
¼ cups red onion, finely diced
3/4 cup parmesan cheese
6 fresh basil leaves, cut into strips
4 tablespoons basil pesto (Usually found by the Italian ingredients)
2/3 cup creamy Caesar dressing
½-1 cup toasted pine nuts

Cook pasta and coat with Caesar dressing while warm. Add the rest of the ingredients (minus the pine nuts) and toss. Top with toasted pine nuts.  And Voila! Your finished! Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Recipe Source:Another fantastic one from or click here

This entry was published on July 9, 2012 at 2:55 pm. It’s filed under Main Dish, Sides/Salads and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “Tri-Color Pesto Pasta Salad

  1. Stacie on said:

    I love pasta salad! Thanks for the great recipe!

    • This is a winner! And its sooo dang easy! And I feel like it doesn’t heat my whole house up to 200 degrees because I don’t have to turn on my oven! We had so much fun with you guys the other night! Thanks for stopping by!

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