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Summer Pesto Pasta Salad

This bright summer salad is perfect for a picnic or a Sunday filled with meal-prepping! The best thing about this salad is you can add absolutely anything you want to it. The recommended veggies, like bell pepper and even cucumber, add several important vitamins and minerals (most notably Vitamin C) for your daily fill! The balsamic vinegar incorporated into the dressing adds a nice mild sour flavour to the pasta, and the pesto beautifully covers each topping for some yumminess in each bite. Gluten-free or whole wheat pasta can easily be substituted in, and a garlic- or basil-infused olive oil would add tremendous depth to this recipe for an added kick! The quantities of this recipe can easily be adjusted by simply adding more of the ingredients, making it a great meal-prep recipe. 

  • Yield: 3 servings


  •  Conchiglie pasta shells (or pasta of your choice)
  • 2 tbsp pasta water 
  • 3 tbsp olive oil 
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar 
  • 1.5 tbsp pesto 
  • Italian seasoning 
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Italian parsley, chopped 
  • Salt, pepper to taste 
  • 1/2 cucumber, chopped 
  • 1/2 shallot, diced 
  • 1/3 red onion, diced 
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped 
  • Mozzarella balls (can be chopped in half) 
  • 1/2 cup chopped or cubed salami


  •  Cook pasta shells according to box instructions. Save a few tablespoons of pasta water and set aside. 
  • To the bottom of a large mixing bowl or salad bowl, add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, pesto, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, and parsley. 
  • Add the cooked pasta shells cup by cup to the salad bowl. Add as much pasta as is desired. Add cucumber, shallot, red onion, bell pepper, mozzarella balls, and chopped salami to salad bowl. 
  • Season assembled salad as desired, and toss thoroughly. Enjoy! 


Recipe Reviewed by Annie Tsang, RD.


  • Serving Size: 1 Cup
  • Calories: 450
  • Sugar: 8g
  • Sodium: 15mg
  • Fat: 9g
  • Saturated Fat: 5g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 65g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Protein: 13g
  • Cholesterol: 5mg

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