Recipe // Gluten Free Pesto Pasta Salad
Had a potluck cookout with the neighbors over the weekend. Everyone had a blast and we ended the night toasting marshmallows and making s’mores! The pitcher of margaritas made the night pretty magical. Bring on summer – we are so ready to eat al fresco and share good time with friends.
I made a few things for the cookout including a cold quinoa salad, marinated grilled chicken, and this gluten free pesto pasta salad. I don’t know what it is about pesto that speaks summer – maybe it is because we can grow all the fresh herbs outside. Anyway, this cold salad came together as quickly as the water came to boil. It was delicious so I wanted to share in case you are hosting or being a guest to a cookout and need a quick dish to potluck.
One of my favorite stores is Trader Joes, but it is not close by. I’d say it is a good 25 minute ride without traffic. I usually hit it up after Valentina’s weekly swim lessons since it is right across the street. I’m gonna miss the trips to TJ’s over summer swim break. Gotta stock-up now.
I grabbed a jar of their pesto not having anything in mind and never trying it before. We just planted our basil so its too young to pick just yet. There are lots of brands that make jarred pesto sauce so try and see what you like best.
This cookout was the perfect time to make pasta salad. I have a mayo recipe that is super delicious and includes tons of fresh veggies, but I didn’t want to freak out over having mayo sitting around outside. I wanted to chill with my guests and not be running food back inside to the fridge.
You can certainly make this with your favorite wheat pasta. We are sticking with gluten free here and I tried the Stop and Shop Nature’s Promise GF pasta for this first time in this recipe. It held up really well and didn’t break down – I find that happens with Barilla GF.
- Trader Joe's Pesto Genovese or pesto of your choice
- 12 oz your favorite gluten free pasta
- fresh bocconcini - small mozzarella balls
- 1 cup kalamata olives, pitted and rinsed
- Boil water and cook pasta according to package directions.
- Strain and toss with pesto while warm.
- Add chopped olives and bocconcini.
Adding the olives and fresh mozzarella really takes this dish up to another level. The salty brine of the olives and the soft texture of the fresh mozzarella really compliment the pesto. Are you a pesto fan? Do you make it or buy it? Nuts or no nuts? I find there are so many ways to make pesto that the options are endless.