Spring Pesto Pasta Salad

Let’s dig right in, shall we?

I made this for a group gathering a couple weeks ago, and it was a huge hit. One friend told me I needed to patent it. I’ll tell you exactly what I used; as always you should adjust it to your liking!

Pesto Dressing:

1 bunch basil

1 lemon (juiced)

Pine nuts

Extra virgin olive oil

Balsamic vinegar

Apple cider vinegar

Salt & pepper

If you have lemon and/or basil essential oil, a drop of each would kick this up to another level. In a good way

Blend all in a food processor. Adjust quantities according to your liking.


1 bag of Trader Joe’s brown rice + quinoa pasta (I used the corkscrew shape) – Drain and rinse; set aside

1 red bell pepper

1 jar Trader Joe’s artichoke hearts (I used their new grilled artichoke hearts from a glass jar and they were outstanding here, but regular artichoke hearts would be just fine too)

1 bag Trader Joe’s fresh, shelled peas (refrigerated section)

1 bunch asparagus (1/2 to 1 lb)

1 can of garbanzo beans

1 zucchini

1 handful extra pine nuts

Chop up all the veggies and mix into the pasta salad along with the pesto sauce. Bam! Easy-peasy. Get it, peasy? I’m so cheesy. 😉

Other things I didn’t use but would go great in here are: olives, hearts of palm, roasted red peppers (instead of fresh, or why not both?), roasted or sundried or fresh tomatoes, edamame, cucumber, broccoli, literally any kind of cheese (if you do cheese), mushrooms, finely diced onion…basically any veggie.

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