This 5 Ingredient Pesto Pasta Salad is made with simple and healthy ingredients in less than 15 minutes! It’s filled with sun-dried tomatoes, pesto and basil for a bold flavour in an easy dish!

gluten-free pesto pasta salad

A cold pesto pasta salad recipe 

This 5 Ingredient Pesto Pasta Salad is one of those “back pocket” recipes that is great to have on hand, when you need a meal to be ready QUICKLY.

While this is a cold pasta salad, it can be enjoyed both hot and cold, depending on what kind of meal you’re preparing! If you want to make your own pesto, this Easy Kale Pesto would be perfect! With leftover pesto, you can always make this Pesto Pasta with Summer Veggies.

Anyways, for the purpose of this recipe, we’re going to keep it cold. I do find that this cold pesto pasta salad is best when it has 10 minutes to come down to room temperature before serving. (if you’re keeping it in the fridge beforehand. 

How to make pesto pasta salad

This is one of those no-fuss, super simple, 15-minute and 5-ingredient sort of recipes. To make this pesto pasta salad, you’ll need: 

  • Pasta
  • Pesto
  • Sun-dried tomatoes
  • Pine nuts
  • Basil
pesto, basil, pine nuts, sun-dried tomatoes and pasta on a marble board

Cook up the pasta according to package directions, and then drain and toss with the rest of the ingredients.

Pop it in the fridge to cool or serve it as is, and you’ve got a simply delicious lunch or dinner ready to go!

pesto pasta salad in a bowl

Tips for making this pesto pasta salad

  • This pesto pasta salad recipe is made with store-bought pesto to make it even faster and easier. (Though you can make homemade pesto too if you prefer!)
  • I use gluten-free quinoa pasta for this recipe to make it a bit higher in protein. Any pasta will work.
  • While your pasta is cooking, prepare the other ingredients so that by the time the pasta is done everything else is ready to go!
  • Rinse the pasta under cold water when it’s ready to bring it to room temperature so it’s not too hot.

Recipe adds ins to try:

Try adding in any of the following ingredients to this pesto pasta salad!

  • Roasted zucchini 
  • Bocconcini or Parmesan cheese (for a vegetarian version) 
  • Fresh cherry tomatoes 
  • Thinly sliced red onion 
  • Grilled asparagus 
5 ingredient pesto pasta salad

More pasta recipes to try

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a close up image of a bowl of pesto pasta salad

5 Ingredient Pesto Pasta Salad

  • Author: Jess
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 mins
  • Yield: 68 servings 1x
  • Category: Side, Entree
  • Method: Cook
  • Cuisine: American, Italian


A simple, easy and healthy pesto pasta salad recipe that everyone will love!


  • 6 oz pasta of choice
  • 1/2 cup pesto (store-bought or homemade
  • 1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts 
  • 1/2 cup of basil, chopped 
  • optional: salt & pepper to taste 


  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions. 
  2. Once the pasta is cooked, toss together with the rest of the ingredients and place in the fridge to chill for 10 minutes before serving 


Add in any additional ingredients you love like grilled zucchini, asparagus or red onion!


  • Serving Size: 1/4 of the recipe
  • Calories: 324
  • Sugar: 3g
  • Sodium: 270mg
  • Fat: 19g
  • Saturated Fat: 3g
  • Carbohydrates: 28g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Protein: 12g

Keywords: how to make pesto pasta salad, healthy pasta salad, vegan pasta salad

If you tried this 5 Ingredient Pesto Pasta Salad or any other recipe on the blog let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment/rating below! Be sure to follow along on PinterestInstagram and Facebook for even more deliciousness!