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Pesto Pasta Salad in a white bowl
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4.06 from 19 votes

Pesto Pasta Salad with Mozzarella and Tomatoes

Pesto Pasta Salad is a quick pasta dish that tastes like summer in a bowl. Add bite-sized mozzarella pearls and fresh tomatoes and this pasta can be served warm or chilled, as a side dish or as its own light meal.
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Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: pasta salad, potluck recipe, summer
Servings: 6
Calories: 268kcal
Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $9.50


  • Stockpot
  • Mixing Bowl


  • 8 oz (227g) Uncooked Pasta (this is half of most standard boxes / bags of pasta; any shape will work, but I like it with bowties / farfalle)
  • ½ cup (120ml) Basil Pesto
  • 1 cup Tomatoes, cherry or grape, halved
  • 4 oz (113g) Pearl Mozzarella (see note)


  • Boil pasta in salted water according to package directions. Drain (do not rinse). Allow pasta to cool about 10 minutes (you don’t want it to be piping hot or it will melt the cheese).
  • In a large mixing bowl, stir together cooked pasta and pesto until evenly combined.
  • Fold in tomatoes and mozzarella.
  • Serve warm or chilled.


Pearl Mozzarella - These tiny balls of mozzarella are great for pasta salad because you’ll get a bit of cheese in every bite. They typically come tightly packed together in a vacuum-packed bag. If you can’t find pearl mozzarella, try using fresh mozzarella chopped into bite-sized pieces. 
Make ahead - You can make this pasta salad up to 8 hours ahead of time. Toss the pasta salad with half of the pesto and refrigerate it. Toss it with the remaining pesto right before serving.


Calories: 268kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 201mg | Potassium: 143mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 604IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 110mg | Iron: 1mg