Pesto Turns a Simple Pasta Salad Into an Easy Dinner

May 21, 2021 Updated: May 21, 2021

Creamy pesto sauce turns a simple pasta salad with broccoli and tomatoes into a delightful dinner. Just before the pasta is done, add the broccoli to the pasta cooking water allowing it to slightly soften and turn a vivid shade of green.

Pesto Pasta Salad

Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Serves 5

  • 8 ounces whole-wheat fusilli (about 3 cups)
  • 1 cup small broccoli florets
  • 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 large clove garlic, quartered
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes

Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add fusilli and cook according to package directions. One minute before the pasta is done, stir in broccoli. Cook for 1 minute, then drain and rinse under cold running water to stop further cooking.

Meanwhile, place basil, pine nuts, Parmesan, mayonnaise, oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper in a mini food processor. Process until almost smooth. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the pasta and broccoli, along with tomatoes. Gently toss to coat.

Tasty Tip: To make ahead, refrigerate, covered, for up to one day.

Recipe nutrition per serving: 317 Calories, Total Fat: 15 g, Saturated Fat: 2 g, Cholesterol: 5 mg, Carbohydrates: 38 g, Fiber: 5 g, Total Sugars: 1 g, Protein: 8 g, Sodium: 474 mg, Potassium: 227 mg, Iron: 1 mg, Folate: 30 mcg, Calcium: 78 mg, Vitamin A: 1615 IU, Vitamin C: 23 mg.

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