Creamy Pesto Pasta Salad

Let me introduce you to your new favorite quick pasta salad recipe! This creamy pesto pasta salad is perfect for an easy weekday lunch or taking to potlucks, block parties and summer celebrations!

Creamy Pesto Pasta Salad

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This pesto pasta salad recipe almost seems *too* easy. It’s one of those combinations that will make you wonder why you haven’t ever tried before. I knew I loved pesto and pasta, and I’ve had pesto on pasta, but the creamy addition from a bit of Greek yogurt and a little bit of mayonnaise just takes it over the top!

The best part? The creaminess keeps the pasta salad from drying out in the fridge so your leftovers taste just as good – if not better – than enjoying right away! Win-win!

creamy pesto pasta salad

You’ll find the full recipe (printable and save-able) at the end of the blog post but here’s a quick recap with some tips!

Creamy Pesto Pasta Salad Ingredients

PASTA: I love a corkscrew pasta like a Cavatappi for this pasta salad, but you could use any short-cut pasta you like! Macaroni, rigatoni, anything similar would be great.

PESTO: Make your own or use store-bought, it’s up to you! If you buy your pesto, I recommend a high-quality pesto from the refrigerated section of your grocery store.

MAYONNAISE: Feel free to use a full fat, low fat or nonfat mayo. It really does add the perfect creamy texture, but you can use only Greek yogurt (just increase the amount to 4 tablespoons).

GREEK YOGURT: Plain Greek yogurt is a great way to add in some extra creaminess, but you could sub in sour cream.

TOMATOES: Cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes or any little tomato will do! You can leave whole or cut them in half for easy eating.

MOZZARELLA: I like to buy the little mozzarella balls or the mozzarella pearls you can find in the grocery store, but use any high quality mozzarella you can find. Chop it up into small pieces.

ARUGULA: I like to add a few large handfuls of arugula to my pesto pasta salad, but you can leave this out if you prefer or substitute in spinach.

BASIL: I like to add a few chopped basil leaves, but it’s not necessary if you don’t have some handy.

PARMESAN CHEESE: If you have some, add some grated parmesan cheese on top just before serving. Totally optional.

SALT & PEPPER: Add to taste, I love a good sea salt and a course ground black pepper

Can you Make Creamy Pesto Pasta Salad in Advance?

YES! That’s one of the many reasons I love this recipe. Prep it the day before potlucks, parties, backyard get-togethers, summer celebrations and more. It’s a great side dish for any celebration. Just keep it refrigerated for up to 5 days.

creamy pesto pasta salad

The juicy tomatoes and fresh mozzarella combined with the creamy pesto pasta makes the perfect quick weekday lunch. Feel free to add a protein like grilled chicken, steak strips or shrimp for a heartier meal.

–>> Need a few more easy recipe ideas? Check out my Southern Tomato Pie, Shrimp Caesar Salad Parmesan Cups, and Grilled Steak Cobb Salad! And for another delish pasta salad, you must make this BLT Pasta Salad!

If you want to switch it up, you could add in sun-dried tomatoes, toasted pine nuts, or spinach. There are lots of delicious combinations!

easy creamy pesto pasta salad with arugula and basil

Give this super creamy pesto pasta salad a try this summer and let me know what you think!

Creamy Pesto Pasta Salad

Creamy Pesto Pasta Salad

A delicious and easy creamy pesto pasta salad loaded with flavor in a creamy pesto sauce.
SERVINGS 6 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 12 ounces pasta - cooked al dente
  • 3/4 cup pesto
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes - rinsed and halved
  • 1 1/2 cups mozzarella balls
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 2 tbsp parmesan cheese - grated (optional – for garnish)
  • 1 small bunch basil - for garnish
  • salt and pepper - to taste


  • After cooking your pasta, rinse it under cold water so it will not stick together.
  • In a large mixing bowl, stir together your pasta with pesto, mayonnaise and Greek yogurt until combined.
  • Stir in cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, and arugula.
  • Garnish your creamy pesto pasta salad with grated parmesan cheese, sea salt and black pepper.


Calories: 443kcalCarbohydrates: 47gProtein: 15gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 375mgPotassium: 246mgFiber: 3gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 1052IUVitamin C: 10mgCalcium: 194mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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One Comment

  1. rinne sade says:

    You make it so easy now to print your favorite recipes, and I just did so for the Cavatppi pesto salad. Going to the Grocery Store today, just to buy the ingredients ! thank you for sharing….. Your chef abilities are always amazing !

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