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Pesto Pasta Salad with White Beans

Course Appetizer, Lunch, Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Italian, Vegetarian
Keyword Healthy, Pasta Salad, Pesto, Pesto Pasta Salad, plant-based, Vegetarian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Author hannahmageerd

Ingredients

Pasta Salad Ingredients:

  • 4 cups whole grain pasta, cooked and cooled (fusilli, rotini, penne or farfale)
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes quartered
  • 1/2 medium red onion sliced
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced black or kalamata olives
  • 2 cups canned white beans drained and rinsed
  • Optional: Crumbled feta, diced mozzarella or grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Pesto Ingredients:

  • 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup packed baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, walnuts or pepitas
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta if you haven't already. When cooked, drain and rinse immediately with cool water to prevent noodles from sticking together. Place in a large mixing bowl to let cool.

  2. Make your pesto. In a blender or food processor, combine the first 6 pesto ingredients and process until well-combined. Continue to process on low while slowly pouring in the olive oil. Stop to scrape down the sides as necessary. Process until ingredients are broken down into a smooth, creamy sauce.

  3. Assemble the pasta salad. Add tomatoes, red onion, olives, and white beans to the mixing bowl with the cooled pasta noodles. Pour all of the pesto over top and toss well until all ingredients are coated.

  4. Add optional cheese if you wish and toss again to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then enjoy or store in refrigerator until time to eat.