Quick & Easy Summer Pesto Pasta Recipe

Quick & Easy Summer Pesto Pasta Recipe

Quick & Easy Summer Pesto Pasta Recipe is loaded with Summer veggies and a homemade pesto sauce. Add some chickpeas to this recipe and it’s a complete meal.

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There’s a really funny story behind this Quick & Easy Summer Pesto Pasta Recipe. At my bestie’s baby shower his friend made a delicious pesto pasta salad. She had raved about it way before I had the opportunity to taste it. Then when I had it at the baby shower I was in love.

Quick & Easy Summer Pesto Pasta Recipe

This was the creme de la creme of pesto pasta salads. I love me some salad. I love antipasto salad, a delicious cobb salad  and this very veggie pasta salad. It was so freakin’ delicious. My friends (and even my friends’ friends) know how I feel about food and so she offered me the recipe. And I said no. Yup!! Wanna know why? Because it didn’t want to get bogged down what the recipe was.

So I said “just tell me what’s in it?” When I’m in love with a dish like this, I like to for people just to tell me what’s in it. Then I take that information and figure the rest out in the kitchen. Sometimes when you get someone else’s recipe you get distracted by it. You feel like the recipe says this but I don’t have it. I’m a firm believer that you need to make recipes work for your life and your family. And that’s when you can taste to love.

Fresh Basil from the garden

And the same applies for this recipe. During the Summer I focus the little additional time I have on the garden. We have blueberry bushes, cherry tomatoes, peppers and a ton of fresh herbs. While we have this fresh items I love to incorporate it into our meals. You can’t buy more local than your backyard right? And there so much love when you’re growing your own food. And when I’m lucky that the family comes out and we take care of the garden together. It’s great family time (even when the kids are fighting over who gets the last strawberry).

Quick & Easy Summer Pesto Pasta Recipe

Makes 6 – 8 Servings


  • 1 pound penne, rotini or fusilli
  • 1 cup pesto (get the recipe here)
  • 4 cloves garlic, grated
  •  1 yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 3 cups spinach or baby arugula
  • 1 medium zucchini, grated
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 kalamata olives, sliced (optional)
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • juice from 1 small lemon
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, sliced (optional)

Tools: Pasta steamer/pot, strainer, serving bowl, large spoon, measuring cup


Make the pasta according to directions.

Once pasta is done, reserve 1/4 to 1/2 a measuring cup of pasta water. Place water to the side.

Drain pasta and place in a large bowl.

walnut pesto plain

Add pesto sauce, grated garlic, bell pepper, spinach, zucchini,  zucchini, tomatoes, olives.

Make sure salad is mixed well coated in pesto sauce. If sauce isn’t adhering or seems to dry out add a little bit of pasta water.

Quick & Easy Summer Pesto Pasta Recipe

Add a juice from lemon then cover and salad in fridge to chill.

When ready to serve sprinkle shredded parmesan on top before serving.

Quick & Easy Summer Pesto Pasta Recipe

So delicious. It’s filled with veggies. Don’t feel like you have to zucchini (which works perfectly here) you can switch it out for peas. Need a bit of protein? Add chickpeas or chicken. It’s great as a side salad or your main course. My point is, add whatever you can think your family will love.

Don’t you love this type of comfort food?  It’s healthy, delicious and the perfect ode to Summer with all of the veggies from the garden.

If you like this recipe, if it made you hungry … Then share the love. Forward this to your friends and family. And when you make it don’t forget to send me a pic. You can drop your salad on my Facebook or Instagram. Don’t for get to tag #els.kitchencomforts.




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6 thoughts on “Quick & Easy Summer Pesto Pasta Recipe

    1. It is isn’t it. Didn’t use it a lot before but then we had a basil explosion in the herb garden and we started to make it more often.

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