This simple Pesto Pasta Salad is loaded with pasta shells, fresh pesto, salty bacon, crumbly feta, juicy tomatoes, and crunchy cashews!
This one’s for you.
And I gotta say . . .
it’s a really good one.
Let me introduce you all, to what I am confident is going to be your newest spring obsession:
Pesto Pasta Salad.
Spring and summer, to me, mean #allthepastasalads.
They’re my FAVORITE.
Who would’ve thought cold pasta could be so darn delicious?
This Pesto Pasta Salad recipe was born, because I was seriously craving some of my cilantro pesto.
Cilantro haters, you can totally use basil pesto instead. 🙂
But cilantro lovers, rejoice, because the cilantro pesto is seriously delicious in this recipe.
Once you have the pesto made – cilantro, garlic, cashews, lime juice, parm, salt, and oil <– blend it up in your food processor. Easy. Peasy – this dish comes together really fast.
Boil pasta. Small shells, please! Aren’t they cute?!
Cook bacon. Are you drooling yet?
Dice tomatoes. Sooo fresh.
Assemble: stir pasta, tomatoes, crumbled feta, bacon, cashews, and pesto together. Thin it out, if necessary, with pasta water.
Now the hard part.
Let it chill.
I mean. You COULD serve it warm-ish or at room temperature, but it’s super delicious when it’s cold.
Tender pasta with juicy tomatoes, crispy bacon, salty feta, crunchy cashews, and the most amazing, fresh, and delicious pesto?
Who’s ready for spring?!
What’s YOUR favorite spring dish? Show Me the Yummy!
- 1 (16 oz) box small shells
cooked, reserve at least 2 cups cooking liquid
- 1 (10 oz) container cherry tomatoes
diced or quartered
- 1 (4 oz) container crumbled feta
- 4-6 strips bacon
cooked and crumbled
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup roasted cashews*
- 1 batch Cilantro Pesto
- salt to taste
- In a large bowl, stir all ingredients together until well combined.
- Thin out with pasta water, if necessary.
- Cover and chill until ready to serve.
- Taste and re-season, if necessary, and serve! (After chilling, you may need to thin out with more pasta water, so make sure you save it!)
*To roast cashews: preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Place cashews on an unlined, rimmed baking sheet. Roast in preheated oven until cashews are fragrant and golden, about 4-8 minutes. Stir halfway through to avoid burnt spots.
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