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Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe

This simple Pesto Pasta Salad is loaded with pasta shells, fresh pesto, salty bacon, crumbly feta, juicy tomatoes, and crunchy cashews!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cilantro pesto, healthy, pasta shells
Servings: 12 people
Calories: 329kcal
Author: Jennifer Debth



  • 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.


Calories: 329kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 353mg | Potassium: 205mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 570IU | Vitamin C: 5.4mg | Calcium: 94mg | Iron: 1.4mg