Pesto Pasta Salad – delicious pasta salad recipe with pesto, bow tie pasta, spinach and lemon. Perfect to pack into a jar for a picnic!
Summer is officially here! The first day coincided with Father’s Day which means double the reason for a great food and celebration!
I am so excited to share this recipe for a pasta salad with you today, as it has been my favorite lunch lately! The flavors are so fresh and delicious – so good on hot summer days. This pasta salad is perfect for summer! It’s easy to make (you can make it ahead of time and keep in the fridge) AND absolutely delicious and full of fresh flavors. It’s a great side for a dinner of the grill (lemon grilled chicken is crazy good with this pasta salad!) and a fabulous lunch idea.
I tend to make a batch of pasta the day before and keep it in the fridge to mix in with the rest of ingredients just before lunch OR prepare the salad and pack it into containers or jars for a grab-and-go lunch!
Pesto, bow tie pasta, spinach, cannellini beans, lemon zest and Parmesan (optional) are all you need to stir up this salad. At our house, it replaces the hot and steaming mac and cheese during summer.
The lemon zest is optional, however highly recommended. It brightens up the whole dish and pairs perfectly with pesto. It’s a burst of flavors in your mouth!
- 1 cup and 1/2 bow tie pasta cooked according to manufacturer instructions
- 1 can cannellini beans drained and rinsed
- 1 cup and 1/2 fresh spinach
- 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup pesto homemade or store-bought
- lemon zest of 1/2 large lemon
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese optional
- Cook pasta according to instructions on box. Drain and cool to room temperature. (See notes for refrigerating at this step).
- Add beans, lemon zest and pesto and stir in until incorporated. Add spinach and gently toss together.
- Serve immediately or divide into containers.
- Keep for up to 3 days.
If making the pasta a day ahead, cool to room temperature. Add 1 Tablespoon olive oil and 2 teaspoons lemon juice and stir in. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
If you like this recipe and try it, snap a photo and share it on social media! Tag me #crunchycreamysweet or @crunchycreamysweet ! I’d love to see what’s happening in your kitchen!