Pesto Pasta Salad

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4th of July is right around the corner and that means many things... 1: my epic 4th of July menu is coming this week (here's last years if you want to get excited for whats to come!). 2: BBQ and Pool Parties are about to kick into high gear. 3: we need some epic potluck style dishes to bring to our friends house. If you've made my Caprese Orzo Pasta Salad and the Greek Pasta Salad, you know I love a good pasta salad. So let's make this Pesto Pasta Salad!


There's nothing more terrifying than a pasta salad that's laced with mayo that sits out in the sun all day at a BBQ. It gives me the heebeegeebees and no one wants to feel like that. So instead, I'm whipping up this Pesto Pasta Salad all season long. It can sit out all day at room temp and STILL be delicious. It's light and fresh and bright and SO flavorful. Basil, Chives, Dill, the works. Plus bacon to give it a little zip. Although, feel free to leave it out entirely if you or someone you know is a vegetarian. It's still gonna be fantastic!

Happy Pesto Pasta Salad potlucking!

Pesto Pasta Salad

Author: Gaby Dalkin
5 from 6 votes
This is the perfect potluck salad!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Servings 10 servings


  • 6-8 slices bacon
  • 1 pound dried short pasta
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved (about 10 ounces)
  • ½ cup castelvetrano olives pitted and halved
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1 recipe Basil Vinaigrette


  • Make the basil vinaigrette in a blender and set aside.
  • Cook the bacon until crispy. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Once cool, crumble the bacon into bite-sized pieces.
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water to cool. Drain well.
  • Place the drained pasta, bacon, tomatoes, olives, basil vinaigrette, and herbs in a large bowl. Toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.


Feel free to leave out the bacon to make this vegetarian-friendly. You could also bring crumbled bacon on the side.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 270kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 209mg | Potassium: 237mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 311IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this Recipe? Tag me Today!Mention @WhatsGabyCookin or tag #whatsgabycooking!

Photography by Matt Armendariz / Food Styling by Adam Pearson / Recipe from What's Gaby Cooking


  1. 5 stars
    This was soooo good it was a hit with my guests. Everyone asked for the recipe. I served it with BBQ ribs and corn on the cob. My husband and kids loved it too. I'm serving it once a month especially during the summer. Love all your recipes and presentation!

  2. It says to put the basil vin in and then it says add the dressing. Is there a second dressing? Thanks

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