This gluten-free Caprese Pesto Pasta Salad is the perfect side-dish for summer entertaining! It requires very little cooking and is so simple to throw together! PLUS it is so flavorful! Add your favorite Summer greens into the pesto, toss with gluten-free pasta, tomatoes, and delicious Italian spices and BOOM: Summer side perfection.
This makes a nice big batch, perfect for a summer weekend party! Hello, Memorial Day Cookout!
Caprese salads are some of my all-time favorite Summer dishes. There is something so perfect about the simple combination of mozzarella cheese, basil, and tomatoes. Toss in some pesto and gluten-free pasta and you are left with the perfect filling, creamy, flavorful, and delicious make-ahead side-dish for any occasion! This dish is completely customizable! Substitute sunflower seeds for the walnuts in the pesto to make this dish nut-free!
Summer Greens Pesto
- 1 cup arugula/spinach
- 1/2 cup basil
- 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, more to taste
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes, more to taste
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, more as necessary when blending
- Optional: 1 tablespoon fresh parmesan
- 1 box gluten-free pasta, cooked
- 8 ounces small mozzarella balls (ciliegine or bocconcini), halved
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup roasted red peppers, chopped
- 1/3 cup marinated artichokes, chopped
- 3/4 cup fresh basil, chopped or chiffonade
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, more to taste
- Optional: salami or pepperoni
1. Place all pesto ingredients except for extra-virgin olive oil in a food processor or high speed blender. Pulse a few times until coarsely chopped. While machine is going, slowly pour in extra-virgin olive oil until you have reached a thick and creamy sauce. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Set aside until ready to use.
2. Place cooked pasta, mozzarella balls, cherry tomatoes, roasted red peppers, marinated artichokes, basil, Italian seasoning, sea salt, red pepper flakes, ground pepper, and any other ingredients you are adding in into a large mixing bowl. Add in the pesto and mix until well combined. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve!
Grab other BBQ must-makes from my girlfriends!
Taylor made you Honey Lime Grilled Shrimp & Corn Salad
Brittany made you Zucchini Noodle Spaghetti Salad
Lindsay made you Dill Pesto Potato Wedge Salad