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Lemon Parsley Pesto Pasta Salad

Lemon Parsley Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe

Photos by Emily Caruso

Pasta salads are one of my favorite lunches—and the best pasta salad recipes do double duty. Eat them warm for dinner, then have the leftovers cold the next day. Easy! Not only that, but pasta salads are the perfect way to empty out that crisper drawer and put any stray veggies and herbs you have on hand to good use.

Pestos work particularly well if you want to make pasta that’s appetizing warm or cold. Traditional basil pesto is always a winner, but there’s a whole world of pesto options out there—for this recipe, I whipped up a lemony parsley pesto. When you’re using parsley as an ingredient and not a garnish, be sure to use flat-leaf or Italian parsley, not curly, because it has more flavor. I happened to have a bunch of it on hand from my CSA box. If you have a lot, this pesto recipe can be doubled or tripled and frozen for later.

Lemon Parsley Pesto Ingredients
The rest of the ingredients are completely up to you. I used homemade sun-dried tomatoes and yellow squash because I also had that from my CSA box, but steamed broccoli, roasted red peppers, and zucchini would be perfect in this too; for protein, try adding chickpeas or white beans.

Lemon Parsley Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe

Lemon Parsley Pesto Pasta Salad

You can serve this easy pasta salad warm for dinner and have the leftovers cold for lunch the next day.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 servings


  • 3/4 cup packed parsley leaves
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup raw almonds
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces farfalle bow-tie pasta, cooked according to package directions
  • 1 small yellow squash cut into thin half-moons
  • 2/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts optional
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese optional
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Combine the parsley, lemon juice and zest, garlic, almonds, and olive oil in a food processor. Process until everything is finely chopped, but not completely smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Toss together the farfalle, squash, tomatoes and pine nuts in a large bowl. Stir in the pesto, tossing to coat. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese, if using, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate for up to 3 days.
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  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Delicious Everyday
    August 31, 2015 at 8:44 pm

    What’s great about this pasta salad, aside from the fact that it sounds and looks delicious, is how easy you can put them together. What a way to cook meal in 30 minutes (actually, it’s under 30 minutes) 🙂

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      September 1, 2015 at 3:37 pm

      Yes! I’m all about easy dinners these days. 🙂

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