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Side Dishes

Make This Easy Pasta Salad With Arugula Pesto Recipe for Your Next Barbecue

Our fresh-from-scratch sauce comes together in mere minutes

Up where I live, winters are long, snowy and downright freezing! So when summer finally arrives, I am ready to get outdoors and enjoy the beautiful weather. And what better way than to fire up the grill and throw a backyard bash. While the meat is usually the highlight, all great cookouts deserve a memorable side. And once you taste our Pasta Salad with Arugula Pesto recipe, It’ll be your go-to all season long.

Now I know you’re thinking: What’s so special about pasta salad? Well, a zingy dressing can transform this staple into a picnic-perfect treat. Pesto sauce is a classic Italian condiment made with basil, olive oil and Parmesan. We decided to switch things up and replaced some of the herb with baby arugula. This leafy green has bright peppery flavor that complements sweet basil. The finished sauce is absolutely delightful! Make an extra batch to serve on veggies or grilled meats. Watch how easy it is in our video. And if you love it on our salad, leave us a comment.


4 serving

Total Time

Prep Time

Cook Time


  • 8 oz. bow tie pasta
  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • 1½ cups fresh basil leaves
  • 3 Tbs. grated Parmesan
  • 2 Tbs. oil
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ⅛ tsp. salt
  • ⅛ tsp. pepper
  • 1½ cups cherry tomatoes
  • ½ cup drained pitted Kalamata olives
  • 1 sliced chili pepper


Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain well; cool to room temp. In food processor, combine 1 cup arugula, 1 cup basil, Parmesan, oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper and 2 Tbs. water; process until blended and smooth.

Place pesto in large bowl. Top with pasta, tomatoes, olives and remaining arugula and basil; toss. top with chili pepper.


  • Calories: 344
  • Fat: 13 gram
  • Saturated Fat: 2 gram
  • Protein: 10 gram
  • Carbohydrate: 48 gram
  • Fiber: 3 gram
  • Cholesterol: 3 mg
  • Sugar: 4 gram
  • Sodium: 393 mg
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