vegen pesto pasta salad with serving spoons on a yellow and white napkin

Quick & Easy Pesto Pasta Salad

This chilled pasta dish is perfect for cookouts and potlucks! Bite-sized pasta, tomatoes, peas, and a delicious homemade vegan pesto make this tasty dish a must try!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword chilled pasta salad, cookout side dish, side dish for potluck, summer side dish, vegan pesto
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 10 servings
Calories 318kcal
Author Amanda


  • 1 16-ounce box gemelli pasta can substitute with farfalle, fusilli, rotini, shells, or macaroni
  • 3/4 cup red grape tomatoes quartered
  • 3/4 cup golden grape tomatoes quartered
  • 1-1/2 cup peas fresh or frozen

Pesto (makes about 2 cups):

  • 1-1/2 cup fresh basil leaves packed
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley packed (can substitute with 1/2 cup basil or baby spinach)
  • 1/3 cup walnuts can substitute with pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast can substitute with parmesan or romano cheese if not vegan
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup olive oil can substitute with grapeseed or avocado oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add pasta and reduce heat. Cook for 8-10 minutes until al dente.
  • Drain pasta and rinse with cool water. Place in large mixing bowl.
  • Add quartered grape tomatoes and peas

To Make Pesto:

  • Add basil, parsley, and walnuts to a food processor. Pulse until coarsely chopped (about 8 times)
  • Add nutritional yeast and garlic cloves. Blend on low.
  • With the food processor running, slowly pour olive oil to emulsify until well blended. Stop the food processor and season with salt and pepper.
  • Using a rubber spatula, pour pesto into mixing bowl with pasta and veggies. Mix well.
  • Serve chilled. Leftovers keep in the fridge for up to 7 days.


If you cannot find golden grape tomatoes, can use regular grape tomatoes


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 318kcal | Carbohydrates: 40.8g | Protein: 11.4g | Fat: 13.9g | Saturated Fat: 1.7g | Sodium: 65mg | Potassium: 309mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 3g | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 3.6mg