This Vegan Pasta Salad with Parsley-Dill Pesto can easily be made oil-free and/or gluten-free and is a fun and healthy twist on the standard side dish.
A couple of months ago I posted this recipe for Parsley-Dill Pesto, and upon first taste, I knew I couldn't wait to use it on pasta. The parsley perfectly balances the dill, and fresh lemon and garlic give it a flavorful zing.
Here are a few more things you'll love about this Parsley-Dill Pesto Pasta Salad:
- Quick and easy to make, requiring just 12 ingredients!
- Perfect for parties, cookouts, and potlucks because it's delicious cold, cool or room temperature
- Gluten-free if you use your favorite GF pasta (I used Trader Joe's brown rice and quinoa fusilli, which was perfect for capturing all the herbaceous, pesto goodness!)
- Easily made oil-free and suitable for WFPB (whole-food plant-based) diets by replacing the oil in the pesto with water; on the other hand, if you're taking this to a party and really just want maximum flavor, you can double the amount of olive oil called for in the pesto
- Totally customizable with different beans and veggies
And this Pasta Salad With Parsley-Dill Pesto is as nutritious as it is delicious! With fresh parsley, dill, lemon, garlic, cucumber and tomato, this dish is brimming with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Add in protein- and fiber-rich chickpeas and whole grain pasta, plus walnuts and pumpkin seeds, and well, the benefits of this pasta salad are bordering on obscene! 😉
I recommend tasting as you go. If you mix the pesto and pasta together and still feel like it needs something, don't be afraid to add more lemon juice, pepper, salt, and fresh herbs. It can take a LOT of flavor to stand up to a full pound of pasta, so keep that in mind. I don't recommend skimping on the good stuff! That's why the recipe calls for one-and-a-half batches of pesto. I made this once with the standard batch of parsley-dill pesto and was able to make it work by adding extra lemon and salt at the end. But having 50% more pesto makes it even better.
In celebration of summer's (upcoming) bounty, I hope you'll give this pasta salad a try. And remember, when your green-thumbed neighbors, friends, and co-workers beg you to take some of the cucumbers, tomatoes, and herbs off their hands, you can happily reply with "Yes, I would love some!"
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Pasta Salad With Parsley Dill Pesto
- 1 1/2 batches Parsley-Dill Pesto TIP for scaling: Visit the recipe, and click on the "6" in the number of servings. Use the slider to adjust to 9 servings.
- 1 pound dry pasta (I used gluten-free fusilli)
- 1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
- 12 ounces mixed heirloom tomatoes, chopped or halved, depending on size
- 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
- fresh lemon juice, optional, to taste
- fresh dill and parsley for garnish, optional
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain in a colander, rinse with cool water, and drain again.
- Stir together the pasta and pesto. Fold in the cucumber, tomatoes and chickpeas. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding black pepper, and more salt and lemon, if desired.
- Garnish with additional dill and parsley.