Summer Pesto Pasta Salad

This is a go-to side dish at my house. It's delicious, a good source of fibre and chock full of veggies. It pairs great with barbecue, and leftovers make great lunches. I often add some beans or chickpeas for protein to make this a complete meal.

  • 1 box whole wheat pasta, such as fusilli, rotini, or shells
  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 jar basil pesto*
  • 3-4 sundried tomatoes, cut into thin strips
  • 3-4 jarred artichoke pieces, packed in oil, diced into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup spinach or arugula
* Making your own basil pesto would also be a amazing in this recipe! Pesto is a combination of basil, olive oil, pine nuts, and parmesan cheese blended together. You can also experiment with other greens such as kale in place of the basil.
1. Cook the pasta according to package directions, then strain and set aside. 
Tip: Aim to cook pasta until just "al dente", with a bit of firmness left in the noodle. The pesto will soften the pasta further and you'll have the perfect texture to your noodles.
2. Prepare the asparagus: First, snap off the tough ends of the asparagus by holding each end of the asparagus, and gently bending until the end snaps off.
Tip: I always soak asparagus spears for a few minutes in warm water to release any dirt or grit hiding in the tops.
3. Gently toss the asparagus in 1 tsp olive oil until it's evenly coated. Lay asparagus spears on a parchment lined baking sheet and roast in the oven at 425 degrees for 8-12 minutes, until tender but crisp.
4. Chop the roasted asparagus into bite sized pieces.
5. Add the pesto, asparagus, sundried tomatoes, artichokes, and arugula/spinach to your pasta. Mix well and serve cold, warm, or at room temperature!
Enjoy! Natalee, RD
Original recipe adapted from