Margherita Pesto Pasta Salad is a ready made meal idea that requires zero real cooking, uses fresh veggies & even your kids will love this Rush Hour Recipe.
Getting dinner on the table during the week can seem as daunting as trying to fit a workout in before work. But, Margherita Pesto Pasta Salad is gonna make you feel like just about anything is possible. This amazingly easy NO COOK recipe is meant for crazy busy nights when cooking isn’t an option. Margherita Pesto Pasta Salad will have you (and your family) all happily chowing down around the table ASAP.
Margherita Pesto Pasta Salad is a wonderful NO COOK vegetarian dish that can be made on the busiest of weeknights in practically no time.
WHAT MAKES THIS RECIPE NO COOK?
Pasta salad has PASTA, right? So, you do have to cook, right? Wrong. We’ve all seen the “ready-rice” for a long while now, but have you laid your eyes on the “ready pasta?” If not, then you’re gonna love this!
I’ve come to love Barilla Ready Pasta. It’s fully cooked & ready to eat. You don’t even have to know how to boil water anymore. It’s awesome.
So, a few fresh ingredients, a little (or a lot) of pesto, some ready-pasta & you’re set!
READY MADE INGREDIENTS
Margherita Pesto Pasta Salad is what I like to call an “assembly style” dinner. Basically, it’s a combo of ready made main ingredients and fresh ingredients. There’s ZERO cooking involved. But, they’re essential for becoming a working parent that gets dinner on the table night after night.
As far as I’m concerned, getting these time savers in your fridge is KEY to creating a habit of cooking at home. Which is the goal, right? They help you hop right over the argument of “there’s no time to cook.” Which, to me, is the biggest hurdle of them all.
Added bonus: ready made recipes like this are like the gateway drug for kitchen beginners. That’s right, girl. This is how you get your partner involved in dinner prep. If he can work a microwave & use a knife, then he can “cook” this dish.
And, guess what? Bam. He just made dinner.
WHAT TYPE OF PESTO SHOULD I USE?
ALL. OF. THEM. For real, I haven’t met a pesto I didn’t like. I make my own (like this amazing green-pea blender pesto) that packs a double whammy of veggies. But, I also use so many store bought versions right off the shelf, or even in the refrigerated section.
They’re all good. Hell, I even trick my kids from time to time & feed them kale pesto. But, that’s for another day:)
You pick the one that’s in stock & I have no doubt it’ll work beautifully!
CAN YOU EAT PESTO WHEN IT’S COLD?
Yes ma’am, you can. In fact it’s great hot, warm, or cold. Once you heat the pasta up, I recommend you dump it in a bowl. Then, when the pasta is warm, add the pesto. The pesto sticks better to the pasta when it’s warm.
Then, you move on with dicing tomatoes & getting that fresh mozzarella thrown into the mix.
This Margherita Pesto Pasta Salad is gonna be great to take for lunch the next day….if there’s any left.
- 2 (8 oz.) pouches of Barilla Ready Pasta (Gemelli, Penne or Rotini)
- 1 container Basil Pesto Sauce (approx. 1/2 c. or more)
- 1 (8 oz.) Mozzarella Pearl Balls
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
- Fresh shaved (or grated) parmesan cheese
- Fresh basil (optional)
- Heat the pasta according to the package directions & dump in a large mixing bowl.
- Add pesto to the pasta and stir gently.
- Wash & quarter the tomatoes. Add to bowl.
- Separate and pat dry the mozzarella balls. (If they are packed in water, then drain & pat dry). Add to bowl.
- Toss gently to coat all with pesto. Top with parmesan liberally.
- Add torn fresh basil leaves (optional). Serve.
- If you can't find the ready made pasta, of course you can cook regular pasta as a substitute. Cook about 3/4 - 1lb of pasta, drain & add to bowl. Continue instructions from there.
- Any pesto will work in this pasta dish. It can be from the deli pesto sauce, from the pantry isle pesto sauce, or homemade pesto from kale, veggies, etc. Any will work here.
- Mozzarella pearls may not be available at your deli section. That's fine! Just get a whole fresh mozzarella ball and dice it into bite sized cubes. Cheese is cheese!
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KIDS LOVE PASTA SALAD
Also, it’ can’t go without saying that kids will actually eat this pasta. I mean, for starters: It’s pasta. Kids love anything with pasta & cheese….as do most other humans I know😊
So, Margherita Pesto Pasta Salad is gonna be a family fav for sure.
Plus, the added beauty, it takes zero time prepping, cooking, or fussing with. So, you can spend more time hanging out with them!
PESTO PASTA SALD FOR BUSY WEEKNIGHTS
Margherita Pesto Pasta Salad is a great ready made meal that you should keep in your back pocket for those days when you just need a break, or when you just can’t cook again, or when you are ready for everyone to eat without complaining (for once)!
That’s why I’ve included this recipe in my FREE mini-cookbook!
Everything in there is NO COOK. So, you & your partner can get dinner tackled together this week. No skills, no time, no cooking—just good food at lightening speed.
If you want to create the habit of cooking at home, then THIS is how you get started.