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creamy pesto pasta salad
Side Dish

Creamy Pesto Pasta Salad

Summer is all about pasta salad! This creamy pesto pasta salad is a new favorite in our household--pasta tossed with crispy bacon, tomatoes, mozzarella, and arugula in a creamy pesto dressing. Perfect for your next bbq or party!
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 25 mins
Makes: 6 -8 servings


Pesto Dressing

  • 2/3 cup pesto sauce
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 shallot, finely minced
  • 1/3 cup reserved pasta water
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Pasta Salad

  • 16 oz cavatappi pasta
  • 12 oz cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 10 strips bacon, cooked until crispy and roughly chopped
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan


  • Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta to al dente (usually 2 minutes shy of package instructions). Reserve 1/3 cup of pasta water and drain the pasta. Rinse with cold water until cool. Transfer pasta to a large bowl.
  • Whisk together all the dressing ingredients until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Toss the pasta with dressing and the remaining ingredients. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.