Meat Free Monday One day a week can make a world of difference

Pesto Pasta Salad with Grilled Grape Tomatoes

Jackie Newgent
  • Serves: 4
  • Preparation: 15
  • Cooking: 10
  • Ready: 25

This delicious pasta salad is full of flavour and perfect for a picnic lunch.


For the pasta salad

  • 250 g (8 ounces) tri-colour grape tomatoes (about 24)
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 250 g (8 ounces) dry whole grain rotini or farfalle
  • ⅓ cup fresh basil pesto* or pesto of choice
  • 1½ cups (30 g) packed fresh baby arugula (rocket)
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, pan-toasted
  • 4 lemon wedges

For the fresh basil pesto*

  • 2 cups (40 g) packed fresh basil leaves
  • ½ cup pan-toasted pine nuts or shelled roasted pistachios
  • 2 to 3 large chopped garlic cloves
  • zest of 1 small lemon
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes and smoked paprika
  • ½ cup (125 ml) extra-virgin olive oil


To make pasta salad

Preheat a grill or grill-pan. Insert grape tomatoes onto skewers. Brush with the olive oil. Grill over direct medium-high heat until rich grill marks form, about 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, boil pasta per package directions (ideally in salted water), for about 10 minutes. Drain, toss with ice cubes to cool, then drain again.

Toss the cooled pasta with the pesto. Then toss with the arugula, grilled grape tomatoes, sea salt, and pine nuts. Adjust seasoning.

Serve with the lemon wedges.

To make fresh basil pesto

In a food processor, pulse all ingredients except olive oil until finely chopped.

Then drizzle in olive oil and puree until desired consistency. Makes 1 cup. Freeze extra pesto for later use.

Additonal notes

This recipe comes to us from Meatless Monday in the US and is by Jackie Newgent, RDN.

“This pasta salad is full of flavour thanks to the fresh pesto and bursting grilled grape tomatoes. It’s easy to make, perfect for a picnic or potluck, and it’s fit for nearly everyone’s palate. Enjoy!”

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