This Creamy Pesto Pasta Salad with Creamy Pesto Ranch Dressing is a favorite all year round. It’s loaded with flavor, versatile and is the perfect cold pasta salad to take to any BBQ or gathering.
Need a quick, easy and delicious side salad everyone will love? This is the pasta salad for you.
This pasta salad is made with a creamy pesto ranch dressing and is filled with tomatoes, spinach, and mozzarella cheese.
You can also add chicken to this side salad and it can easily pass as a main dish, chicken pesto pasta salad.
The Best Side Salads
If you’re looking for some of our favorite best side salads, here are a few we love. The BBQ Chicken Salad is great as a side salad or perfect for a summer night meal when you’re in the mood to grill, and this Frog Eye Salad is perfect to take to any potluck or BBQ. TheBroccoli Salad with Bacon is everyone’s favorite because, of course, bacon.
This pesto pasta salad recipe is very versatile too. You can easily add some red bell peppers, cucumbers, sliced zucchini, and of course, grilled chicken is a great addition too.
Another fun variation is pepper jack cheese instead of mozzarella and even a few pickled peppers to the pasta salad. YUM!
This cold pesto pasta salad is a perfect side dish for any gathering. It’s a great side for burgers or just grilled chicken.
How to Make Creamy Pest Pasta Salad:
- Cook the pasta (bowtie, spiral, whatever is your favorite shape) according to package directions. I like to run cold water over the pasta when it’s done so it will stop cooking and it also speeds up the process for this salad. You can also cook it a day before you assemble the salad and store it in an airtight container or even a gallon ziplock bag.
- Mix up the dressing. I like to use pre-made pesto for this salad. It really makes this side salad recipe a cinch.
- Cut up your veggies and string cheese.
- Throw it all together. (I like to add the dressing in a few separate steps. Some pasta types need a little more dressing than others. Just add the ranch and pesto mixture to your liking. Sauce, but not too saucy.
Creamy Pesto Pasta Salad
- 17.6 oz Pasta You can use any fun shap you'd like. Bowtie pasta is really cute in this recipe. Cooked according to package instructions
- 1 cup Mozzerella Cheese or 6-7 cheese sticks cut into 1/2" chunks
- 1.5 cup Cherry Tomatoes
- 2-3 large handfuls Spinach If you're not serving this right away, wait to add the spinach
Creamy Pesto Ranch Dressing
- 1/2 cup Mayo
- 1/2 cup Buttermilk
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Ranch Dressing Seasoning
- 1/4 cup Pesto
How to make Creamy Pesto Ranch Dressing
- In a blender, combine the mayo, buttermilk and ranch dressing mix. Pulse the blender until the ingredients are mixed and creamy. Add the pesto and mix again. Pour the creamy ranch pesto dressing on the pasta salad. Mix until all the pasta and vegetables are coated in the dressing.
Assembling the Creamy Pesto Ranch Pasta Salad
- Cook pasta according to package directions. After you strain the hot pasta, run cold water over the pasta until the pasta is cool.
- Wash and cut cherry tomatoes in half.
- Open the string cheese and cut into 1/2" chunks.
- Combine the pasta, cherry tomatoes, string cheese, and spinach. (If you're not serving this right away, wait to add the spinach) Add the creamy ranch dressing and toss the salad until all the pasta and veggies are coated. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Enjoy!
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Creamy pesto pasta salad recipe made with your favorite pasta noodles, tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, spinach in a creamy pesto ranch dressing. Perfect for a BBQ or any family gathering.