Easy Pesto Pasta Salad with Olives and Roasted Red Peppers

This Easy Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe with Olives and Roasted Red Peppers uses pantry ingredients you probably keep in the house, and this delicious salad is meatless and could be South Beach Diet Phase Two with the right pasta. Use the Diet-Type Index to find more recipes like this one.

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Easy Pesto Pasta Salad with Olives and Roasted Red Peppers found on KalynsKitchen.com

There are recipes where you carefully purchase special ingredients in anticipation of the dish, and then there are recipes where you have something in the fridge, and you stare into the pantry thinking, “What can I make with this?” I think you know what I mean by that, right?

It was the Basil Pesto with Lemon that inspired this uber-simple Easy Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe with Olives and Roasted Red Peppers. I used canned olives and roasted red pepper from a jar to round out the salad, but there are lots of other possibilities that would taste good here (check after the recipe for other ideas.) Actually pasta salad with pesto dressing is just a version of pasta with pesto, so how can this not be good?

Easy Pesto Pasta Salad with Olives and Roasted Red Peppers found on KalynsKitchen.com

If you’re using a commercial dressing like I did, be sure to choose one with not more than 3 grams of sugar per serving for low-carb diets or the South Beach Diet. (I used Newman’s Own Olive Oil and Vinegar Dressing, mixed half and half with my Basil Pesto with Lemon.) I wanted to use a fair amount of low-carb/low-glycemic ingredients in proportion to the amount of pasta, s0 I used a whole can of olives, cut in half, plus a 12 oz. jar of roasted red peppers, diced into small pieces. I used 12 oz. Dreamfields Rotini, cooked exactly 9 minutes, then drained and cooled for 10 minutes before combining with the other salad ingredients. You could also use whole wheat pasta.

Easy Pesto Pasta Salad with Olives and Roasted Red Peppers found on KalynsKitchen.com

After the pasta cools for 10 minutes, stir in enough dressing to coat the slightly-warm pasta. (You may not need all the dressing, but save the rest in case you want to add it later.) Combine the pasta with dressing, diced red bell pepper, and olives. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a lid, and chill in the fridge 1-3 hours. To serve, mix in 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (or more!) and a little more dressing if the salad seems dry. Serve slightly chilled or at or room temperature.

Easy Pesto Pasta Salad with Olives and Roasted Red Peppers found on KalynsKitchen.com

More Pasta Salad You May Like:

Pasta Salad with Slow Roasted Tomatoes, Grilled Zucchini, and Basil from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Broccoli, Basil, and Pasta Salad from The Perfect Pantry
Pasta Salad with Italian Sausage, Zucchini, Red Pepper, and Olives from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Wagon Wheel Taco Pasta Salad from Cara’s Cravings
Shrimp and Macaroni Salad from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Roasted Garlic, Olive, and Tomato Pasta Salad from The Kitchn
Macaroni Salad with Fresh Tomatoes, Fresh Basil, and Feta from Kalyn’s Kitchen

Easy Pesto Pasta Salad with Olives and Roasted Red Peppers

This Easy Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe with Olives and Roasted Red Peppers uses pantry ingredients you probably keep in the house.

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz. Dreamfields or whole wheat Rotini pasta
  • 1 can black olives, drained well, then cut in half
  • 12 oz. jar roasted red bell pepper, drained well and diced
  • 1/3 cup vinaigrette dressing (I used Newman’s Own Olive Oil and Vinegar Dressing, but use any vinaigrette with less than 3 grams of sugar per serving for South Beach Diet)
  • 1/3 cup pesto (I used Basil Pesto with Lemon, but you can use purchased basil pesto as well)
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Fill a medium-sized pot half full of water, add a generous amount of salt and bring to a boil. Add pasta, and cook 9 minutes (or check package for cooking time if you’re using whole wheat pasta.)
  2. Drain pasta well, and let cool for 10 minutes while you prep other ingredients.
  3. Pour olives into a colander, drain well, then cut olives in half.
  4. Pour red bell peppers into colander, drain well, and dice into small pieces.
  5. Combine vinaigrette dressing and pesto, whisking together.
  6. When pasta is cool, stir in enough dressing to coat the pasta. (You may not need all the dressing, but save it to add if needed after the salad has chilled.)
  7. Add olives and roasted red pepper, and stir gently to combine. Cover salad with plastic wrap or a lid, and refrigerate for 1-3 hours.
  8. To serve, remove salad from refrigerator and stir in 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more dressing if needed to moisten salad. Serve slightly chilled or at room temperature.

Notes:

Other things you could use in this salad:

-diced marinated artichoke hearts-marinated mushrooms, cut in half
-cooked turkey Italian sausage, cut into small pieces
-turkey pepperoni, chopped
-grilled vegetables of any type such as zucchini, mushrooms, onions, or summer squash
-cubed fresh mozzarella cheese

Recipe created by Kalyn.

All images and text ©

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
This Easy Pesto Pasta Salad with Olives and Roasted Red Peppers can never be low carb unless you used zucchini noodles to replace the pasta and actually I think that could be pretty good. Be sure to follow the suggestions in the recipe for types of pasta, types of dressing, and use of low-glycemic ingredients if you’re making this salad for the South Beach Diet. With those cautions, the salad would be approved for phase 2 or 3 of the diet.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Diet Type Index to find recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You can also Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Nutritional Information?
If you want nutritional information for a recipe, you can sign up for a free membership with Yummly and use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information. Another option is entering the recipe into this Recipe Nutrition Analyzer, which will calculate it for you.

Easy Pesto Pasta Salad with Olives and Roasted Red Peppers found on KalynsKitchen.com