This Pesto Pizza Pasta Salad features curly pasta, a savory dressing, and all of your favorite pizza toppings. It’s the perfect, kid-friendly side dish to take to your next potluck or barbeque!
I’ve been trying out some new pasta salad recipes recently and this pizza pasta salad is probably my husband’s new favorite.
My kiddos love it too because it’s one of their favorite foods turned into a pasta salad!
This recipe works because it’s:
- Full of flavor. The richness from the basil pesto combines with the zesty pepperonis and fresh tomatoes for a flavor explosion.
- Simple to make. There’s minimal chopping and cooking involved in this pasta salad.
- Kid-friendly. Turning a popular kid food into a pasta salad means the whole family will enjoy this dish.
- Perfect for a crowd! This recipe makes a lot and is perfect for your next get together.
This recipe was adapted from Life in the Lofthouse
Cook 16 ounces of shaped pasta according to the package directions. Drain once done and rinse with cold water to cool.
While the pasta is cooking, halve 10 ounces of cherry or grape tomatoes and 40 pepperonis.
Transfer the pasta to a large bowl and add 1/4 cup of basil pesto and 1¼ cup of Italian dressing. Mix well until the pasta is evenly coated.
Add the tomatoes, pepperonis, and 6 ounces of canned olives to the pasta and mix.
Sprinkle 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese and 6 cut basil leaves onto the salad and mix gently. Finish the salad with 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Recipe Tips and Substitutions
You can use any type of shaped pasta for this recipe like rotini, bowtie, cavatappi, or penne. I chose to use trottole.
I recommend using creamy basil pesto in this recipe, but regular basil pesto also works.
Try substituting a cheddar cheese blend for the mozzarella cheese.
There’s really no substitute for the flavor of basil, but you can try these basil substitutes if you’re out.
Additionally, you can try one of these olive substitutes if you don’t like the flavor.
You can add additional pizza toppings like chopped peppers, mushrooms, bacon, and cooked sausage to this pasta salad to take it up a notch.
You can use up to 2 cups of Italian salad dressing if your salad seems too dry. Start with 1¼ cups and add more if needed.
More Like This
Looking for more delicious salads to take to your next get together? You’ll love these!
- Dill Pickle Pasta Salad
- Cilantro Chickpea Salad
- Chicken Caesar Salad with Pasta
- Tuna Rotini Pasta Salad
- Tri Color Pasta Salad
See even more recipes like these (plus mains, desserts, and drinks) at 25+ Family Summer Dinner Ideas.
I’d like to think so! Salad is a traditional pizza side dish, and most pasta salads feature some sort of vegetable.
This recipe for pizza pasta salad makes a great side for pizza because of the similar ingredients.
If you’re worried about too many carbs in one meal, you can choose a pasta salad that features a green as well like this chicken Caesar salad with pasta.
This pasta salad will stay good for 4-5 days refrigerated in an air tight container.
I hope your family loves this pesto pizza pasta salad! If you make it, be sure to take a picture and tag me on Instagram with @ashcroftfamilytable and use the hashtag #ashcroftfamilytable!
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Pesto Pizza Pasta Salad
- 16 ounces shaped pasta, rotini, bowtie, cavatappi, trottole
- 10 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes
- 40 pepperonis
- ¼ cup basil pesto, creamy if possible
- 1 ¼ cups Italian dressing, *see note
- 6 ounces canned olives
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 6 basil leaves, finely chopped
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Cook pasta according to the package directions. Drain once done and rinse with cold water to cool.
- While the pasta is cooking, halve the tomatoes and pepperoni.
- Transfer the pasta to a large bowl and add basil pesto and Italian dressing. Mix well until the pasta is evenly coated.
- Add the tomatoes, pepperonis, and olives to the pasta and mix.
- Sprinkle mozzarella cheese and fresh basil onto the salad and mix gently. Finish the salad with grated Parmesan cheese.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.