Pasta Salad with Pesto, Mozzarella and Tomatoes

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In the summertime, eat like the Italians! In Italy in the summer, pasta dishes are served cold and mixed with fresh ingredients. Locals stick to a traditional Mediterranean diet, so most ingredients are all healthy and freshly-picked. In this pasta salad, we combined three popular ingredients: tasty small tomatoes, mozzarella, and pesto made from fresh basil.

Pasta Salad with Pesto, Mozzarella and Tomatoes

Pesto is traditionally made in a mortar and pestle, but since this method requires a lot of elbow grease, we simplified the process with an immersion blender. Make your own pesto at home instead of buying it, using fresh, quality ingredients!

Pasta Salad with Pesto, Mozzarella and Tomatoes


Pasta Salad with Pesto, Mozzarella and Tomatoes

Pasta Salad with Pesto, Mozzarella and Tomatoes

Yields: 4 servings | Serving Size: 3/4 cup | Calories: 285 | Total Fat: 12 g | Saturated Fat: 3 g | Trans Fat: 0 g | Cholesterol: 12 mg | Sodium: 129 mg | Carbohydrates: 37 g | Dietary Fiber: 5 g | Sugars: 1 g | Protein: 10 g | SmartPoints (Freestyle): 9


  • 6 ounces whole grain short pasta (like penne, farfalle, fussili, mezze maniche)
  • 12 big fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 1/2 cup Mozzarella, drained from its water and chopped


  1. Over high heat, boil a pot of salted water. When it starts to boil, put the pasta. Cook according to the number of minutes indicated in the package or until they are al dente.
  2. When they are cooked, put the pot under the faucet and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Drain then set aside in a bowl. Drizzle about a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil so that they won't stick to each other.
  3. Using an immersion blender, prepare the pesto. Blend the pine nuts, basil, garlic, salt, and Parmesan cheese. While blending, pour the extra virgin olive oil. Set aside.
  4. In a serving bowl, mix the pasta and the pesto then add the tomatoes and the mozzarella.
  5. Serve at room temperature or cold.

Here are more delicious salad recipes to choose from:

Paleo Basil Cashew Chicken Salad

Spring Salad in an Avocado

Cleanse and Detox Superfood Salad

Farro Salad with Apples and Walnuts

Mediterranean Three Bean and Corn Salad

Creamy Fennel Salad with Orange Wedges and Fresh Mint

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6 Comments on "Pasta Salad with Pesto, Mozzarella and Tomatoes"

  1. Chas  January 5, 2016

    Can there be another sauce to use instead of pesto? I have a tree nut and peanut allergy. Thanks!

    • Melissa Florero  January 6, 2016

      Chas, You can use two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper. Toss in a handful of torn or chopped fresh basil leaves.

  2. Cindy  January 31, 2016

    About how much pesto does this recipe need if I buy premade pesto?

    • Gale Compton  January 31, 2016

      Cindy, I would recommend about 1/3 cup for the entire recipe. Or, you could add 1/4 cup and have additional if somone would like more pesto. 🙂

  3. Grace Wallace  August 21, 2018

    I can not eat nuts at all. Any idea what I could sub for them?

    • Gale Compton  August 22, 2018

      Grace, For the pesto, simply eliminate any nuts.


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