Pasta Salad with Basil Kale Pesto

Pasta Salad With Basil Kale Pesto Recipe

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Lynn Clay


This salad can be served as a Side Dish or as a Vegetarian Main Dish


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15 Min
30 Min
Stove Top



  • 1 1/2 c
    fresh basil leaves, rinsed
  • 1 1/2 c
    fresh kale, rinsed and thick stems removed
  • 1 c
  • 3 clove
  • 2 Tbsp
    pumpkin seeds, lightly toasted
  • 1/4 tsp
    red pepper flakes
  • ·
    salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 c
    parmesan or pecorino-romano cheese
  • 2/3 c
    olive oil, extra virgin

  • 1 lb
    orzo pasta
  • 2/3
    large yellow or orange bell pepper, chopped into small pieces
  • 8 oz
    grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 can(s)
    15 oz can of cannellini beans
  • 1/4 c
    kalamata or black olives, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp
    olive oil, extra virgin

How to Make Pasta Salad with Basil Kale Pesto


  1. Put the basil, kale, arugula and garlic in a food processor, coarsely chopping to create enough room for the other ingredients.
  2. Add the pumpkin seeds, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, cheese, and olive oil, and puree until it comes to a nice smooth consistency.
  3. Cook the orzo according to package instructions. Do not overcook. Drain off the cooking water.
  4. If you are making this to serve later, leave the orzo in the strainer and rinse with cold water. This helps prevent sticking and further cooking of the pasta. Take care to thoroughly drain the water, then return the cooked orzo to a large mixing bowl.
  5. Stir the extra tablespoon of olive oil into the cooked orzo, then gradually stir in the pesto until it is completely coated. Set aside the remainder of the pesto to pass at the table.
  6. Stir in the peppers, followed by the beans, tomatoes and olives.
  7. Serve the salad with a side of extra pesto.

Printable Recipe Card

About Pasta Salad with Basil Kale Pesto

Course/Dish: Pasta Salads
Main Ingredient: Pasta
Regional Style: Italian

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