Tomato Pesto Pasta Salad

On its own this salad is the perfect side to a summer BBQ

If you are like me, its getting to that time of the year where you are planning Christmas menus (scary but true because this house is not at all ready for the fat man to arrive!), making plans to catch up with friends and family over a BBQ for the festive season, or have been invited to an event and you need to bring a plate.

Well this salad will make your friends and family go WOW and you will be happy it has taken no time to "whip" this beauty up!

This salad literally has 8 ingredients - pasta, bacon, cheese, pesto mayo, onion, spinach leaves and tomatoes. The pesto mayo lightly coats the pasta and the sharpness of the pesto allows you to keep this recipe simple. The flavour however is anything but simple with the flavours layering upon each other with each mouthful.

This salad is incredibly versatile - add some roast chicken to the original recipe to make a full family meal or use it in lunchboxes for yours and your kids lunch. Omit the bacon and add a tin of tuna or some cold cooked prawns and you have an amazing seafood salad dinner.

Pimp the salad with some marinated grilled chicken and you have a delicious full meal for your family

For those who do not like cold pasta, omit the use of mayonnaise and use sour cream or cooking cream and toss through hot pasta.

While the possibilities are endless one thing is certain, once you make this recipe it will be your go to recipe over and over again!

Prep 30 min


3 cups cooked pasta (I used bowtie pasta for decorative purpose but any short pasta is fine)

1 red onion diced

1/2 cup baby spinach leaves

1/3 cup perino tomatoes sliced in half

1/2 cup shaved fresh Parmesan cheese (see note)

6 rashes cooked bacon sliced

3 tbs pesto mayonnaise (I used a ratio of 1 tbs pesto to 2 tbs whole egg mayonnaise)


In a large salad bowl place the pasta and bacon and mix well.

Mix through the pesto mayonnaise so all pasta is lightly coated.

Gently toss through the spinach leaves, tomato and onion through the pasta mix.

Top with the shaved Fresh Parmesan.

Note : To "shave" a block of Fresh Parmesan Cheese use a vegetable peeler for a quick and effective method

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