Like Recipes?

Sign up to receive Jackie’s recipes right in your inbox!

plant-based pesto pasta salad with grilled grape tomatoes

by Jackie Newgent  |  June 22, 2020  |  2 Comments

While dining inside a restaurant is still not happening in my part of the world, having a socially-distanced cookout or picnic is happening! Here’s an easy and tasty salad or side to whip up for your next one. It’s full of flavor thanks to the fresh pesto and bursting grilled grape tomatoes. And it’s fit for nearly everyone’s palate. Have fun!

clock clock icon cutlery cutlery icon flag flag icon folder folder icon instagram instagram icon pinterest pinterest icon facebook facebook icon print print icon squares squares icon heart heart icon heart solid heart solid icon

plant-based pesto pasta salad with grilled grape tomatoes

  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


  • 8 ounces tri-color grape tomatoes (about 24)
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces dry whole grain rotini or farfalle
  • 1/3 cup fresh vegan basil pesto (see below) or pesto of choice
  • 1½ cups packed fresh baby arugula (1½ ounces)
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, pan-toasted
  • 4 lemon wedges


  1. Preheat a grill or grill-pan. Insert grape tomatoes onto skewers. Brush with the olive oil. Grill over direct medium-high heat until rich grill marks form, about 8 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, boil pasta per package directions (ideally in salted water), about 10 minutes. Drain, toss with ice cubes to cool, then drain again.
  3. Toss the cooled pasta with the pesto. Then toss with the arugula, grilled grape tomatoes, sea salt, and pine nuts. Adjust seasoning.
  4. Serve with the lemon wedges.


Per serving: 340 calories, 12g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 210mg sodium, 54g total carbohydrate, 8g dietary fiber, 3g total sugars includes 0g added sugars, 12g protein


  • Serving Size: 1 1/3 cups

fresh vegan basil pesto

2 cups packed fresh basil leaves · ½ cup pan-toasted pine nuts or shelled roasted pistachios · 2 to 3 large chopped garlic cloves · zest of 1 small lemon · 2 teaspoons lemon juice · ¼ teaspoon sea salt · 1/8 teaspoon each crushed red pepper flakes and smoked paprika · ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil | In a food processor, pulse all ingredients except olive oil until finely chopped. Then drizzle in olive oil and puree until desired consistency. Makes 1 cup. Freeze extra pesto for later use.

Share Your Thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating