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Summertime Pasta Salad with Tomatoes, Corn and Jalapeño Pesto

5 from 20 reviews

This healthy pasta salad features bold summer flavors, including tomatoes, corn and black beans tossed in spicy, fresh pesto! It’s a great vegetarian side dish for potlucks and barbecues. See paragraph above for variations and substitution suggestions! Recipe yields about 8 cups salad, which is enough for 4 main or 8 side servings.

Healthy summertime pasta salad, made with jalapeño-cilantro pesto, cherry tomatoes, corn, black beans and feta. You'll love this surprising combination!

Ingredients

Pasta salad

Jalapeño herb pesto

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook the pasta until al dente, according to package directions. Before draining, reserve about a cup of cooking water. Drain and return to pot. Set aside.
  2. Toast the pepitas in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until they are making little popping noises and turning lightly golden on the edges. Set aside to cool a bit.
  3. To make the pesto, combine the herbs, jalapeño, lemon, garlic and salt in a food processor. Pour in the pepitas. Pulse a few times and then run the machine while drizzling in the olive oil until the mixture is well blended, scraping down the bowl as necessary.
  4. Pour enough pesto into the pasta to lightly coat it once tossed (you might not quite need all of it). Add a small splash of pasta cooking water and toss well. Transfer the pasta to a large serving bowl and add the drained black beans, sliced cherry tomatoes, fresh corn and feta or avocado. Stir until combined. This salad tastes best after it’s had a chance to marinate for about 30 minutes, but you can serve it right away if need be.

Notes

Make it vegan/dairy free: Omit the cheese and use diced avocado instead.
Make it gluten free: Use gluten-free pasta.
Make it nut free: Be sure to use pepitas, which are seeds, rather than almonds or another nut in the pesto.
Storage suggestions: This recipe keeps well for several days in the refrigerator, covered. Leftovers are great served warm or chilled. If you want to change it up/stretch it out, add some fresh, leafy greens and a drizzle of lemony dressing.

▸ Nutrition Information

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.