dill pesto pasta salad in large bowl with gold serving utensils

Flavor Bomb Dill Pesto Pasta Salad

The most life-altering summer side dish! This vegetarian Dill Pesto Pasta Salad is packed with all the right textures and flavors.

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dill pesto pasta salad in large bowl with gold serving utensils

I will admit, this Dill Pesto Pasta Salad took me by surprise. I mean, I thought it would be great, don’t get me wrong, but I did not realize it would be maybe-earth-shatteringly delicious. Every element of this recipe comes together perfectly to create a total flavor bomb. You will be obsessed. Sad mayonnaise-based macaroni salad? I don’t know her. (Can you tell I have a mayonnaise aversion?)

close up of pasta salad to show texture

Dill Pesto Pasta Salad Ingredients

Dill Pesto: You can get all the details on this ingenious and vegan 7-ingredient sauce here.

Pasta: I prefer penne for this pasta salad, but you can use your favorite shape. Also feel free to substitute gluten-free pasta if needed.

Cucumber: Adds such a perfectly refreshing crunch.

Sun-Dried Tomatoes: I much prefer the oil-packed kind. These little guys are perfect for adding a little touch of umami.

Capers: I’m a bit olive averse, but I love capers. These tiny briny bursts of flavor are perfect here. Feel free to sub olives if you prefer, though.

Feta Cheese: More umami goodness. Feta is one my favorite cheeses, especially in salads. Use plant-based feta or omit to keep vegan.

dill pesto pasta salad ingredients in separate bowls

Make It Your Own!

  • Switch things up: As I mentioned earlier, you could easily use olives instead of capers. I’m also imagining goat or parmesan cheese could be a fun swap for feta if it’s what you have or prefer.
  • Add protein! Rotisserie chicken, a can of tuna, or a can of white beans or chickpeas would all be great.
  • Make it nut-free: Use sunflower or pumpkin seeds in the pesto in place of nuts.
  • Make it gluten-free: Use gluten-free pasta.
  • Make it vegan: Use plant-based feta or omit.
dill pesto pasta salad in large bowl with gold serving utensils

I hope this Dill Pesto Pasta Salad is as life-changing for you as it was for me! If you give it a try, feel free to leave a rating, review, question, or concern. It seriously, truly, really makes my day to hear from you. You can also find me on Pinterest, Instagram, and TikTok.

More Amazing Summer Salads

dill pesto pasta salad in large bowl with gold serving utensils
dill pesto pasta salad in large bowl with gold serving utensils

Dill Pesto Pasta Salad

The most life-altering summer side dish! This vegetarian Dill Pesto Pasta Salad is packed with all the right textures and flavors.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4

Equipment

  • Food Processor
  • Large Pot
  • Colander
  • Large Bowl

Ingredients
  

Dill Pesto

  • 1 cup fresh dill large stems removed
  • cup extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of one lemon
  • cup pine nuts or walnuts (sub sunflower or pumpkin seeds to make nut-free)
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • ¼ tsp sea salt

The Rest of the Pasta Salad

  • 8 oz penne pasta (or your favorite pasta shape)
  • 1 cup cucumber diced
  • ½ cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes drained and diced
  • ¼ cup capers
  • cup feta cheese crumbled (sub plant-based feta or omit to make vegan)

Instructions
 

  • Bring a generously-salted large pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package directions. 
  • While pasta is cooking, make your pesto! Place all ingredients in food processor and process on high for at least one minute or until all ingredients are well-incorporated.
  • Add drained pasta, dill pesto, cucumbers, sun-dried tomatoes, capers, and feta to a large bowl and stir until combined. Serve immediately as a main dish or side. Enjoy!

Notes

Storage: Refrigerate in airtight container for up to 5 days.
To make vegan/dairy-free: Use plant-based feta cheese or omit. 
To make gluten-free: Use your favorite gluten-free pasta.
To make nut-free: Use sunflower or pumpkin seeds in place of nuts in pesto.
Keyword 4th of july, dairy-free, dill, gluten free, nut-free, pasta salad, pesto, pesto pasta salad, summer barbecue, summer cookout, vegan, vegetarian

Photography by Hope Agresti and Allison Agresti

1 Comment

  1. 5 stars
    I loved your dill pesto and when I saw this recipe I knew I had to make it. it’s full of flavor and it’s a great meal on the go!

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