The most life-altering summer side dish! This vegetarian Dill Pesto Pasta Salad is packed with all the right textures and flavors.Jump to Recipe
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?)
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.
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.
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
- The Go-To Taco Salad
- The Ultimate Spring Salad
- Vegan Triple Sesame Coleslaw
- Shawarma-Inspired Chicken Bowls
- Strawberry Mint Quinoa Salad
Dill Pesto Pasta Salad
- Food Processor
- Large Pot
- Large Bowl
- 1 cup fresh dill large stems removed
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- juice of one lemon
- ⅓ 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
- ⅓ cup feta cheese crumbled (sub plant-based feta or omit to make vegan)
- 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!
Photography by Hope Agresti and Allison Agresti