Pesto Pasta Salad


  • 2 boxes rotini pasta (I used Barilla Gluten Free Rotini – it’s the only GF pasta I’ve found that serves well cold.)
  • 1 orange bell pepper
  • 2-3 stalks of kale
  • 1 bunch of green onions
  • 2 cups green peas
  • 5-6 large radishes
  • 1-2 cup bacon bits
  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1 tsp. lemon pepper


Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water and cook the pasta to package directions for al dente. Drain the pasta and rinse with cold water.

In a blender or food processor, combine the basil leaves, lemon juice, and olive oil. Season with garlic salt and lemon pepper and blend until smooth. Taste for seasoning. Sometimes I add garlic to my pesto, but the basil from my garden is so flavorful right now, it didn’t need it. Set aside.

Chop the kale into bite sized ribbons and wash. As you’re washing, massage the kale until it almost looks wilted. This breaks down the tough structure of the kale and removes that bitter flavor. It also makes it easier to digest.

Wash the rest of your veggies. I cubed the bell pepper and cut the radishes into matchsticks. Allow the radishes to soak in cold water and some lemon juice for few minutes. This keeps them from turning brown. Chop the green onion and defrost your peas if frozen.

In a large bowl combine all prepared ingredients. Toss until evenly distributed, then incorporate the pesto. Stir until the pesto covers evenly and serve!

** Serves 10+ (Great for a party!)

Wine Pairing Suggestion

Ca’ Montini Pinot Grigio

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