Flavorful Pesto Pasta Salad (No Mayo!)


For the Pasta Salad:

  • 8 ounces fusilli, rotini, or farfalle pasta
  • 2 tablespoons nonfat plain Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, or sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups arugula
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved, or grape tomatoes
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/2 cup mini mozzarella pearls or crumbled feta
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Extra virgin olive oil as needed

For the Pesto:

  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, cashews, or nuts of choice, toasted
  • 1 large clove garlic

  • 1 1/3 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1 1/3 cups spinach or chopped kale or arugula
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Make the Pesto:

  1. Pulse the pine nuts and garlic in a food processor until finely ground.
  2. Add the basil, spinach, salt, and pepper.
  3. With the processor running, slowly pour in the olive oil.
  4. Puree until smooth, about 45 seconds to 1 minute.
  5. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  6. Blend in the Parmesan.

Make the Pasta Salad:

  1. Cook the pasta al dente according to the package instructions.
  2. Drain and rinse well under cold water.
  3. Shake out excess water and set aside to drain further.
  4. Stir the Greek yogurt into the pesto.
  5. Transfer the pasta to a large bowl and add the pesto mixture.
  6. Stir gently to coat.
  7. Add the arugula, tomatoes, peas, mozzarella pearls, and Parmesan.
  8. Stir to combine.
  9. If needed, stir in olive oil to thin the salad.
  10. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.


  • To toast the nuts for the pesto, place them in a small skillet over low heat and shake until fragrant, about 4 minutes for pine nuts and 6 to 8 minutes for walnuts.
  • For a less salty salad, use feta instead of mozzarella pearls.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days. Let sit on the counter for a few minutes before serving and add olive oil if needed to loosen it up.


Hi! I’m Debbi!

I am no chef, I am just a mom who loves to eat good food. I enjoy making healthy, low calorie meals without compromising taste. It’s not all healthy here but I do try!


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