Add this Shrimp Pesto Pasta Salad to your next summer party menu! This simple bowtie pasta salad comes together in less than 30 minutes.
Serve this shrimp pesto pasta as a simple summer meal or side dish at a backyard barbecue
I am always looking for simple summer meals that I can serve chilled for when its TOO hot to cook. Pasta salads are a great option because they are filling, satisfying and easy to make.
I love this pesto pasta salad because the shrimp add some extra protein to help keep me fuller. This dish is balanced enough to be the center of the meal OR it could be a delicious side dish at a backyard barbecue.
What shape of pasta is best for pasta salad?
I personally love a bowtie pasta salad. I like that the bowtie noodles grab the sauce and are the perfect size and shape to compliment the other ingredients.
Some other pasta shapes that work well for pasta salad are macaroni noodles, small shells, rotini pasta and even tortellini!
- Large stock pot for boiling
- Sauce pan for steaming shrimp
- Measuring spoons and measuring cups
- Sharp knife and cutting board
- Mixing bowls
- Wooden spoon or spatula for mixing
- Bowtie pasta
- Olive oil
- Pesto – You can use my homemade walnut pesto or store bought
- Cherry tomatoes
- White balsamic vinegar
- Salt, pepper, crushed red pepper
- Fresh basil
Can i make this recipe dairy free?
Yes! You can easily make this recipe dairy free by swapping the standard pesto for a dairy free pesto. Trader Joe’s dairy free pesto sauce would be a great option!
How to make Shrimp Pesto Pasta Salad
Step 1: Boil bowtie pasta and steam shrimp
To begin, boil bowtie pasta in salted water until al dente. Drain pasta and place in a large mixing bowl. Toss pasta in olive oil.
While the pasta boils, steam shrimp in a steamer basket over boiling water. Timing will depend on the size of the shrimp, but you will know they are cooked through when the shrimp is pink and makes a C shape.
Step 2: Prep other ingredients and pesto sauce
Then, slice steamed shrimp into bite size pieces and cut cherry tomatoes into quarters. Add them to the mixing bowl with the cooked pasta and basil ribbons.
Step 3: Toss it all together
Finally, toss to combine fully. Top with extra basil and freshly grated parmesan to serve.
Storage and serving
Store this shrimp pesto pasta salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. I prefer to serve this salad at room temperature so I leave it out on the counter for about 30 minutes prior to serving it!
Check out these other summer side dishes
- Mediterranean Shrimp Salad
- Sourdough Panzanella Salad
- Honey Mustard Three Bean Salad
- Strawberry Quinoa Salad
You can find the full recipe below. If you make this recipe, please rate and review it in the comments, or share it with me on Instagram!
- Boil bowtie pasta in salted water until al dente. Drain pasta and place in a large mixing bowl. Toss pasta in olive oil.
- While the pasta boils, steam shrimp in a steamer basket over boiling water. Time will depend on the size of the shrimp, but you will know they are cooked through when the shrimp is pink and makes a C shape.
- Slice steamed shrimp into bite size pieces and cut cherry tomatoes into quarters. Add them to the mixing bowl with the cooked pasta and basil ribbons.
- In a small mixing bowl whisk together pesto, white balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper. Pour pesto mixture into the large mixing bowl with the rest of the ingredients.
- Toss to combine fully. Top with extra basil and freshly grated parmesan to serve.