The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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Pesto Pasta Salad (Gluten-free, Dairy-free)

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Level: Easy

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Description

A Pesto Pasta Salad that is creamy and bursting with vibrant flavors, this dish comes to life with fresh basil, hearty pasta, and a healthier mayo-infused pesto sauce. It’s ideal for warm-weather picnics, meal-prep lunches, and any other craving for a quick, refreshing, and delicious pasta salad.

Ingredients

  • FOR THE SALAD:
  • 8 ounces, weight Pasta (I Prefer Banza)
  • 2 cups Kale, Washed And Trimmed
  • 1 Tablespoon Oil
  • 2 cups Finely Sliced Red Cabbage
  • ¾ cups Mayo (I Love The Primal Kitchen Brand)
  • ½ cups Pesto (as Prepared In Recipe)
  • 1 bunch Mixed Greens, For Serving (optional)
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes, To Taste
  • FOR THE PESTO:
  • 4 cups Fresh Basil Leaves, Torn And Stems Removed
  • ¼ cups Walnuts
  • 3 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
  • 2 Tablespoons Oil (grapeseed, Avocado, Or Olive Work Best)
  • 1 whole Shallot, Diced
  • 3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • 1 pinch Salt And Pepper, Toaste
  • 2 cloves Garlic

Preparation

Cook pasta according to package directions. Strain and cool. If using Banza pasta, I recommend also rinsing with cool water to prevent the noodles from sticking together. Set aside.

Prepare pesto while the pasta cools by pulsing the ingredients in a food processor until basil leaves are finely chopped and the nuts are almost a finely ground consistency. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl (I used a huge casserole dish, use whatever works), massage kale leaves with oil to soften them. They will turn a beautiful, vibrant green color and tenderize, which is much easier for digestion. Add chopped cabbage and pasta and stir to combine.

In the bowl with the pesto, stir in mayo until well incorporated. Add this to the mixing bowl with the pasta and veggies. Use a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to mix the pesto aioli (mayo + pesto = pesto aioli) in with the pasta and veggies until everything is coated with the aioli.

Serve with mixed greens and sprinkle with crushed red pepper flakes. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Enjoy!

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