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Quick and Easy Pesto Pasta Salad | gluten-free, vegan and packed with flavour, this is a great big-batch meal prep recipe! | My Fresh Perspective | #mealprep #vegan #vegetarian #cleaneating #mealprep

Quick and Easy Pesto Pasta Salad

  • Author: Angela Simpson
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: about 10.5 cups 1x


Ready for a healthier version of pasta salad? This easy, gluten-free healthy Pesto Pasta Salad is full of flavour and nutrition thanks to simple, real food ingredients. It’s also vegan, quick to prepare, and makes great leftovers!


  • 3 cups uncooked gluten-free rotini pasta, or your pasta of choice (I used brown rice spirals, and this made about 4 1/2 cups of cooked pasta)
  • 2 cups cooked kidney beans, drained and well-rinsed*
  • 2 cups each thinly sliced cucumber and halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped roasted red bell peppers (rinsed if previously jarred)
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Pesto Balsamic Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (dark or light – your choice)
  • 1 tbsp prepared pesto (dairy-free if necessary)**
  • pinches of sea salt and black pepper


  1. Cook the pasta in boiling water according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare all remaining ingredients as directed above. Shake up the salad dressing ingredients in a small glass jar. (You may have some leftover, depending on how much you want to use.)
  3. When the pasta is ready, drain all excess water off and transfer it to a large bowl with the remaining salad ingredients.
  4. Pour some of the dressing over top and toss well to coat before serving.


  • If you don’t like kidney beans or prefer to use another type of bean, feel free to swap them in for the same quantity. Alternatively, try baked chicken or tuna. (Obviously, the recipe will no longer be vegan-friendly.)
  • Depending on how much you love the taste of pesto, you may want to add a little bit more to your dressing. The key is to shake it up before putting it on the other ingredients to avoid getting any overly pesto-heavy bites!
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Category: salad
  • Method: boil
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: pasta, gluten free, dairy free, vegan, vegetarian, lunch, meal prep, salad, low sugar, sugar free