Pesto Pasta Salad with Pistachios and Mozzarella

This gluten free pesto pasta salad is one of our favorites. The pesto is fresh and flavorful with an amazing toastiness from the pistachios. The fresh mozzarella is perfect for balancing out the pesto, so that every bite is flavorful and exciting.

This salad is wonderful fresh or after its chilled in the fridge for a bit. Just make sure to use pasta that you like the texture of once cold. I find that pasta made with corn or quinoa tend to have the best texture cold but it’s a personal preference.

The mozzarella is marinated in oil and spices which helps flavor the pesto even more. I tend to buy them from Costco in a big tub but I have also found them at regular grocery from different brands. You want to look for mozzarella in small balls or pearls in oil with herbs and spices in the oil. If you can’t find oil marinated mozzarella, you can substitute any fresh mozzarella and then mix 1 cup of olive oil and 1 TBSP of Italian spice mix and a pinch of pepper flakes to substitute the oil in the recipe.

Gluten Free Pesto Pasta Salad

Making Gluten free Pesto Pasta Salad

This salad is super easy to make. First your going to cook your chosen pasta according to the directions on the box until they are al dente. If the box doesn’t tell you when they will be al dente it’s usually 2 to 3 minutes before they are fully cooked. Al dente pasta has a small bite or chew to it and it’s not mushy. Once the pasta is done drain and rise the pasta to cool it.

Next, combine the pesto ingredients in a food processors and blitz it until it’s the perfect pesto consistency with the nuts in small pieces.

Cut the mozzarella balls into smaller pieces, I usually cut them in half or quarters, that way they are bite sized. Then you combine everything in a bowl and mix thoroughly.

And that’s it. Super quick and easy. You can serve immediately or chill in the fridge until ready to serve.

Gluten Free Pesto Pasta Salad

How long does it keep?

Being a pasta dish it’s best eaten the day of or the next day. But it keeps nicely in the fridge for 3 or 4 days.

Like Pasta salads? Check out my Mac Salad recipe!


Gluten free Pesto Pasta Salad with Marinated Mozzarella

A fresh basil pesto with marinated mozzarella tossed with al dente pasta and chilled. It’s the perfect summer pasta salad.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 10 1x
  • Category: Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
  • Cuisine: American, Italian


Units Scale
  • 12 oz Gluten Free Rotini
  • 2 oz Fresh Basil
  • 1 cup Roasted Pistachios
  • 2 oz Pecorino Cheese
  • 1 cup Marinade from Mozzarella balls
  • 1 lb Marinated Mozzarella Balls (Cut into smaller bite sized pieces)


  1. Follow the directions on the pasta and cook until al dente. Then rinse with cold water to chill.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, set up a food processor and blitz the basil, pistachios and pecorino cheese. Then slowly add in the oil from the marinated mozzarella. Once combined set aside.
  3. Once the pasta is cooled, add in the mozzarella pieces and the pesto. Stir thoroughly to combine.
    Can be served right away or refrigerated until ready to serve.


If you don’t have marinated mozzarella you can use fresh, plain mozzarella and sub the marinade oil for olive oil and 1 TBSP of Italian spice mix and a pinch of pepper flakes.

Keywords: Basil, Cheese, Pasta, Pasta Salad, Pesto, Pistachios

Gluten Free Pesto Pasta Salad
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Alycia Louise
Alycia has worked in the food industry for over 10 years. She lives in the PNW with her husband and three dogs. Her likes include coffee, rainy days and horror movies.
Articles: 251

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