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Right before my senior year of high school I spent a summer living with my aunt, and my mom’s cousin with his new wife. We all lived in my grandparent’s large home while they were away on a church mission. My mom’s cousin Neil had lived in Italy for two years while on a church mission. One of my favorite memories of that summer is all of the awesome Italian food Neil showed me how to make. This pasta salad was a go to for us and we made it every few days the whole summer!

The best part is how EASY this is to make. I know that my 22-year-old daughter makes this often. It keeps in the refrigerator for a week. It is great to make and then have on hand.

Throw these simple ingredients together for the most delicious, tasty pasta salad!

Start with 1 lb of cooked rotini. You may use any pasta you like, but I love to use rotini because the pesto really holds onto these tight spirals.

One cup of grape tomatoes cut in half, or diced Roma tomatoes.

I love to use Mozzarella pearls, but if they cannot be found, then cut up a block of fresh mozzarella into small cubes.

Next, add in cucumbers, your favorite Pesto, and salt and pepper to taste. If this is a main dish and you want the protein, we love some cut up grilled or rotisserie chicken mixed in.

Toss it all together and chill for an hour, or serve it up right away if you can’t help yourself.

We eat this all summer long!

Pesto & Mozzarella Pasta Salad

A great mix of flavors make this pasta salad a standout! It is perfect to pack up for a picnic, take to a potluck or have for lunch. Leave out the chicken for a good side dish or add the chicken in for a main dish. @mostdeliciouslife.com
Prep Time 15 minutes
Chill 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course easydinner, Lunch, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Italian


  • 1 pound tri-colored rotini pasta
  • 1 cup fresh mozzarella balls, cut into bite size pieces Or mozzaralla pearls/balls
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 cup cucumbers, small slices or diced
  • 1 cup pesto or more, to taste
  • 2 cups chicken, cooked and cut up or shredded **rotisserie chicken works great for this
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse.
  • Add all ingredients to a large bowl and mix well. Salt and pepper to taste.
Keyword italian food, mozarella, pasta, pasta salad, pesto, salad, side dish