Last week I woke up with a stiff, painful neck. You know the feeling, right? You feel like Frankenstein because you can’t move your head independent of the rest of your body. It was to the point that I could barely function because it hurt to move, pick anything up, or even rest in a comfortable position.
I had a Groupon for a massage I’d purchased a few months ago, so I made an appointment hoping it would help. The massage therapist asked a lot of questions trying to get to the root cause of my pain. I told her I was a blogger and sat at my computer a lot.
This led to questions about my blog and into diet and lifestyle. She casually asked, “What do you think of the Paleo diet? I’ve been thinking about trying it.”
I told her my opinion, which is the same as just about every diet you might consider. For the average person, I don’t think it’s wise to cut out entire food groups. Yes, for health reasons certain individuals do thrive on grain-free diets. Some health conditions require low-carb living. Do I think that’s the way everyone should eat because of that? No. If you like grains, they can be a part of your diet in a balanced, healthful way. They provide nutrients. Like anything, you can overdo it and eat too many.
Pasta salads don’t have the best reputation, but you can definitely make a healthy pasta salad. For this pesto pasta salad, I kept it simple. I used a whole grain pasta, and instead of a bottled salad dressing like you often see, I used my Spinach Basil Pesto. It’s full of flavor and the spinach component adds a powerful vegetable to the dish.
Halved grape tomatoes finish the salad. It’s super easy to make and versatile as well. Need a dinner side? Check. Main course? It can do that, too. Potluck salad? Yep. Lunch for days? YES.
For the record, the massage did help my neck immensely, but five days later it’s still sore. Lots and lots of anti-inflammatory foods are being consumed over here. Along with this Pesto Pasta Salad. #sorrynotsorry
How to Make Easy Pesto Pasta Salad
Pesto Pasta Salad
This easy Pesto Pasta Salad is a healthy pasta salad that is FULL of flavor!
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 10 mins
- Total Time: 20 mins
- Yield: 8 1x
- Category: side dish
- 13.25 ounces whole grain fusilli pasta
- 1/2 cup spinach basil pesto, homemade (recipe link above) or store bought
- 10 ounces grape tomatoes, halved
- 5 basil leaves, chiffonade (cut into long strips)-optional
- Cook the pasta according to the package directions and allow it to cool.
- Stir the pesto into the pasta.
- Add the grape tomatoes.
- If desired, top with the basil strips for garnish.
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 347
- Sugar: 2.5g
- Sodium: 333mg
- Fat: 17.8g
- Saturated Fat: 0.1g
- Carbohydrates: 38.3g
- Fiber: 2.7g
- Protein: 9.5g
- Cholesterol: 5.1mg
This recipe was originally published in 2016. Video was added June 2019.