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pesto pasta salad in a glass bowl

Kale Pesto Mozzarella Pasta Salad

5 from 6 reviews
  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 10 servings
  • Category: Pasta Salad
  • Method: Cooking
  • Cuisine: American


This kale pesto mozzarella pasta salad is not only easy to make, but it’s bursting with flavor, feeds a crowd, and keeps for days in the refrigerator.


Kale Pesto

  • 2 cups chopped kale
  • 1 cup fresh basil, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 cup (65g) chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2/3 cup (50g) freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • juice of 1 lemon (2 Tbsp)
  • 1/4 teaspoon – 1/2 teaspoon salt

Pasta Salad

  • 1 pound dry pasta (elbow, bow tie, rotini, etc)
  • handful fresh basil
  • 2 cups (300g) halved cherry tomatoes
  • 6 ounces mozzarella, cubed (or shredded or mozzarella balls)
  • 3/4 cup (105g) pine nuts (or chopped walnuts)


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and cool for 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, make the pesto. Combine kale, basil and walnuts in a food processor. Pulse until greens and nuts are finely chopped. Scrape down the sides, then add olive oil, parmesan, garlic, lemon juice, and salt. Start with 1/4 teaspoon and add more to taste. Run the processor until everything is blended together. Set aside.
  3. Stir the remaining pasta salad ingredients in with the pasta. Toss with pesto. Add more basil and pine nuts if you wish (I like lots of basil).
  4. Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Tastes best on day 2 or 3, so it’s perfect to make ahead of time!


  1. Special Tools (affiliate links): Food Processor or Chopper | Glass Mixing Bowl

Keywords: Kale Pesto Mozzarella Pasta Salad