Whether it's lunch for one or a backyard barbecue with friends when it comes to summer a big bowl of homemade pasta salad should never be too far out of reach.

Cooking with Cocktail Rings creator and food blogger Kylie Mazon-Chambers shared her recipe with "Good Morning America" that combines fresh basil, pinenuts, garlic, lemon and parm with pasta, spinach, tomatoes and mozzarella cheese for a caprese-inspired salad that any pesto fan will far-fall-e for.

The dish "comes together in 15 minutes" Chambers said, which makes it "great for summer picnics because it can be prepared ahead of time and served chilled or at room temperature."

Pesto pasta salad

PHOTO: Ingredients for pesto pasta salad.
Kylie Mazon-Chambers
Ingredients for pesto pasta salad.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Servings: 6


1/2 pound farfalle pasta

8 ounces baby spinach

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup fresh basil pesto, ( recipe below)

1 (10-ounce) jar sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped

8 ounces fresh mozzarella Ciliegine

1 cup halved cherry tomatoes

1/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves

Kosher salt, as needed

Freshly ground black pepper, as needed

For the pesto

6 ounces fresh basil leaves

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup toasted pine nuts

3 cloves garlic sliced

1/2 medium lemon juiced

1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt, as needed

Freshly ground black pepper, as needed


For the pesto: Pick the basil leaves off the stems then rinse and pat the basil dry. Place the basil, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, garlic and lemon juice in a blender or food processor fitted with a blade attachment and blend. Stop the blender or food processor and stir occasionally, scraping down the sides, to make sure all ingredients are combined. Add olive oil and pulse once more. The mixture should still be slightly chunky.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cook the pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium high heat. Cook the pasta until just al dente, about 8 minutes.

Arrange the spinach at the bottom of a colander then drain the pasta over the top so the spinach wilts.

Add the pasta and spinach to a large bowl, then toss them in the oil and pesto until combined while the pasta is still warm.

Next, add the sun-dried tomatoes, mozzarella, cherry tomatoes and fresh basil. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve at room temperature or chilled.

Recipe reprinted with permission courtesy of Cooking with Cocktail Rings.