Pasta Salad with Creamy Pesto Dressing

Pasta Salad with Pesto Dressing

My little one is crazy about salads and can get drunk on soups.  Although in his little recipe book nothing can beat a good Caesar salad but he still helps me throw together different salads and this is another of his homemade favorites. This is a yummy in the tummy pasta salad with creamy pesto dressing, crunchy cucumbers and bursting cherry tomatoes.  ‘Senior chef’ work just requires boiling the pasta and peeling the cucumber, so with minimal cutting involved and a lot of mixing and tossing, this is a great salad for the kids to make themselves while you tend to other ‘senior’ business in your kitchen.

I wasn’t planning on posting this particular kiddies recipe but my niece Em needs is on urgent basis for a kitchen class at school! So here you go Em…

Pasta with creamy pesto dressing - boiled and drained farfalline pasta

Boil the farfalline pasta in salted water, drain and rinse well under a stream of tap water to get all the starch out. Toss it in olive oil to prevent it from sticking together.

Pasta with creamy pesto dressing - cherry tamatoes herbs

Wash the cherry tomatoes and basil leaves. Yes… very small basil leaves….first harvest from our tiny kitchen garden. Wash and tear the iceberg leaves into bite size pieces, my little samurai loves to do this. And oh …pretend you can’t see the rosemary…. it sneaked it just like that!!!

Pasta with creamy pesto dressing - Deseed cucumbers

Peel the cucumber and slice it lengthwise. Then using a melon scoop or teaspoon, scrape out all the seeds like in the picture above. The kids can use a table knife to cut ‘Cs” from the cucumber.  If the seeds are not scraped out your salad dressing will taste watered down and not fun!

Pasta with creamy pesto dressing - add lemon juice to mayo cream and pesto

Combine the mayonnaise, double cream, pesto in a bowl and slowly add the lime juice one teaspoon at a time till the tartness is just right for the kids.

Pasta with creamy pesto dressing - Mix pesto with mayo

Season the dressing with salt and mix well.

Pasta Salad with Pesto Dressing -closeup

Toss the pasta in the creamy dressing till the pasta is well coated. Add the cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and the iceberg. Throw in the fresh basil leaves and some green or black olives….. When the little chefs are cooking… there are a lot of olives involved!

Toss that salad some more and refrigerate till nice and cold. To make this into a full meal for the kids on hot summer days you can add some cold shredded chicken or boiled eggs as well.

Pasta Salad With Creamy Pesto Dressing
Serves: 4-5
Prep Time:
Cooking Time:
Total time:
  • 2 Cups 'Boiled' Pasta - Farfalline or any other small variety
  • 8-10 Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1 Large Cucumber
  • 4 Large Iceberg Leaves
  • 2 Tablespoons Olives – Sliced or Whole (pitted please)
  • 4-6 Basil leaves (optional)
  • 2 Tablespoons Mayonnaise
  • 3 Tablespoons Double Cream
  • 1 Tablespoon Pesto- Homemade or Store bought
  • 1 Tablespoon Lime Juice
  • ½ Teaspoon Salt (Or more to taste)
  1. Boil pasta in salted water.
  2. When tender, drain and rinse well. Toss in 1 tablespoon olive oil.
  3. Wash the cherry tomatoes.
  4. Tear the iceberg leaves into bite size pieces.
  5. Peel the cucumber and cut down lengthwise. Deseed cucumber and slice horizontally.
  6. Mix together 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise, 3 tablespoons of double cream and 1 tablespoon of pesto with half the lime juice.
  7. Add salt and mix well. Add the remaining lime juice if you feel more is required.
  8. Toss the pasta in the dressing. Add the cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, iceberg, olives and basil leaves.
  9. Mix well and serve cold.