Pesto Pasta Salad with Fresh Asparagus and Red Peppers

By: Melinda Yates


  • Making the dish
    • 2 bunches of fresh asparagus (ends trimmed and stalks cut in half)
    • 1 red pepper, sliced
    • 1 red onion, sliced
    • 1 jar vegan pesto (160-200g)
    • 400g fusilli or penne pasta
    • pine nuts or sunflower seeds to garnish (optional)
    • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, for frying (optional - a non stick pan probably won't need it)
    • 1/2 lemon or lime for serving (optional)
  • 30 minutes
  • Easy
  • 4
  • vegan-icon

This pasta salad with pesto and fresh asparagus is ridiculously easy to make! It can be served warm for dinner on a cool night in, but is equally delicious cold so it can be taken on a picnic in the sunshine. Sometimes, I make this dish for dinner and take leftovers in a container to work for lunch the next day. You can use a rice or corn pasta for a gluten free version. Most vegan pesto is gluten free, but check the ingredients just to be sure.

  1. Cook the pasta according to packet instructions, drain and set aside
  2. Heat the oil (if using) in a large pan on your hob and add the sliced red onion
  3. Stir the onion around the pan while cooking for about 5 minutes on a medium-high heat
  4. Turn the heat to medium and add the asparagus and peppers to the pan, continuing to stir occasionally for a further 7-10 minutes
  5. Turn the heat to low, add the jar of pesto and the pasta to the pan. Stir so that everything is evenly coated in pesto and heated throughout.
  6. If eating warm, serve immediately and garnish with pine nuts or sunflower seeds and a wedge of lemon or lime. If you are eating it cold, put the prepared dish in a large bowl or container in the fridge and eat when you’re ready! It will last for 48 hours in the fridge.