Pasta Salad with Pine Nuts

Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time8 minutes
Total Time23 minutes

Juicy tomatoes, briny olives, and nutty pine nuts are the perfect complement to whole wheat pasta in this bright and fresh pasta salad.

Pasta Salad with Tomatoes, Olives and Toasted Pine Nuts

My beautiful mother is the queen of pasta salads. Every summer she makes them for family gatherings or lazy days at the cottage on Lake Michigan. The ingredients vary based on what veggies and herbs she has on hand or found at the farmer’s market that week but the simple vinaigrette remains the same. She taught me at an early age the importance of a well-stocked pantry full of high-quality olive oils and vinegar. (There’s a reason I visit Zingerman’s every time I visit or drive through Ann Arbor!)

Speaking of high quality olive oil, this is the time to use it. Personally, I love grassy, fruity olive oils with a strong after taste. Good olive oil can be pricey so keep a bottle of cheap stuff on hand for sauteing or baking where a strong flavor can be over powering. Another tip? If you are cooking with good quality olive oil, drizzle it on the finished dish before serving vs. wasting hundreds of calories when you’re sauteing veg or browning meat. The flavor will get lost but I can promise you the calories will find their way to your hips.

This pasta salad is perfect for entertaining and can be made up to two days in advance but hold off on dressing the salad and adding the pine nuts until right before serving. The pasta will absorb much of the vinaigrette and you’ll end up having to add more olive oil and vinegar at the event. If you’re worried about pasta drying out, you can drizzle a bit of olive oil before storing in the refrigerator but the olives and veggies should keep everything moist. Adding the pine nuts at the last minute will also keep them nice and crunchy.

Your fork is waiting.

Pasta Salad with Tomatoes, Olives and Toasted Pine Nuts - The Lemon Bowl

Pasta Salad with Pine Nuts

5 stars
Juicy tomatoes, briny olives and nutty pine nuts are the perfect compliment to whole wheat pasta in this bright and fresh pasta salad.
PREP: 15 minutes
COOK: 8 minutes
TOTAL: 23 minutes
Servings8

Ingredients
 

  • 1 lb whole wheat pasta ((such as rotini, penne, etc.))
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes (sliced in half)
  • ½ cup kalamata olives (pitted and minced)
  • ½ cup red onion (minced)
  • ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes (minced)
  • 1 cup fresh herbs ((ie parsley, basil, dill, chives, etc) – minced)
  • ½ cup pine nuts (toasted)
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper

Instructions
 

  • Cook pasta in salty water until al dente – usually about one minute less than the package suggests – and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, toss together cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives, red onion, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh herbs and toasted pine nuts.
  • Add reserved pasta to the bowl and drizzle with olive oil, balsamic, salt and pepper. Toss well, check for seasoning and adjust accordingly.

Notes

There’s no need to reconstitute the sun-dried tomatoes because they will plump up when they absorb the vinaigrette. Oil-packed work too. To toast pine nuts, bake at 350 for 5 minutes on a baking sheet.

Nutrition

Calories: 328kcalCarbohydrates: 49.3gProtein: 8.9gFat: 14.2gSaturated Fat: 0.9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 13.3gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 282mgFiber: 7.9gSugar: 3.9g

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Hi, I’m Liz!

Hey there, I’m Liz Della Croce and I’m thrilled to have you here! My aim is to motivate and ignite your passion for cooking amazing meals for your loved ones. I believe in the power of real, wholesome ingredients that are bursting with flavor and won’t break the bank. Whether it’s a traditional Lebanese recipe from my family or a culinary creation from across the globe, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to discover that nutritious food can be exciting, affordable, and easy to prepare.

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25 responses to “Pasta Salad with Pine Nuts”

  1. Nutmeg Nanny Avatar
    Nutmeg Nanny

    Holy moly this salad is filled with delicious ingredients! I have to make this :)

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      I am out of pine nuts and it’s killing me! Wish we could eat some together. :)

  2. Melissa Avatar
    Melissa

    Perfect, I am going to do the gluten free version for my kids lunches this week :)

  3. Chelsea Avatar
    Chelsea

    This pasta salad screams summer! Looks awesome!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Thank you!! It really does taste like summer in a bowl. :)

  4. Kirsten@FarmFreshFeasts Avatar
    Kirsten@FarmFreshFeasts

    Liz,
    This looks so wonderful! I’m starting to get a bit anxious for tomatoes to arrive, even though there are buds on my plants and I can see, and therefore know, that it’s just a matter of time. In the meantime, I’ve stocked up on shapes of pasta perfect for salads with a bunch of coupons, and you’re reminding me that I’m still out of balsamic vinegar. I even used up all the weird pomegranate vinegar–definitely need to update my grocery list.
    Thanks!

  5. Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious Avatar
    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious

    Ooooh I love how refreshing this is! Plus, I’ve been trying to keep the stove off in this summer heat so this here is just perfect!

  6. mary d Avatar
    mary d

    I want a bite of that delicious salad right now!

  7. EA-The Spicy RD Avatar
    EA-The Spicy RD

    You had me at pine nuts! Love everything about this pasta salad. Everything!!!

  8. Julie @ Table for Two Avatar
    Julie @ Table for Two

    I love a good pasta salad and the pine nuts take it over the top!

  9. Kiran @ KiranTarun.com Avatar
    Kiran @ KiranTarun.com

    So pretty! I love fresh and colorful pasta salads. This looks so comforting!

  10. Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking Avatar
    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking

    Now this is my kind of pasta salad! I love all the Mediterranean flavors going on here!

  11. Christy@SweetandSavoring Avatar
    Christy@SweetandSavoring

    So fresh and bright! Pine nuts and olives make pretty much any dish irresistible.

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Isn’t that the truth??

  12. Mr. & Mrs. P Avatar
    Mr. & Mrs. P

    We love pasta salads.. There nothing we would change in the recipe!! YUM!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Thank you so much!!

  13. Julia Avatar
    Julia

    Love this pasta salad! Pine nuts is the perfect finish.

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      You know I can’t get enough pine nuts in my life. :)

  14. Tieghan Avatar
    Tieghan

    I love this Liz! it’s light, healthy and so flavorful!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      My three favorite adjectives!! Thank you!! :)

  15. katie Avatar
    katie

    yum! I love everything about this pasta salad! Perfect for summer entertaining!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Thank you!! I bet it would taste better with the tomatoes in your garden!!

Liz Della Croce eating black bean dip

Hi I’m Liz!

Hey there, I’m Liz Della Croce and I’m thrilled to have you here! My aim is to motivate and ignite your passion for cooking amazing meals for your loved ones.