Pesto Pasta Salad with Prosciutto

July 11, 2023

This Pesto Pasta Salad is made with flavorful basil pesto, chiocciole pasta, red onion, bell pepper, grape tomatoes, olives, prosciutto, and shredded Parmesan cheese.

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We eat a ton of pasta salad during the summer. While there are a couple of tried and true recipes that we eat on repeat, I like to mix things up every once in a while.  Sometimes I’ll make pasta salad with ingredients I’m trying to use up in the fridge.  And sometimes I’m just experimenting with new flavor combinations.

I recently made a pasta salad with pesto, spinach, strawberries, and blackberries.  I thought the pasta salad was good, but my husband wasn’t a fan.  The berries in the pasta salad threw him off even though he does enjoy pesto.  So I decided to try again and make another pesto pasta salad using only savory ingredients.

Flat lay photo of grape tomatoes, pasta, prosciutto, red onion, red bell pepper, and basil pesto.

This pesto pasta salad was more my husband’s speed and full of delicious pesto flavor!  It’s made with chiocciole pasta, onion, bell pepper, grape tomatoes, prosciutto, black olives, shredded Parmesan, and of course, basil pesto.

You can use just about any small pasta for this pasta salad.  But chicocciole’s fun shape (“chicciole” means “snail” in Italian) does a good job of clinging to the pesto dressing.

Pesto Pasta Salad with Prosciutto

This pasta salad is simple to whip up and there’s no shortage of flavor!  I used fresh grape tomatoes and bell pepper in the pasta because of garden season.  But you could also use sundried tomatoes and roasted red peppers instead.

Wooden spoon holding up chiocciole pasta over a pot of boiling water.

Cooked chiocciole pasta in a colander.

The first thing we need to do is cook our pasta.  Get a pot of salted water boiling and add about half a box of chiocciole.  Cook until al dente, about 8-10 minutes.  Rinse with cold water and set aside in a large mixing bowl.

Chiocciole pasta in a mixing bowl with red bell pepper, onion, olives, grape tomatoes, and prosciutto.

Chiocciole pasta in a mixing bowl with red bell pepper, onion, olives, grape tomatoes, and prosciutto with shredded Parmesan cheese on top.

Add the onion, tomatoes, peppers, olives, and prosciutto to the bowl.  Then, stir in the shredded Parmesan cheese.

Chiocciole pasta in a mixing bowl with red bell pepper, onion, olives, grape tomatoes, and prosciutto with shredded Parmesan cheese and basil pesto.

Now, add the white vinegar and pesto.  Season the pasta salad with salt and pepper and stir.

Forkful of Pesto Pasta Salad with Prosciutto being held over serving dish.

Serve the pasta salad immediately with extra shredded Parmesan cheese on top, if desired.  If you’re not serving the salad right away, keep it in the fridge in an airtight container.

Pesto Pasta Salad with Prosciutto

Pesto Pasta Salad with Prosciutto

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. chiocciole pasta
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup black olives, sliced
  • 4 slices prosciutto, chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp. white vinegar
  • 3-4 tbsp. prepared basil pesto
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Cook the pasta according to package.
  2. Then, rinse with cold water, allow pasta to cool, and add to a large bowl.
  3. Add the onion, tomatoes, peppers, olives, and prosciutto to the pasta. Stir in the shredded Parmesan.
  4. Add the white vinegar and pesto. Season with salt and pepper and stir.
  5. Serve the pasta salad immediately with extra cheese on top, if desired, or chill in the fridge.
  6. Store up to 5 days in the fridge in an airtight container.
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Forkful of Pesto Pasta Salad with Prosciutto sitting in a serving plate. Grape tomatoes and bowl of shredded Parmesan in the background.

Want to try a different variation of pesto in this recipe?  This Kale and Sundried Tomato Pesto is a great alternative!  It’s really easy to make and so good in a variety of dishes.

Make this easy recipe with Hungryroot!

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