Walnut & Olive Pesto Pasta Salad


This recipe is a super versatile option – it can be a lunch or dinner on its own (combined with a meat/fish/tofu/other protein source if you like!) or a side dish salad. I hope you enjoy it!

Recipe (Serves 4-5)


  • 3 tbsp green pesto
  • 1 handful of walnuts
  • 1 pack or jar of pitted black olives (probably about 12)
  • 250g of pasta of choice
  • 3 salad tomatoes, sliced into wedges
  • 1 red pepper, de-seeded and chopped into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 cups of broccoli florets, washed


  1. Cook the pasta according to package instructions, then when done, drain and set aside to cool for a few minutes. You can speed up the cooling by running a quick blast of cold water onto the pasta in the colander.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, boil the kettle, and when it’s ready, pop the broccoli florets into a small bowl, and (being careful with heat!) pour the boiled water on top, to blanch the broccoli. Leave the broccoli in the water for about 5-7 minutes, then drain it and set it aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the olives, sliced pepper, tomatoes and walnuts.
  4. Add the blanched broccoli florets next.
  5. Add the drained cooled pasta and toss everything to mix it up.
  6. Finally, add the pesto, one tablespoon at a time, and stir to mix it into the salad with each scoop.

You’re good to go! Serve as a side dish (maybe for a barbeque!) or as a lunch or dinner on its own (feel free to add a serving of meat, fish or tofu with it for a more complete meal!). I added some feta to this salad for a few handy lunches for work.

As always, tag me if you try this recipe out – @theirishbalance on Instagram/Twitter/Facebook!

Ciara 🙂 x

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