This summer salad recipe is baby spinach and penne pasta tossed with a creamy pesto dressing. A spinach pesto salad is the perfect summer barbecue recipe!
During the summer, we go to so many barbecues and summer salads are one of the things that I love to bring! When my family got together for my mom’s birthday, I made this Spinach Pesto Salad and a Chicken Fajita Southwest Salad. I took pictures of both so that I could share the recipes. But here is the funny part…I’ve made this Spinach Pesto Salad for years now but couldn’t find my recipe anywhere. So, I asked my sister for the recipe because she makes it too. I made the salad, took the pictures and we all enjoyed it. Later that week, I was looking at my past recipes on my recipes page when low and behold, I found that I had already posted this recipe last year! Does it mean you’ve been blogging too long when you can’t remember that you already posted something or does that just mean you’re getting old?
So, here I am posting the recipe again. Actually, this time I took a shortcut (because summer salads need to be easy to make, right?) and used store bought pesto. If you want to make your own pesto and check out my original recipe you can find it here: Spinach Penne Salad
Making this summer salad is so easy! The step that takes the most time is cooking the penne. I used mini penne to fit with the baby spinach. While the penne is cooking, mix together the store bought pesto and the mayonnaise. One the pasta is done cooking, rinse it in cold water to cool it off and toss to get rid of the excess water. Put the baby spinach in a bowl, add the penne and creamy pesto. Toss until the spinach and penne are well coated. If you love a lot of dressing on your salads, you can add more of the creamy pesto. Top the salad with shredded Parmesan cheese.
This is one of my nephew’s favorite salads! He loves eating veggies and really likes broccoli. When he was younger, he would look out of the car window at all of the trees and tell his mom, “Yum! It at all that broccoli!” Not too many kids would say that!