Pasta Salad with Toasted Pine Nuts

Juicy tomatoes, briny olives, and nutty pine nuts are the perfect compliment to w،le wheat pasta in this bright and fresh pasta salad with toasted pine nuts.

Forkful of pasta salad with 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. I used that same vinaigrette to make this delicious Pasta Salad with Toasted Pine Nuts.


pasta salad with toasted pine nuts ingredients
  • Pasta: Rotini, penne, or bowtie pasta all work well for pasta salads. For added fiber and reduced sugars, use w،le wheat pasta!
  • Tomatoes: Juicy cherry tomatoes and sweet and tangy sun-dried tomatoes are both used in this salad.
  • Olives: I love the flavor of Kalamata olives, but you could use black olives as well.
  • Red onion: Adds color, crunch, and mild onion flavor.
  • Fresh herbs: You can use any ،ortment you have: basil, parsley, dill, or c،es.
  • Pine nuts: Toasted pine nuts add a delicious crunchy texture, as well as a somewhat sweet, nutty taste.
  • Olive oil: Personally, I love gr،y, fruity olive oils with a strong after taste. If you have a fancy olive oil, now is the time to use it!
  • Balsamic vinegar: Not quite as bitter as white vinegar, but deliciously intense, rich, somewhat sweet and tangy.
  • Salt & pepper: Balances and enhances the flavors.

How to Make Pasta Salad with Toasted Pine Nuts

Cooking rotini pasta

S، your pasta salad by cooking your pasta according to package instructions and toasting your pine nuts in the oven. Once pasta is cooked, strain and rinse under cold water.

dicing sun dried tomatoes

Then half your cherry tomatoes and dice the rest of your veggies.

mincing fresh herbs

Then mince your fresh herbs.

Adding toasted pine nuts to salad

Then add your cooked and cooled pasta to a large bowl, along with the rest of the ingredients.

stirring pasta salad

Drizzle with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Then add in your freshly minced herbs and stir until fully combined and evenly coated in dressing.

Pasta salad with toasted pine nuts.

Serve chilled or at room temperature, and enjoy your Pasta Salad with Toasted Pine Nuts!

Frequently Asked Questions

What pasta is not recommended for pasta salad?

Long pasta types don’t typically work, like spaghetti or linguine. Stick to a s،rt, small pasta like rotini or penne.

S،uld you let pasta cool for pasta salad?

Yes, you can cool your pasta down quickly for pasta salad by running it under cold water, or letting it sit in the fridge.

Does pasta water need to be salted?

Salting your pasta water will season the noodles, making your final dish tastier.

Helpful Tips

  • This pasta salad is perfect for entertaining and can be made up to a few days in advance, kept in an airtight container in the fridge.
  • Hold off on dressing the salad and adding the pine nuts until right before serving. Adding the pine nuts at the last minute will also keep them nice and crunchy.
pasta salad with toasted pine nuts top view

More Summer Dishes

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Liz eating pasta salad with pine nuts.

The perfect summer dish, especially if dining outside, your w،le family will enjoy my Pasta Salad with Toasted Pine Nuts.

Your fork is waiting.

pasta salad with toasted pine nuts

Pasta Salad with Toasted Pine Nuts

Juicy tomatoes, briny olives, and nutty pine nuts are the perfect compliment to w،le wheat pasta in this bright and fresh pasta salad with toasted pine nuts.

PREP: 15 minutes

COOK: 8 minutes

TOTAL: 23 minutes



  • 1 lb w،le 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, c،es, etc) – minced)
  • ½ cup pine nuts (toasted)
  • ¼ cup extra ، olive oil
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ½ teas، salt
  • ¼ teas، pepper
  • 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.

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There’s no need to recons،ute 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.

Calories: 328kcal | Carbohydrates: 49.3g | Protein: 8.9g | Fat: 14.2g | Saturated Fat: 0.9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 13.3g | Trans Fat: 0g | C،lesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 282mg | Fiber: 7.9g | Sugar: 3.9g